Ridgecrest hosts several off-road campers as well as off-road races and events throughout the year. Jawbone Station, Spangler Hills, Dove Hills, El Paso Wilderness, and the Rand Mountains are criss-crossed with popular trails and camping spots.


Climb high and see far. The mountains surrounding the China Lake basin are full of trails to challenge every ability level. Popular trails include the nearby Rademacher Hills, Short Canyon, and Five Fingers. Join up with the famed Pacific Crest Trail at Walker Pass just North of town.


Ridgecrest is a Geocacher’s paradise. The challenging desert landscape combined with thousands of local caches makes this a geo-caching hot spot.

Rock climbing

Just a few miles East of town is one of the best kept rock-climbing secrets in the US – “Wagon Wheel.” Five square miles of boulders. There are rocks fit for children as well as rocks to challenge the most experienced climbers.

Water Sports

LakeIsabella is about 60 miles West of Ridgecrest. Mountain winds make Lake Isabella a popular destination for wind-surfing and boating. The Kern River offers picturesque mountain scenes to white-water rafters and kayakers as it winds through the Sierras.


Cosmic enthusiasts seek out our high elevation and protected horizon for clear skies and some of the best star gazing in California. Several stars and galaxies have been discovered here by local amateur astronomers. The best viewing can easily be found a few miles South of town on Brown Road or in Red Rock Canyon.