Soggy Dry Lake, California
Photo Tour by Frank Rodrigue
Gateway to the Johnson Valley Off Highway Recreation Area

From Lucerne Valley, travel 13.3 miles east of the 4-way stop at the intersection of Old Woman Springs Road (Highway 247) and State Hwy 18 towards Landers / Johnson Valley. From Old Woman Springs Road, head North at Bessimer Mine Road turnoff. It is a rough, graded dirt road. Four wheel drive is not necessary. Soggy Dry Lake Coordinates: 34.452607 -116.690349

Looking west from Bessimer Mine Road, it will be obvious when you get to the lake. It is about 3-1/2 miles from the paved highway. Depending on the time of year and the weather patterns the lake is usually a very smooth hard-packed surface, so smooth in most areas that it makes the perfect surface for wind sailing.

If you plan to set up camp it is best to stay to one of the sides as the middle can get quite windy at times. Prevailing winds generally come from the west.

Campers usually group together to create little communities on the edges of the lake. The lake is a perfect place for large groups to meet and camp with off-road vehicles. It is easy to find, close to a well-traveled road, relatively safe area for children (always supervise children playing on the lake) and connects to hundreds of miles of legal trails and dirt roads. It is also close to services that are available in nearby Lucerne Valley.

The lake surface is great for beginning ATV and motorcycle riders and is a pretty safe place to take new riders. The openness of the area and the unique shapes and coloring of the surrounding mountains and hills makes it easy for a new rider to keep from getting lost.

Trails lead from the lake in all directions but the trails and roads also cross some private lands. There is an onsite area map provided by the BLM showing open and closed areas.

Reservations are not available. Primitive campsites are available on a first come - first served basis. Level parking spaces are provided. No tables, water, trash cans or toilets. This is one place you can show up on Saturday afternoon and know you will find a suitable campsite :-)

As you can see, the lake is pretty long. On a busy weekend, riders need to be sure to look in all directions while crossing to be sure not to get into the path of an oncoming vehicle. It is not uncommon to see vehicles racing, sometimes reaching speeds over 100 miles per hour.

Have a safe trip!