Means Dry Lake - Johnson Valley

Yucca Valley, California (SanBernardino County)
Last Updated: 10/25/2017
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Difficulty: 1-2
(EASY)
Length: 1.7 miles
Highest Elevation: 2550 feet
Duration: About 20 minutes
Shape of Trail: Loop
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Yucca Valley
Nearest Town w/ Services: Yucca Valley
Official Road Name: Means Dry Lake Bed
Management Agency: BLM - Johnson Valley
District:
Distance:
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Highlights

Highlight: Means Dry Lake - Johnson Valley

Means Dry Lake aka Hammertown USA is the one calm location in an area known for extreme off-road. It is typically used as a base camp and staging area for those who are attempting the legendary Hammer Trails and the King of the Hammers event. Whether it is your first time wheeling or are an extreme rock crawler, arriving at Means Dry Lake is as good as waking up to Christmas morning.

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Route Information

Technical Rating: (1-2)
(EASY)

Dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Some ruts. Slight grades, up to 10 degrees. 2WD under most conditions. Rain or snow may make 4WD necessary. Usually one and a half to two vehicles wide.

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Description

Means Dry Lake is one of the many dry lakebeds in the Mojave Desert. What makes this one different from the others are two things. First one is this is home to The King Of The Hammers and Hammer Trails. Second is that it is also a bombing range, thus be careful of bomb craters when traveling across the dry flat lakebed. But don't worry, even though it can be an active bombing range at times, they do close the area first. The US Government has come to an agreement with the Off-Roaders that use the area, and we will be sharing areas of the land in Johnson Valley with the US Military. During these times which are unknown, civilians will not be allowed in the area. There is no set schedule yet of when it will be closing and reopening. This is a growing concern for many people that enjoy the area for the fear that they will permanently close this area after the first time they use this area for Military training. See access issues URL for more information.

Waypoints

1. Means Dry Lake and Boone Road

You enter Means Dry lake from Boone Road at the northern most end. The area is wide open and you can travel anywhere you want. The route in the GPS is a path around the lakebed giving you the idea of what is there.

2. Road to Backdoor (0.3 mi)

Against the hillside is the path that takes you to Backdoor. The road to backdoor is an easy one and has several crazy insane hill climbs and rock ledges that people play on just off the trail.

3. Road to Sand Hill and Clawhammer Area (0.7 mi)

The next major path is the trail that takes you to Claw Hammer and Johnson Valley Sand Hill . The Road to Claw Hammer is a popular trail being that the trails in the direction are more suitable for the average driver. I wouldn't recommend camping near this road because of all the dust the vehicles kick up.

4. Road to the Hammers (1.2 mi)

The next major path is the Road To The Hammers which heads east off of the lakebed. The path up to the Hammers could be the most popular route once you leave Means Dry Lake, with Jack Hammer, Sledge Hammer, and Tack Hammer right at the end of this road. People find themselves heading up there at night and all throughout the day to see some of the action.

5. Bomb Craters (1.5 mi)

About half the lake bed is devastated with bomb craters. You can play in this are, but be careful for scrap metal and deeper then expected holes. This is a common area for things to go wrong when traveling through.

6. End of Loop (1.7 mi)

The loop ends back at the beginning where it connects with Boone Road.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 34.410034, -116.517186
Means Dry Lake is at the end of Boone Road. ***To get to Boone Road from Lucerne Valley*** Take 247 east roughly 24 miles. You will see a Johnson Valley sign on the right side of the road and the white lines will be broken on the left side of the road where the dirt road starts. ***To get to Boone Road from Yucca Valley*** From Highway 62 and 247, take the 247 north / west for roughly 20 miles. The turnoff for Boone Road is on the right just after the highway curves to the left.

Camping

You are allowed to camp anywhere in the area. Most people camp on Means Dry Lake with some camping against the hills to try and stay out of the winds. Everything from RV's, to trailers, to tents are welcome in Johnson Valley. Please note, this is dispersed camping and the nearest form of food, water, or help is 30 miles away.
Camping: Means Dry Lake - Johnson Valley

Land Use Issues

The US Government has come to an agreement with the Off-Roaders that use the area, and we will be sharing areas of the land in Johnson Valley with the US Military. During these times which are unknown, civilians will not be allowed in the area. There is no set schedule yet of when it will be closing and reopening. This is a growing concern for many people that enjoy the area for the fear that they will permanently close this area after the first time they use this area for Military training.

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California
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Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it. Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company based in Orange County, California. Nybble isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you." Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information. If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.

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