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Old 01-31-2010, 03:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
cfg83
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Hello -

Ok, I visited it with my friend yesterday. It looks like anyone can use the lake bed and there are no racing/safety requirements like the SCTA has.

The visitor center closes at 4:30 PM. We got there around 4 PM and they didn't charge us because we were only on a scouting mission. Besides, the lake bed was closed because it is still wet/muddy from the recent Southern California rains. Here is more info :

El Mirage OHV Recreation Area, Barstow Field Office, Bureau of Land Management California

Quote:
El Mirage Lakebed

The lakebed is a flat playa formed in an undrained basin. Silt and clay are deposited into this basin during periods of heavy rain. When the "lake" dries, a hard pan dry lakebed is left.

This hard, smooth surface is ideal for the unique activities conducted at El Mirage. These include ultra-light aircraft and gyrocopter flying, model rocketry, remote control airplane flying, landsailing and straight track racing. Many private pilots land on the lakebed to spend the day. The surface character has attracted the interest of many filming companies. Several major movies have scenes filmed here.

There is no speed limit on the open lakebed, but vehicle operators are responsible for their own safety, OHV rules and regulations, and knowing what is going on around them. The maximum speed limit is 15 miles per hour within 50 feet of camps and staging areas.

During permitted events, special speed limits and traffic restrictions are posted. Please watch for these events. To maintain a smooth surface, the lakebed is closed when wet or muddy. The California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Sheriff, and BLM Rangers patrol the area to encourage safe use by visitors.

Camping is permitted on the lakebed, but no more than 100 feet from the edge. This keeps the smooth center section of the lakebed clear for night riders.
...
The permits are:

$15 for a one day permit, valid from dawn to dusk
$30 for a weekly permit, valid for 7 days
$90 for an annual permit, valid from October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2010
...

The areas of interests include El Mirage Dry Lakebed, the Shadow Mountains, El Mirage Basin, and the Twin Hills area. This makes up a 24,000 acre of public and private land. Elevations range from about 2,800 feet at the El Mirage Dry Lake to more that 3,800 feet in the Shadow Mountains.

During summer months, temperatures can reach a high of 120 degrees F. Summer thunderstorms can come with spectacular force, although most of the minimal precipitation falls during winter months. Winter lows can fall to 5 degrees F. at night, with highs in the 60 to 70 degree F. range during the day. Spring and Fall temperatures are moderate and fall between these extremes.
Based on what I am seeing this would be perfect for aeromod testing when these conditions are met :

1 - Non windy (consult weather.com for Barstow and cross your fingers it doesn't change)
2 - Not-too-many-other-people day (aka weekday?)
3 - Not-a-special-event-day (mostly weekends)

Driving notes: I haven't driven up a real hill in my car in a long time. I had to downshift from 5th to 4th gear for a few stretches because my 5th gear + hot-air-intake was making me powerless, and my grill block was heating my coolant up more than I like (in still-chilly weather). If/when I go again, I think I will remove the HAI and grill block for the uphill portion of the trip and restore them for the downhill.

CarloSW2
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