California City is a city incorporated in 1965 in the northern Antelope Valley in Kern County, California, 65 miles (105 km) southwest of Death Valley National Park. The population was 14,120 at the 2010 census making California City the 331st largest city in the state by population. Covering 203.631 square miles (527.40 km), the city is the third largest city in the state by area.
Restaurants in California City
4 based on 12 reviews
Desert Tortoise Natural Area is open most of the year. It is all natural and beautiful. You may or may not see a tortoise, they are free and don't come when called.
Parking is free and on some days visiting is free.
You take Highway 14 (for most travelers) and keep going to California City, which is a sleepy little town. You will see the sign for the Natural Area, take that for a few miles and you will find the Tortoise Natural Area.
On the weekends there are tour guides. I like the weekdays and to go on my own.
It is a beautiful walk and whether you want to walk just a bit or several miles you can. The area is flat. It is never crowded and in the distance you can see the amazing Sierra Mountains. It is just lovely.
It does get very hot in the daytime, it is in the middle of the Mojave Desert, so sun screen and bring some water with you for the walk. Have fun.
4.5 based on 93 reviews
Buried deep in the Mojave Desert is one of the biggest and richest deposits of borax on the planet. You will also find the Borax Visitor Center, one of the best kept secrets of the Southern California desert. Built in 1997, it had more than 150,000 visitors.Entry is free however we highly recommend a small donation to help support our Foundation which provides grants and scholarships to the local community.
We have driven by the Borax Visitor Center a number of times and decided to visit on our latest trip through the area. The Visitor Center is located on the Borax property, and is set up on a hilltop. The center offers a look into the history the 20 Mule Team and Borax.
Best to allow yourself at least 30 minutes. There is a 10 minute video presentation, if you are interested. Also, there is a gift shop, rest rooms and a hill top view of the property. Free samples may be available.
Entrance is free and the workers there are friendly and knowledgeable.
4.5 based on 37 reviews
I started out in the lower parking lot, below the visitors center and would recommend going this way versus starting at the upper parking lot as it means you will be climbing up the rings at the end versus climbing down them in the beginning. The trail starts out and is very flat, brings you past some petroglyphs, through a cow grazing pasture and wraps around the mountainside and brings back to the "Hole in the Wall" where the rock starts to look like Swiss cheese. You move back into the canyon and out of the sun, then before you know it approach the first set of rings. You quickly climb the few rings and move through the canyon before climbing 2 more sets of rings. These felt easier to climb up than they would be down. You emerge in the upper parking lot just a short walk down to the visitor's center and back to your car. This is a nice and easy 1 mile hike, but i could see the rings providing a challenge for some. While I loved this hike and it was quick and easy with plenty of scenery, I'm not sure this hike is worth the drive over to this side of the Mojave National Preserve. I felt like i racked up a lot of windshield time just for this hike although it didn't offer some time rolling through the Joshua Trees.
3 based on 5 reviews
One can tell that this park was once nice...now it is in ruins. It is the main park of California City and the city apparently has decided not to spend money to keep it up. The water in the lake looks murky, a beautiful pedestrial bridge over part of the lake is closed because it is falling apart, the lawns are worn and the central artificial hill in the center is fenced off. The only interesting thing to do at this park is to close one's eyes and try to imagine how grand it must have been in the past.
3.5 based on 5 reviews
Due to budget restraints, NASA Dryden Research Center has stopped to offer public tours. However, if you go on a tour of Edwards AFB (free, twice a month, reservation required), a short stop at Dryden with an introductory video might be included.
5 based on 1 reviews
I found these online whilst in the UK and made it a destination for one of our activities on our USA Road Trip 2017, and boy am I glad i did.
My son Leon and I hired 270cc Honda Enduro bikes and my youngest son and wife Hazel hired a big Polaris 370cc Quad bike, then off into the canyon we did go.
Not before an excellent instruction and information session with the manager of the store, he even rode out to the start point with us too, to ensure we went out on the best route.
Top tip, check with a map first or take a GPS as the Canyon is massive and easy to get lost. Oh and Jeans or thick trousers are a must. They supply helmets and boots so thats good.
4 hours later we made our way back to the yard, exhausted but so happy we did this.
5 based on 3 reviews
Located near Essex, the Tecopa Caverns also have caves to explore.
For anyone interested, the area where the Tecopa/Mitchell Caverns are has been closed for several years. Over the last few years I have tried to access them without any success. Essex Road past Black Canyon Road is not maintained and is dubious in spots. There is a large locked gate blocking any means of entering. There are "no parking" signs discouraging anyone thinking of parking and hiking the last two miles. No information so far about any reopening in the future. I did get there ten years ago and they were spectacular. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have taken better pictures. Providence State Recreation Area is also inaccessible from here. Hole in the Wall to the north offers great hiking if you are interested. Hole in the Wall can be accessed by way of Essex Road and Black Canyon Road from the south or east, or Cedar Canyon Road and Black Canyon Road from Kelso Cima Road to the west. Should anything change I will post an update.
3.5 based on 15 reviews
The old Mojave Airport was a fascinating place, with lots of WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War aircraft sitting out in the open for buffs to view. There was a military and airline collectible shop in the old terminal building. There were dozens, sometimes more than a hundred, surplus Boeing 707's, Douglas DC-8's, and Lockheed L-1011's sitting in rows out in the desert sun. There was even a restored Southern Pacific caboose.
It is all gone, now, and the high-tech companies founded by the Rutan brothers and Richard Branson are doing great stuff, but its not out for the public to view.
If you go to the MASP website, you can take a virtual tour of the "spaceport", but its not the same as touching the metal and smelling the fumes.
If you're there when they are launching Virgin Galactica or some other space shot, you're in luck. Otherwise, it is just a dusty desert, with a tired old Convair 880 hulk and a QF-4 drone guarding the main gate.
4.5 based on 6 reviews
Just tried it tonight, trying to get a viewpoint for the fireworks over SJ. Only drove about 10 miles southbound, starting from Junction 9 (coming up from Saratoga). Apart from one spot, the road is pretty much surrounded by tall trees. In other words, a nice scenic drive in the woods mostly.
5 based on 1 reviews
Another one of the more interesting caves to explore.
The El Pakiva Cavern is the first and largest of the two main caverns. In this cavern are magnificent examples of stalagmites, stalactites as well as other formations known as pads, drapes curtains and cave coral. There is also life in the caves that is endemic, existing only in this precise location. They are often sighted on tours. Our tour guide, Andy was incredible, with his wealth of knowledge and great sense of humor he made this infinitely more interesting. These caves are said to be very old dating back perhaps hundreds of millions of years, formed when this part of the US was still under water. It is a unique opportunity to view some of the most amazing geological formations on earth. The temperature is a constant low to mid 60's.This is worth the time and effort from anywhere within a large radius. This is not for anyone claustrophobic.
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