- Open: Year round
- Latitude / Longitude: 35.312571, -118.050022
- Managed by: BLM
- Usage: Heavy
- Fee: None
- ATV Registration required: Yes
- Vehicles Allowed: All
This popular off roading area is located just 25 miles outside of Mojave California. With only 4,500 people, Mojave is the closest “big town”. It has everything you need for setting up a home base or resupplying before heading out into the desert.
Jawbone Canyon Riding Area
With over 8,000 acres, you will find almost unlimited riding opportunities for all skill levels. Take a leisurely family friendly ride on a sandy trail or test your metal with an advanced technical hill climb. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it out here.
This is a wide open desert area managed by the BLM. There are hundreds of miles of trails cut through the region open to ATVs, SxS, motorcycles, dune buggies and full sized trucks.
Within the Jawbone OHV Area, the off roading is pretty unrestricted. You can ride cross country, play in open areas, tackle hills and enjoy the ATV trails. However, if you venture onto trails in the surrounding area, motorized vehicle use is restricted to designated trails and roads.
No off road or off trail travel is allowed outside the OHV area.
For staging, find a nice wide open space and have at it. There are several larger open areas along Jawbone Canyon Road that people use for staging and camping.
Although this is a popular, busy off roading area, most of the traffic is confined to the weekends. If you come Tues – Thursday, you’ll practically have the place to yourself.
For maps, information and fire permits, stop by the Jawbone Station Visitor Center run by the Friends of Jawbone.
This riding area is open year round, but summer isn’t ideal for riding. It’s low desert so it gets very hot in the summer with temperatures well over 100 degrees.
March/April and mid October/November are ideal for riding with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Even though the daytime temperatures are comfortable, be prepared for nighttime temperature in the 40s.
Winters dip into the 50s during the day, but the riding is still great. Obsessionally it gets a dusting of snow, but it never amounts to much and it doesn’t stick on the ground.
For additional riding and camping opportunities, check out Dove Springs OHV Area which is 15 minutes up the road near Red Rock Canyon State Park. You can ride through the desert from Jawbone Canyon to Dove Springs.
BLM Website: Jawbone Canyon OHV Area
Jawbone Canyon Store
Even though this riding area is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, it’s popular enough that there’s a full service store/deli/gas station out there.
The Jawbone Canyon Store is about 5 minutes from the canyon so it’s very convenient. It’s located at the junction of Hwy 14 and a road that leads directly to the Jawbone Canyon OHV area.
On holiday weekends, they have a beer garden and live music.
Considering it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s a pretty happening place.
Store Summer Hours
- Thurs – Monday 9-5
- Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Store Winter Hours
- 7 Days a Week 9-5
They also have ATV, SxS and motorbike rentals available through their sister company – Fun Time ATV
Fun Side Trips
Red Rock Canyon State Park is only about 10 minutes up the road from Jawbone. It’s not an off roading area, but worth a visit if you have the time. It’s a unique, beautiful, harsh desert area with camping and hiking.
If you’re doing a few days in the area, make a trip out to Randsburg, a living ghost town. “Living” means that a handful of people still live there and are working to preserve the town and keep the history alive.
Excellent online map showing the Jawbone OHVA as well as all the trails in the surrounding area. You can see the trails connecting Jawbone with Dove Springs.
- Or Buy A Trail Map From Friends of Jawbone: Map of Jawbone Canyon
- Friends of Jawbone also have a phone app: OHV Trail Map California
Jawbone Canyon Camping
Free primitive camping
The whole OHVA is open for primitive camping.
No water or services are available. There are no developed campgrounds in the Jawbone OHVA.
Along Jawbone Canyon Road you can easily find a place to camp. There are big, clear, flat sandy areas that can accommodate a couple dozen large motorhomes, as well as many smaller areas where you can easily set up.
- You need to be self contained
- Follow “leave no trace” principles
- 14 day limit
- Campfires are allowed but you need a free permit. A fire permit can be obtained online or at the Jawbone Station Visitor Center/ Home of Friends of Jawbone.
- Summer temperatures are 100o – 120o
- Free primitive camping
- You need a red or green OHV sticker
- All ATVs / UTVs are required to be registered. Out of state registration is OK and accepted. But, if your home state does not have an ATV / UTV registration process, then you must purchase a California Nonresident OHV Use Permit for $30.
Red or Green OHV Sticker?
Green sticker – With a green sticker you can operate on public land all year long.
Red Sticker – The red sticker is for motorcycles and ATVs from 2003 and newer that don’t meet California emission standards. With a red sticker you can only ride in some areas at certain times of year. Red Sticker Open Riding Schedule
Off-Highway Vehicle Use Rules
- California resident’s OHVs must be registered with the California DMV and must display a valid “Green Sticker” or “Red Sticker”.
- If you are from out of state and your OHV is not registered in your home state, you must have a NON-RESIDENT Green Sticker OHV permit.
- Motorized vehicles should yield to non-motorized craft and aircraft.
- OHVs must have an approved muffler, brakes, and spark arrester.
- It is illegal to operate an OHV under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- No glass containers allowed.
- No firewood with nails, screws or metal hardware.
- NO PALLETS!
- It is illegal to possess and/or use fireworks.
- Riders under 14 years old must be supervised by a parent or guardian.
- Helmets are required.
- Carrying a passenger is prohibited.