Our launch site is located on Lucerne Dry Lake, north of the town of Lucerne Valley and east of Victorville, at an altitude of 2848 feet (870m) above sea level. To get here, simply navigate to (-)116° 57′ 29” W; 34° 29′ 49” N.
From almost anywhere south of the San Bernardino Mountains, take I-15 or I-215 north. I-15 then goes over the 4000+ foot Cajon Pass, and into the high desert. Take the Bear Valley Road exit and head east. There are signs for Lucerne Valley. Bear Valley eventually merges with CA route 18. Continue on CA-18 until you reach Lucerne Valley and the junction with CA-247. Go north on CA-247 for about three miles as it crosses Lucerne Dry Lake.
If you are arriving from the North or East, Lucerne Dry Lake is about 30 miles south of Barstow on CA 247 (Barstow Road exit from I-15). CA-58 from Bakersfield is the best route inland from all points North/West. I-15 or I-40 are the major routes to Barstow from the North and East.
About the middle of the dry lake, you will see a group of vehicles way out on the lake on the west side. Turn West onto the dirt road marked by an “LDRS” sign (from the Hwy 18/Hwy 247 junction to the turnoff is about 3 miles. Note that the dirt road is actually pretty good for nearly every type of vehicle except those really lowered sporty things.
Since it is in the desert, Lucerne Dry Lake displays extremes of temperature and climate. In June, it can easily get over 100°F; there is no shade unless you bring it with you (stake it down securely!).
Sunblock and a hat are a must unless you like that “fresh lobster” look!
Also, bring three times as much water as you think you will drink, and then drink it. The hot desert can dry you out very quickly. We are very serious in this warning! If you are not acclimated, dehydration can be life-threatening in a short period of time.
You can camp on the lakebed itself – there is no camping fee due to this being “un-improved” camping. If you are tent camping, make sure you have a sturdy tent and it is staked down solidly. We will provide dumpsters for your trash and porta-potties, which are not for trash. Some of the “potties” will be the larger variety designed for handicapped access.
Open fires are not allowed. A California Campfire Permit is required for all stoves, and lanterns.
Generators and other motor-driven devices must be approved by the California Air Resources Board.
If you bring out an RV, please note that we will ask you to not park in the front row – it is a safety hazard.
Important Note: All recreational off-highway vehicle activity is illegal at Lucerne Dry Lake, and is enforced by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. This refers to the riding of dirt bikes, quads, and other vehicles not licensed for the street. However, rocket recovery operations by licensed vehicles are permitted. This means get on the lakebed, get your rocket, and return directly to the nearest designated trail. If your rocket leaves the lakebed and lands in the brush, your vehicle must stay on established roads and you need to collect the rocket on foot.