Driving Distance: 202 Miles
- Start your trip in Ridgecrest, home of the U.S Naval Museum of Armament & Technology and the Maturango Museum.
- 45-minute east via State Route 178 are the Trona Pinnacles, The trek requires some travel on a maintained dirt road. It’s passable under most conditions, but high-clearance vehicles are recommended. (52 miles)
- Head west on State Route 178, then south on State Route 14 to Red Rock Canyon State Park. Undeveloped Ricardo Campground includes a visitors center, which is open Friday-Sunday (hours vary). (13 miles)
- South of the park is Jawbone Station (28111 Jawbone Canyon Road, Cantil; 760-373-1146) (6 miles). Continue south again State Route 14 to California City Boulevard, then head east.
- The Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area is 40 square miles prime natural habitat set aside for the official state reptile. (31 miles)
- Backtrack along California City Boulevard to State Route 14. Then it’s south to State Route 58 and west to Bakersfield, completing the loop. (22 miles)
- At the intersection of State Routes 14 and 58 lies Mojave, a former railroad town that is now the hub of private aerospace development. The Mojave Air and Space Port at Legacy Park, on the spaceport grounds, features memorabilia on display. (29 miles)
- Drive east along State Route 58 to Boron, Rio Tinto Visitor Center (14486 Borax Road; 760-762-7588). Then visit the twin Twenty Mule Team and Col. Vernon P. Saxon Jr. Aerospace museum (26962 Twenty Mule Team Road; 760-762-5810). (31 miles)
- Back on State Route 58, drive East to U.S. Highway 395 then turn left (north) to the living ghost town of Randsburg. (36 miles). It’s north again via Highway 395 to Ridgecrest, to complete the tour.
Image and Driving Tour Source: Kern County Board of Trade; VisitKern.com.