BLM encounter in SoCal

I was riding today at El Mirage dry lake and my friends and I were climbing a particularly difficult hill in the Shadow Mountains that sorta surround the dry lake. I was the only one to make it up this hill and when I came back down from it we all noticed a white truck coming up to where we were resting. We then saw the emblem on the door of the truck, "Department of the Interior-Bureau of Land Management". Oh great, we thought...they're gonna hassle us for something.

Wrong! This BLM ranger gets out and said she's been watching us climb this hill and thought we were doing a pretty good job of it. She only came over to chat with us. She didn't even scope out our bikes for violations. They are all legal anyhow, so we weren't worried. She was really cool and even gave us some nicely detailed maps of the riding area. She told us to be careful on that hill since she had seen a guy recently get airlifted out trying to come down it and then she took off. I was expecting grief and got nothing but smiles and good vibes from a BLM "agent". Maybe that will count for something to somebody up high in the bureaucracy and they won't think we're all mindless motorheads trying to destroy the desert.

I too have nothing but good contacts with the Rangers, If your NOT doing something wrong, you won't have any problems, I have ridden El Mirage, Johnson Valley, Glamis, Dumont, Stoddard wells area, and Octillo/Anza Borrego, and only had 1 negative contact. I have to admit I was the guilty party with my Son's rideing in Anza Borrego while not old enough, Just given a warning and let go!!

By the way were you rideing to the right of the road, up in the rocky hills, Some great white nuckle trails up there, going up is only half the fun, wait till you have to go back down some of them trails, they really separate the MEN from the Boys.

Bob J.


Glad to hear youhave had good experiences with the rangers, too!

We were at the North-east end of the dry lake right near a little restroom shack marked with the number "10". Nastier going up in my opinion!! There is an uphill climb with a right hook turn right in the middle and you have to thread your way through a bunch of "stair-step" rocks. Plus, it's got loose dirt in between all the rocks. Crazy fun!

I'm not sure of the N/E/S/W stuff, but when I go I take the first road to the right off the paved stuff and go down it till I am about at the middle of the lake and go to the right, up into the hills area. Some of the trails are steep/rocky on this side and get worse on the other side. In the old days (70's) there were no closed areas and you could ride all the way to Shadow Mountain/Silver Lakes Road and beyond. We often rode desert races out there and at some of the down hills you could pass 100 riders who were too spooked to gas it down the hills. Still one of the best places to ride in my book, The rocks/ruts/washes are plenty of fun/excersise for an old dude, just don't hit any tortise!! Worst wipe out of my life, nailed one dead on in a sand wash, hard landing, and even harder not to get back on the bike and not mess with the turtle (Endangered Species) Good Rideing

Bob J

I pretty much ride the same places as bobj, rangers seem to be pretty cool the only place I had an encounter was at Gorman, where the ranger actually followed me to camp and check my 2 smoke for a S/A......Not even being a smart ass I told him where the pipe was stamp w/USFA....and he told me that it didnt matter and proceded to check and see if there was a screen in the pipe! so I said ok and agreed w/ him...He must have been in a fight w/ his wife the previous nite! :):D

[ February 24, 2002: Message edited by: DirtJunkiexxx ]

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now