Randsburg, California has long been a popular destination for Mojave Desert dirt riders. The tiny ghost town—population 80—is a historic mining town tucked in the Rand Mountains. It’s a great place to visit for its shops and rustic scenery as well as for a Sarsaparilla at the local saloon. www.randsburg.com
Ever since the airing of Dirt Rider Adventures featuring Randsburg, we’ve been flooded by e-mails asking “Where is Randsburg? How do you get there? Where can we camp?” Here are the answers to all your questions. We’ll show you where it is, where you can camp, how to get there, and more importantly, how to ride there.Where is it?
Randsburg, California is hidden in the mountains of Mojave’s high desert between the 14 and 395 freeways near Johannesburg. It is about a two-hour drive north of LA. For directions from LA and San Bernadino areas, visit www.randsburg.com/text/map.
We would recommend swinging by the Jawbone Station off Highway 14 (about 15 miles past Mojave) to pick up a Friends of Jawbone off-highway map. It shows highways, roads and major trails in the East Kern County area, as well as other points of interest complete with GPS coordinates. For more information on where to pick up a Friends of Jawbone map, visit www.jawbone.orgWhere can we camp?
There are many areas to camp at within riding distance of Randsburg. The Dirt Rider Adventures location is north east of Randsburg in the Spangler Hills open area. To get there, take Trona Road off of Highway 395 just south of Johannesburg and head north. The turnoff is to the left just after RM15 near Sand Hills Summit Range. Other popular camping areas include California City, Cuddy Back, Dirt Diggers Campsite, and further away, Dove Springs, Red Rock Canyon and Jawbone Canyon.Something to keep in mind when camping and riding near Randsburg is that it is a mining town. THERE ARE OPEN, UNMARKED MINE SHAFTS IN THE AREA!
Be aware that when you’re near large mounds of dirt, they had to come out of something… usually a big hole in the ground. Most of these mine shafts are in the California City/ Cuddy Back camping areas south of Randsburg.How can we ride into Randsburg?
The small town, boasting a population of 80, can be relatively hard to find; it can barely be seen from the highway tucked behind the base of the Rand Mountains. But if you’re heading there on a holiday weekend like Thanksgiving or President’s Day, thousands of dirt bikes, ATVs and trucks lining the street create a spectacle that can be seen from outer space, or at least the helicopters circling overhead.With all the surrounding camping areas and the extensive network of trails, there’s an endless possibility of routes to and from Randsburg. The trail systems in the area are well marked; with a good map, you should easily be able to find a route suited to your riding ability. There is only one paved road in and out of town, but there are a few different ways to enter off-road. Shoot to end up on R110, R44 or R30. You will need to ride on the street for a few blocks no matter which way you come in, but the local rangers and law enforcement are lenient… as long as you don’t cruise through town too fast (even if it’s just because your group took off and your bike stalled so you were trying to catch up by running through the gears a little too fast).If you need to gas up before heading out, there’s a station just east of Randsburg in the adjacent town of Johannesburg (along 395). They even sell mini bottles of premix oil for those with two-strokes.While you’re there
The White House Saloon is the place to be. The burgers and hot pastrami sandwiches are awesome, but on a busy weekend it can be harder to get a table than at a swanky Hollywood restaurant. Other attractions in Randsburg are the General Store, the Historic Museum and numerous antique shops. For those seeking accomodations, visit the Cottage Hotel Bed & Breakfast at www.randsburg.com/randsb
.If you are interested in heading out on a guided tour, AdMo-Tours offers day rides in the area. To find out more visit www.admotours.com