China Lake Naval Weapons Center, Ridgecrest

#23 of 33 in Nature in California Desert
Desert · Hidden Gem · Military Facility
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is a part of Navy Region Southwest under Commander, Navy Installations Command and is located in the Western Mojave Desert region of California, approximately 150mi north of Los Angeles. Occupying three counties – Kern, San Bernardino and Inyo – the installation’s closest neighbors are the cities of Ridgecrest, Inyokern, Trona and Darwin. The main gate of the installation is located at the intersection of Inyokern Road and China Lake Blvd. in the city of Ridgecrest.
China Lake is the United States Navy's largest single landholding, representing 85% of the Navy’s land for weapons and armaments research, development, acquisition, testing and evaluation use and 38% of the Navy’s land holdings worldwide. In total, its two ranges and main site cover more than 1100000acre, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. As of 2010, at least 95% of that land has been left undeveloped. The roughly $3 billion infrastructure of the installation consists of 2,132 buildings and facilities, 329mi of paved roads, and 1801mi of unpaved roads.
The 19600sqmi of restricted and controlled airspace at China Lake makes up 12% of California’s total airspace. Jointly-controlled by NAWS China Lake, Edwards Air Force Base and Fort Irwin, this airspace is known as the R-2508 Special Use Airspace Complex.
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  • Base shopping is lower than regular stores, good prices n variety. The products that we buy, are lower here than Walmart. I recommend shopping Here for food and snacks.  more »
  • This place is next door to the Maturango Museum and is temporarily in a building. They hope to build a permanent structure next to that building. There are a couple of planes displayed outside. We....  more »

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