Rodman Mountains Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

Found between Lucerne Valley and Barstow in the Mojave Desert, Rodman Mountains Wilderness is a remote site featuring mountains, lava flows, bajadas, deep canyons, and springs that present excellent sightseeing and recreational opportunities. This 53.5 square mile Bureau of Land Management property is located south of Newberry Springs in California. The US Congress designated the Rodman Mountains Wilderness in 1994. It can be accessed via Camp Rock Road, whether you’re coming in from Interstate 40 in the north or from State Highway 247 to the west. Vehicles are not allowed in wilderness areas.

There are no camping facilities or services available in the campground, so all primitive campers are required to bring appropriate gear. Developed camping opportunities are available at the San Bernardino National Forest and Mojave National Preserve.

There are lots of recreational activities to enjoy in the wilderness. Activities include hiking within the canyon areas and along the natural landscapes, searching out the natural tanks in the wilderness, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. Plenty of scenic routes are available around the Mojave National Preserve for four-wheel driving fun.

RV Rentals in Rodman Mountains Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

Rodman Mountains Wilderness is located south of Newberry Springs, California. This Bureau of Land Management wilderness can be accessed both from the north and the west. Camp Rock Road is the link road to the park from Interstate 40 that runs north of the park in the east/west direction. The same Camp Rock Road also grants access to the wilderness from the western boundary, off State Highway 247. Driving to this BLM property in four-wheel-drive vehicles is recommended for visitors.

At Rodman Mountains Wilderness, motorized vehicles are not allowed. As you approach the property, you'll find signs that mark the wilderness area's boundaries. You can park just outside the boundary of the park. Travel through the park can be done on foot, horseback, or on a bike. No public transportation is provided to Rodman Mountains Wilderness.

For visitors who wish to get RVs and trailers for camping nearby, rental equipment is available at the Mojave National Preserve and in Apple Valley.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Rodman Mountains Wilderness

Campsites in Rodman Mountains Wilderness

Reservations camping

Heart Bar Campground - San Bernardino National Forest

Heart Bar Campground is a pet-friendly campground located in the San Bernardino National Forest, open from May to November. It features campsites available by reservation and on a first-come, first-served basis. Within the campground, there are campsites for tent, group, and RV camping. Nestled among pine-covered mountains, this campground offers opportunities for relaxation, hiking, and creek fishing.

There are 66 campsites here and none are equipped with hookups for RVs. However, dump stations, potable water, picnic tables, fire rings, and grills are available.

Accessible vault toilets are also provided. Firewood is available for purchase. The RV length limit at the campground is 45 feet.

First-come first-served

Mid Hills Campground - Mojave National Preserve

The Mid Hills Campground is a BLM campground located within the Mojave National Preserve, offering campsites that are open all year and available on a first-come, first-served basis. The campsites accommodate tents and RVs and campers of all ages.
The campground is located at a height of 5,600 feet and consists of 26 campsites equipped with picnic tables, potable water, and toilets.
The access road to the campground is unpaved and is therefore not recommended for RVs and trailers. The maximum RV/trailer length that can be accommodated is 22 feet.

Seasonal activities in Rodman Mountains Wilderness

In-Season

Hiking

The entire expanse of the Rodman Mountains Wilderness area is open to hiking. Visitors can enjoy exploring the park on foot and can test their strength and endurance within the wilderness.

The canyon in the wilderness area is a scenic spot to end a hike. The wide-open lava flow and natural landscape that is surrounded by lovely desert mountain ranges are generally of interest to hikers. No established hiking trails are present, but luckily there are traces of old dirt roads that hikers can follow to different picturesque spots.

Finding Water in the Desert

Rodman Mountains Wilderness is home to one of California's largest petroglyph sites. The lava flow that occurred through the middle of this BLM wilderness created many natural tanks. These tanks take advantage of the rare desert storms by collecting and storing the precious water.

One of these natural tanks, Surprise Tank, is a fantastic spot within the wilderness that rises to 100 feet as a waterfall. This natural tank is a vital resource for campers in the wilderness, and finding it is an exercise that virtually all adventurers in the wilderness attempt.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is a popular activity both at the Rodman Mountains Wilderness and the nearby Mojave National Preserve. Equestrians have the unique opportunity of exploring the remote and hidden parts of this BLM property - the areas that other park users can't access.

No equestrian trails are available in the wilderness, however, that is not the case with the Mojave National Preserve, which has trails, roads, and open country areas for horseback riding. You will even find an equestrian campground in this national preserve.

Off-Season

Sightseeing

If all you’re interested in during your visit to Rodman Mountains Wilderness is sightseeing, rest assured you’ll enjoy lots of pretty views and have more than enough options for great photographs. So, it’s wise to have your camera with you.
Across this wilderness area, Eagle Mountain, Amargosa River Valley, and Resting Spring Range present fantastic backdrops. The picturesque north-south spine of the Resting Spring Range is enhanced by the vast bajadas that lie close to it. Amargosa River Valley is itself enhanced by the features that stand out along the valley floor.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife is abundant within the Rodman Mountains Wilderness. The park is one of the seven core breeding areas for raptors within the entire California Desert. Bighorn sheep are also prevalent within the wilderness.

Other wildlife such as wild horses and burros are often seen within this BLM property’s boundaries. Birds such as prairie falcons and golden eagles are those most commonly sighted by visitors. For even more opportunities to spot bighorn sheep, head west to the nearby Newberry Mountains.

Scenic Driving

Having hiked across the Rodman Mountains Wilderness and explored the park on the back of their horse, visitors often set out to enjoy scenic driving opportunities offered along the four-wheel-drive roads at the Mojave National Preserve. Visitors also have the chance for off-pavement travel on existing, open dirt roads.
One of the popular scenic driving routes is from the Aiken Mine Road to the Lava Tube, which takes adventurers from Baker to the lava tube in the National Forest, a distance of about 26 miles.

Find the perfect campsite.