China Lake Naval Weapons Center, Ridgecrest

3.5
#13 of 16 in Sightseeing in California Desert
Desert Military Facility
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is 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 percent of the Navy’s land for weapons and armaments research, development, acquisition, testing and evaluation use and 38 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
41 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This museum of China Lake is excellent! So proud to always take our visitors there. The history and brains of this place is amazing!  more »
  • As a Canadian citizen, I would normally be stopped at that gate and have no opportunity to see this facility. Fortunately I was at China Lake on business accompanied by an American DoD civilian who co...  more »
  • I never knew it but here in California engineers were working on the casings for the Hiroshima atom bombs. The last one they made is on display at this museum. I am sure that the trigger mechanism was...  more »

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