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China Lake Naval Weapons Center

Military bases & facilities, Deserts, Sights & Landmarks, Nature & Parks
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Address: Ridgecrest, CA
Website
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Description: The largest naval research area in the U.S., 1,200 square miles of desert...
The largest naval research area in the U.S., 1,200 square miles of desert and mountains, allows a limited number of tours into Little Petroglyph Canyon.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 21 reviews
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  • 13
    Excellent
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    Very good
  • 2
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Most recent review
Great Museum

This is a great museum for viewing the development of "smart bombs" from WWII to the present. You can view the exhibits close up and read the history of how each bomb was used... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed February 27, 2015
DonWatty
,
San Rafael, California
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21 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
San Rafael, California
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
8 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

This is a great museum for viewing the development of "smart bombs" from WWII to the present. You can view the exhibits close up and read the history of how each bomb was used. They even have a model of the "big boy" atomic bomb that was tested at China Lake during WWII to determine how far it would penetrate... More 

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Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2014

There is nothing here for people that have no business being here. It is a high security facility where they test weapons. Stay away for your own safety. plenty of lead and metal fragments flying

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Ridgecrest, United States
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2014

The museum is a vast history of weapons with a wide variety of missile"s on display. they show a Video of some explosives and have a gift shop with really reasonable T shirts for everyone. A definite must see!

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Fort Walton Beach
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Disliked the wind and the dust. The main gate entrance is being worked on and is confusing when given directions going through that gate. Everyone I met was very nice and helpful giving directions.

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Phoenix, Arizona
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

We got there early on a Monday to access the museum. We did not see on the website (& not told in our phone conversation) that my wife and I would need a security check that would take up to two hours before we could enter the museum. After waiting 21/2 hours we overhear that the "system is down". They... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Inyokern, CA
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
17 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

I'm a tour guide at the China Lake Museum, aka U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology, which is one of the best "things to do" at China Lake, so I spend a lot of time there. Our visitors are continually amazed at this Museum and the history of China Lake's role in keeping the world free since WWII by... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Alberta, Canada
Top Contributor
565 reviews 565 reviews
267 attraction reviews
322 helpful votes 322 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013

My wife found this actually rather horrific, as she thought about what all these weapons have done, are doing, and will continue to do. I found myself just admiring the ingenuity of the engineers who designed them, and the factories who produced them. As the son of a navy man, I have always been fascinated by warships and their weaponry.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Santa Barbara, CA
Top Contributor
221 reviews 221 reviews
14 attraction reviews
172 helpful votes 172 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

Thanks to security you need some affiliation to get in to the on-base museum. They have plans to move the museum outside the gates and are raising money for that.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
10 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

The museum hours seem to be somewhat sporadic, but I managed a short visit. Pretty interesting and a good amount of historical background on the site. However with heightened security concerns, you can only visit if you have legitimate business on-base so I wouldn't count on this as a publicly accessible museum.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Ridgecrest, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

The Museum is fantastic. The history of the place goes back to its founding in the 1940's when weapons were being developed for the war. There was nothing here then and people were really dedicated to developing new weapons. Innovation is the name of the game. There are many videos throughout the museum explaining some of the exhibits that are... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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