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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

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  • 13
    Excellent
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    Very good
  • 2
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  • 1
    Terrible
Fat Man and Little Boy

Interesting museum. Apparently China Lake was instrumental in developing the shaped explosives for Fat Man. If you have any interest in Engineering, you'll enjoy this museum. I... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed June 26, 2015
Hans_Sachs
,
Southport, Connecticut
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22 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Southport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
89 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2015

Interesting museum. Apparently China Lake was instrumental in developing the shaped explosives for Fat Man. If you have any interest in Engineering, you'll enjoy this museum. I particularly enjoyed the reconstruction of a 1940's engineering bench, with such labels as 'telephone - in those days, phones were attached to the wall by a wire' or 'slide rule - the pocket... More 

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San Rafael, California
Level Contributor
81 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015

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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 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

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Ridgecrest, United States
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Fort Walton Beach
Level Contributor
39 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 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
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 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
Level Contributor
60 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 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 4
Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
623 reviews
306 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 357 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 3
Santa Barbara, CA
Level Contributor
236 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 187 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
Level Contributor
123 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 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

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Additional Information about China Lake Naval Weapons Center

Address: Ridgecrest, CA
Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  California Desert  >  Ridgecrest

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