We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Review Highlights
Very nice

Really worth a trip to see the tools that make this country great. Plenty of planes to see and... read more

Reviewed March 4, 2018
Laurent B
Boston, Massachusetts
Your only chance to stand next to a nuclear bomb

I never knew it but here in California engineers were working on the casings for the Hiroshima atom... read more

Reviewed July 12, 2017
Art C
Pasadena, California
Read all 45 reviews
All photos (28)
Full view
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent51%
  • Very good26%
  • Average13%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible8%
Travelers talk about
“great museum”(5 reviews)
“on display”(4 reviews)
“china lake”(17 reviews)
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.
Ridgecrest, CA
+1 760-939-9011
Improve This Listing
Top Selling Tours & Activities in and around Ridgecrest
from $139.00
More Info
from $25.95
More Info
from $139.00
More Info
from $189.00
More Info
Reviews (45)
Filter reviews
41 results
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews great museum on display china lake gift shop base technology rockets missile video navy visitors history sidewinder government docent
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 41 reviews
Reviewed November 6, 2018

It is much easier to visit at least part of the weapons exhibits at the China Lake Museum now that some of the exhibits on off-base in Los Flores, next door the the Maturango Museum. However, for now at least, the best displays are still...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank steve b
Reviewed October 6, 2018

Very interesting, even my 6 year old Grandson enjoyed going through the exhibit. He loved seeing all the old jets and fighter planes.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Honeybell1
Reviewed April 27, 2018

This is a great museum, but unfortunately it is in the process of moving off base. Any TRIPADVISOR reviews prior to about Spring 2018 are from people who saw the WHOLE collection of history, rockets, equipment, etc. Right now the public city side is pretty...More

Date of experience: April 2018
2  Thank Ray S
Reviewed March 4, 2018

Really worth a trip to see the tools that make this country great. Plenty of planes to see and plenty of good stuff indoors.

Date of experience: April 2017
1  Thank Laurent B
Reviewed October 17, 2017 via mobile

I have heard this museum is great so we headed there to give it a try. Its on active military base so you need to comply with access rules. On gate we have been told we need a base entrance permit, which you will get...More

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank HungryAndFoolish
Reviewed August 8, 2017 via mobile

This museum of China Lake is excellent! So proud to always take our visitors there. The history and brains of this place is amazing!

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank Tiffany M
Reviewed August 7, 2017

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 could escort me. If you are not American and plan...More

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank fred_cameron
Reviewed July 12, 2017

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 disabled but just in case don't climb...More

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank Art C
Reviewed July 10, 2017

The museum sits on the china lake naval station in Ridgecrest Caifornia, access to the base is difficult, but if you do manage to get a pass the visit is interesting detailing many different acheivments of the base, lots of displays with interesting write up.

Date of experience: November 2016
Thank john h
Reviewed March 31, 2017

Although an exceptional museum if a non US citizen you are unable to visit unless permission is granted months in advance. Nice to know our oldest ally is so accommodating.

Date of experience: March 2017
2  Thank Peter F
View more reviews
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Pat S
April 3, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Peter F | Reviewed this property |
GD, L3 to name but two. There are no doubt many many more plus sub contractors. The museum itself is run by the navy through a dedicated band of volunteers. Great museum just ranging from difficult to near impossible for... More
April 15, 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from SNAFU23 | Reviewed this property |
They are located on the military reservation, so you must coordinate through the main museum in town. I don't think there is any other way.