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Address: Ridgecrest, CA
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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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  • 18
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    Very good
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    Terrible
Business trip that had me working out in the middle of nowhere

This is a large, sprawling expanse of desert wasteland; just perfect for military training and testing. The commissary and BX are good for the size of the installation and well... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Rick H
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36 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 32: English reviews
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is a large, sprawling expanse of desert wasteland; just perfect for military training and testing. The commissary and BX are good for the size of the installation and well stocked.

Helpful?
Thank Rick H
Ridgecrest, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2016

You can not visit the China Lake Naval Weapons Center as it's a military installation. You may be able to visit the China Lake Museum located at the installation.

Helpful?
Thank MissDaisy
Level Contributor
198 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2016

I live in Ridgecrest, which is where all the rocket scientists and support staff for China Lake live. Ridgecrest mostly came to be because the government needed a place to design, test, and blow up ordinances out of sight, out of hearing, and out of mind. The Mojave Desert is big and to most outsiders, empty. If you can say... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank ChinaLake1
Walnut Creek, California
Level Contributor
96 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2016

Well worth the hassle to visit, but I wonder why they can not move the museum off of the Naval Weapons property, into town. Would make the background check unnecessary, and create more access for the public.

Helpful?
Thank juliethegardener
Ridgecrest, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2016

This museum offers the visitor a great deal of information on the accomplishments and development of weapons technology here at China Lake. This little gem of the desert loaded with photos, video and static displays. If you have an interest in weapons development, this museum is bursting with information and there are kindly volunteers on duty to assist you. Make... More 

Helpful?
Thank Laura D
Catalina, Arizona
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2016

China Lake NAWS is an amazing place to visit, important mission. The Navy s well kept secret. Don't miss the opportunity to visit.

Helpful?
Thank vrbrick
Level Contributor
46 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2016

If you come here to visit the museum you have to go to the visitor center (located off base) to obtain a badge first. The museum is small but very interesting.

Helpful?
1 Thank Becky B
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
319 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 325 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2015

I visited the China Lake Base museum in November 2015 with my family and we all loved the experience. In order to get into the museum you have to get a background check completed at the Pass and ID office. The process can take up to 2 hours. There may be a way to have the background completed before arriving... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank SNAFU23
London
Level Contributor
110 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2015 via mobile

We were travelling from the Grand Canyon to San Francisco and decided to break the journey at ridgecrest, to see the China Lake Naval museum. We had read reviews and also spoke to the museum before travelling, and all seemed to say there would be an hour or so wait for security. THIS IS NOT TRUE FOR OVERSEAS VISITORS! We... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank rob1london
Laurel, Maryland
Level Contributor
194 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2015

This base has a lot of military test facilities as can be found listed on the web. The base is immense. It varies from an elevation of 2500 feet to over 6,000 ft. It the summer it is damn hot at the lower elevation and simply hot at the higher elevation.

Helpful?
1 Thank Bruce L

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida
7 months ago

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