We visit museums and visitor centers wherever we go so we have seen some pretty good ones over the years. The Maturango Museum is not far out of the way if you are traveling highway 395 anyway and have time to kill. It's a location we had heard about and just never seemed to get to, so we made a special trip -2 hours from our home- and boy was it not worth it! It is very small with a very limited collection. They are expanding and hope to open a new hall which will more than double their size in the fall. But much of the information here can be seen better in many other museums across the desert. The Mohave River Valley museum in Barstow, the Eastern California Museum in Independence -another north on 395-, and the Kelso Depot all offer better presentations and more information. The museum is basically one room of about 400 square feet, an gallery space, and a tiny book/gift shop. If you are fast reader and read every plaque in the place 60-90 minutes is more than enough. So if you find yourself stuck in Ridgecrest with nothing else to do, it's something to do. But it certainly is not worth a special trip.
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