Onyx Ranch SVRA

Update (Dec. 7, 2020): California has issued a Regional Stay at Home Order to stop the surge of COVID-19 cases and prevent a strain on the health care system. This action will help protect critical care for patients. While the order includes the closure of campground sites in impacted regions, the state also recognizes that mental health is physical health. As such, day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public will remain open. Members of the same household are encouraged to stay local and recreate responsibly in the outdoors. Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.

Here are some guidelines for people visiting Eastern Kern County Onyx Ranch State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA):

What is open now?
  • SVRA is open for day-use.
  • Hiking trails throughout the SVRA remain open for day-use.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?


Closed at this park:
  • All primitive campgrounds.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Statewide:
  • Many campgrounds across the state remain temporarily closed until further notice or will be temporarily closed in accordance with the new Regional Stay at Home Order. More information here
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?

Yes, State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
  • Stay Local –Stay close to home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Do not travel if you or someone in your household is sick.
  • Plan Ahead – The COVID-19 pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. As such, information on this webpage may change. Prior to visiting us, please check this webpage again right before you visit the park to find out if new guidelines are in place.
  • Stay Safer at 6 feet – No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance.
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean – Be prepared. Not all restrooms are open to the public. in some cases, restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities. 
  • Stay Covered – The state requires you wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Statewide, California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. The need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

District Superintendent’s Order 271-19-001 Effective immediately: Due to extreme fire danger at Onyx Ranch State Vehicular Recreation Area is closed to open fires of any kind with the exception of gas-fueled stoves. Please see the District Superintendent’s Posted Order for more information.

Photo of Sugar Loaf areaEastern Kern County Onyx Ranch State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) is the second largest unit of California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. Of the nine California SVRAs, Onyx Ranch SVRA is the newest acquisition. Located in eastern Kern County and adjacent to State Route 14 on the western edge of the Mojave Desert, the SVRA offers over 26,000 acres of scenic and challenging terrain for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles, recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) and 4x4 vehicles.

Laid out in a checkerboard fashion, Eastern Kern County Onyx Ranch SVRA is surrounded by mostly Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land that also offers visitors varied and exciting off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation opportunities. Eastern Kern County Onyx Ranch SVRA provides many miles of trails and open riding areas that traverse across BLM, State Parks, and private land. Open riding is also available at both Jawbone Canyon and Dove Springs.

Elevations at Eastern Kern County Onyx Ranch SVRA range from 2,200 to over 6,400 feet. Occasional snowfalls occur in the winter months. Summers are mostly hot and dry. The most pleasant times of the year for OHV recreation occurs between October and April when temperatures are cool and occasional rains provide for reduced dust and improved traction. Nighttime temperatures frequently drop below freezing in the winter, spring, and fall.

No hook-ups or water for camping is available in the area so please plan to be self-contained if you will be camping. Pit toilets are available at several locations throughout the area.

District Superintendent Orders

The following District Superintendent Orders have been implemented: