Onyx Ranch SVRA

Update (Jan. 31, 2021): With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted, State Parks is reopening campground sites for existing reservation holders. The department will be using a phased approach to reopen other campground sites for new reservations, starting January 28. The public is advised that not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Additionally, group campsites remain closed. Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.

As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.

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 Eastern Kern County Onyx Ranch State Vehicular Recreation Area.

What is open now?
  • Day use and camping.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
Statewide:
  • Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
  • 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?
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 during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time. 
  • Plan Ahead
    • The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
    • Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
    • SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day. 
    • 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 as not all services may be available. Some 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 to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.

California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials 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. 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: