ABOUT JUNIPER FLATS

rock formations in Juniper Flats
mountain scene in Juniper Flats
tilting rock formation in Juniper Flats
  
Juniper Flats
Limited Use Area

Most of the below information is from publications of the Bureau of Land Management ( BLM ).

Juniper Flats is an area of public, private and state lands located in the northern foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, just south of Apple Valley, CA, that covers approximately 101,272 acres.  It is a diverse landscape of mountains, boulder fields, canyons and washes.  Because of its location between the mountain forest and the Mojave Desert, it contains a unique mixture of plants found in both environments.  It also contains many riparian areas , attracting a variety of wildlife.  Juniper Flats offers recreation opportunities for camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain bike riding and hunting. 

Location:  The best access point to Juniper Flats is Bowen Ranch Rd.  Take Central Rd. south to Ocotillo Way and then travel east a little over two miles.  Once you reach Bowen Ranch Rd. (a dirt road), head south.  You can take Bowen Ranch Rd. all the way to Bowen Ranch, or turn left onto Coxey Truck Trail road, a nice scenic route which heads southeastward toward Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains.  For some parts of these roads, high-clearance vehicles are recommended; 4-wheel drive vehicles might be necessary in some areas.

Camping and Picnicking

Camping and parking is permitted in a previously disturbed area within 300 feet of a designated open route and no closer than 200 yards to a water source.  There is a 14-day limit for camping in any one location.  Also, no trenching or modification of the ground or surrounding vegetation is allowed.  Backpacking is allowed and welcomed on public land in the area.  Please obtain permission before entering private land.  Fire permits are required and may be restricted in the fire season (May – October).  There is extreme fire danger most of the year.

Horseback Riding, Hiking and Wildlife Viewing

Hiking and horseback riding are allowed anywhere in the Juniper Flats area on public land.  Please obtain permission when traversing private lands.  When in a large group, please stay on the trails to minimize impacts to the environment.  Bring your cameras and binoculars as Juniper Flats is host to a wide array of plants and animals.  The best time to see wildlife is during the early morning or late evening hours.  In washes and along streams, vegetation is critical for wildlife water, food and shelter.  There is a designated non-motorized trailhead at Bonita Vista, located to the north of Juniper Flats and accessible from Roundup Way.

Hunting and Shooting

Juniper Flats is a shotgun only area through a San Bernardino County ordinance.  This area is closed to night shooting and recreational target shooting with rifles or handguns.  Seasons and bag limits vary so be sure to check with the California Department of Fish and Game for complete and current hunting regulations.  Hunting is limited to 30 minutes in the immediate vicinity of wildlife waters and guzzlers.  Note that it is not legal to shoot within 150 feet of any campsite or to shoot at trees, signs, glass bottles, domestic livestock, outbuildings, or other objects on federal land.  You must obtain permission from the land owner to discharge firearms on private land.

Motorized Vehicle Use and Mountain Biking

Juniper Flats is a Limited Use Area. Travel is restricted to designated open routes. BROWN markers with route numbers indicate open routes and the sticker on the top of a brown open route sign display the motorized
vehicles allowed on the route.  Most open routes are open to dirt bikes, quads and jeeps.  Some of the routes are Single Track only and are indicated by a sticker with just a dirt bike on it and an “M” following the route number.  The terrain changes from flat to hilly and mountainous with several loop opportunities providing great views of the area.  Please stay on the designated open routes to avoid impacts to the environment and trespass on private lands.

OHV Use

Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) touring is also appropriate in this area, keeping in mind that it is a limited use area and vehicle travel is restricted to a designated route system.  The public route network in Juniper Flats connects the San Bernardino National Forest with the Victor Valley to the northwest.  Routes not marked as an open route are CLOSED to motorized vehicles.  If you wish to engage in “technical” or cross country OHV activities, please use the nearby El Mirage, Johnson Valley or Stoddard Valley OHV areas.

Juniper Flats is a desert environment and most summers are very hot and dry.  Make sure to stay hydrated and bring first aid supplies as access to medical facilities is not close at hand.