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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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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

Reviewed 7 December 2016
Rick H
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37 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 33: English reviews
March, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Although an exceptional museum if a non US citizen you are unable to visit unless permission is granted months in advance. Nice to know our oldest ally is so accommodating.

Helpful?
Thank Peter F
Level Contributor
38 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2016

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 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 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?
1 Thank MissDaisy
Level Contributor
211 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 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?
5 Thank ChinaLake1
Walnut Creek, California
Level Contributor
94 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 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?
2 Thank juliethegardener
Ridgecrest, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 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
Reviewed 8 February 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 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 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?
2 Thank Becky B
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
317 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 330 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 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?
3 Thank SNAFU23
London
Level Contributor
115 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 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

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida
over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?