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El Mirage Lake
Mojave SummerStorm.jpg
Location Mojave Desert, San Bernardino County, California
Lake type Endorheic basin
Basin countries United States
Max. length 10 km (6.2 mi)
Max. width 3 km (1.9 mi)
Shore length1 25 km (16 mi)
Surface elevation 865 m (2,838 ft)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

El Mirage Lake is a dry lake bed in the northwestern Victor Valley of the central Mojave Desert, within San Bernardino County, California.

The lake is located about 9 miles (14 km) west-northwest of the town of Adelanto and 10 mi (16 km) north of Highway 18 in San Bernardino County.

The dry lake, at an elevation of 2,840 ft (870 m), is approximately 6 mi (9.7 km) long.

El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area

El Mirage Dry Lake Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area (29819220780) (cropped)
Ultralight aircraft at El Mirage Dry Lake

Formerly open to all visitors, it has been a popular spot for many activities ranging from gyrocopter and ultralight aircraft operations to automobile racing. The Bureau of Land Management has installed a fence to enclose the lake and some of the surrounding areas, and now charges fees for entry to what is now known as the El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Area. It is a popular filming location for automobile commercials. Permits for the Recreation Area can be purchased on-site, at local retailers and online. Annual permits are $90, weekly permits are $30, and daily permits are $15. Private aircraft may still land on the lakebed.

For 50 years the lakebed has been used by the Southern California Timing Association for timed speed runs. The club also operates the Bonneville Salt Flats speed runs.


Climate

El Mirage Lakebed experiences a desert climate, with cool winters and hot summers. Due to the lakebed's aridity and high elevation, the diurnal temperature variation is substantial. Though summer days can be very hot, summer nighttime temperatures are cool. The lakebed receives an occasional dusting of snow in the winter months, however, snowfall usually melts within 24 hours.

Climate data for El Mirage Lakebed, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 76
(24.4)
82
(27.8)
88
(31.1)
96
(35.6)
104
(40)
110
(43.3)
112
(44.4)
108
(42.2)
106
(41.1)
98
(36.7)
84
(28.9)
80
(26.7)
112
(44.4)
Average high °F (°C) 56.8
(13.78)
60.5
(15.83)
65.4
(18.56)
72.1
(22.28)
80.9
(27.17)
91.1
(32.83)
97.7
(36.5)
96.3
(35.72)
89.3
(31.83)
77.8
(25.44)
65.2
(18.44)
56.9
(13.83)
75.83
(24.352)
Average low °F (°C) 29.3
(-1.5)
32.4
(0.22)
36.4
(2.44)
40.0
(4.44)
47.7
(8.72)
55.0
(12.78)
60.3
(15.72)
59.0
(15)
53.5
(11.94)
43.9
(6.61)
34.2
(1.22)
27.9
(-2.28)
43.3
(6.278)
Record low °F (°C) 3
(-16.1)
5
(-15)
18
(-7.8)
23
(-5)
29
(-1.7)
32
(0)
41
(5)
41
(5)
33
(0.6)
14
(-10)
14
(-10)
1
(-17.2)
1
(-17.2)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.14
(29)
1.14
(29)
0.92
(23.4)
0.26
(6.6)
0.21
(5.3)
0.05
(1.3)
0.16
(4.1)
0.35
(8.9)
0.28
(7.1)
0.26
(6.6)
0.31
(7.9)
0.72
(18.3)
5.81
(147.6)
Snowfall inches (cm) 0.8
(2)
0.3
(0.8)
0.2
(0.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.7
(1.8)
1.9
(4.8)
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center
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