The Spangler Hills Off Highway Vehicle Area is located between Ridgecrest and Trona, California in the vast Mojave Desert wilderness. Trona Road is the travel route to look for and the roadside signage for the Spangler Hills OHV Area and the Wagon Wheel Staging Area are easy to spot. Wagon Wheel offers dispersed camping and a fuel tanker truck is usually parked on site during the busy visitor seasons, so the off-road riders do not have to go far to refuel. The Spangler Hills Campground is located a few miles south of the staging area, which offers even more free dispersed camping opportunities. As can be imagined, the best time of year to take on the challenging trails is the cool weather seasons, because vehicle reliability goes downhill when the summer temperatures are in the scorching hot triple digit range.
Spangler Hills offers over 57,000 acres of challenging desert terrain trails, so this is truly a great OHV destination. One of the coolest features of this recreation area is the dirt trails that go to Trona Pinnacles, which is a scenic landmark that must be seen to be believed. Days upon days can be spent riding the challenging dirt trails without covering the same ground twice, so boredom is a word that is seldom heard in this unique desert recreation area.
There are rules and regulations concerning OHV state registration and riding overland off-trail is strictly taboo, just like anywhere else. It is the rider's responsibility to know the rules and to make sure a spark arrester is part of the exhaust system. The highly protected Desert Gopher Tortoises always have the right of way and by staying on trail, there will be less damage to the wildlife habitat. OHV riders have a terrible reputation for tearing up the landscape in National Monuments and Wildlife Preserves, so by driving responsibly in officially sanctioned OHV recreation areas, there will be fewer complaints and future bans will be less likely. OHV riding is a privilege and not a right, so be sure to keep this in mind just in case Santa Claus decided to leave one under the tree!
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