Launch Site

Attendance at events hosted by the Rocketry Organization of California (ROC) is AT YOUR OWN RISK. Insurance to cover your rocketry activities is available as a benefit of membership in either the National Association of Rocketry or the Tripoli Rocketry Association. Please note that membership in ROC does NOT include insurance, or any assumption of liability on the part of ROC. ROC membership allows you to fly at all of our launches without paying the daily launch fees, and a few other membership benefits. All attendees at ROC events must check in at REGISTERATION at the launch and sign the ROC Agreement and Liability Release Form to indicate understanding and acceptance of the risk and liability. Spectators and flyers will be given a wristband to indicate that they have registered.

map of lucerne dry lake

Google Maps Link (opens in new tab)


Unlike many remote desert locations, Google Maps is a relatively dependable way to find us. Using the link above, typing in “ROC Launch Site” or navigating to 34.495, -116.96 will usually get you here. The directions at the bottom of this page should get you there as well.

Important Note: All recreational off-road activity is illegal at Lucerne Dry Lake, per the BLM. This refers to the riding of off-highway vehicles such as dirt bikes, quads, and 4WD vehicles. However, your rocket recovery operations are permitted using vehicles licensed for driving on the road. This means get on the lakebed, get your rocket, and return directly to the range head. If your rocket leaves the lakebed and lands in the brush, you must stay on established roads and collect the rocket on foot.


Stormy weather...

Please understand that launch dates/times are tentative and are subject to change without notice. If adverse weather conditions occur during the week before a launch, then it’s the flyer’s responsibility to get accurate lake bed conditions before heading out to a launch as a cancellation can be made as late as the morning of the launch!

Weather updates may be posted on this web site, to ROC-chat, to ROC-announce, on Twitter, and on Facebook when relevant information is available. Updates will be posted as needed. The weather AT THE LAKEBED may not match surrounding areas, even as close as Victorville or Apple Valley. When we post weather updates, they will be for the lakebed.

We do the best we can to announce the launch status and conditions at the site. Sometimes, you may not get the word. Please understand that most of us have had the experience of going to the site, only to find out that it is too windy or the lake bed is too wet. We don’t like to find out that way either!

Click here to find out how to get ROC News Alerts by e-mail.

Road conditions in real time:

California Highway Conditions (Enter “247,18,15, 58” for local highways)


  • You may camp on the lakebed for free at any ROC events
  • This is unimproved dry camping on the lakebed.
  • Bring everything you need, and take it back with you!
  • Bring a sturdy tent in case of wind, and stake it down, even if it’s calm
  • Do not park RVs in the front row; it is a safety hazard
  • Do not put anything other than human waste in the portapotties
  • Pack out your trash, please!
  • Watch out for ruts and wet spots while driving
  • Do not bring fireworks


Currently the statewide requirements for camp fires and even for camp stoves and similar devices with a shut-off valve, a California Campfire Permit is required. The permit is free, but you must ensure it is issued and you have a hard copy in hand before lighting any such device.

In addition to a campfire permit, you must have at least five feet around the fire with no flammable material or vegetation. You must have a round nose shovel at least 35 inches long.

Smoking is limited to an area where there is no vegetation within five feet, so basically the entire lakebed.

By BLM regulations, all fires on the lakebed must be in containers that are raised off the actual lakebed.

High Desert Survival

ROC flies at Lucerne Dry Lake, located at 2850′ above sea level in the southern Mojave Desert.

  • Bring plenty of water, even in the winter. The environment is extremely dry; nothing lives in the center of the lakebed.
  • Plan for extreme temperaturesAverage winter lows extend below 30 °F; summer highs exceed 100 °F. Bring water.
  • Wind conditions often change rapidlyIn the afternoon, constant 15-20 mph with gusts to 40 mph is common. Even if the morning is calm, secure your belongings! Anchor tents and shade structures (especially on the west-facing side) and stow trash and loose items in vehicles.
  • If you leave the launch site, lower and/or remove the cover from your shade to prevent it from blowing away
  • Sun protection is critical; peak summer temperatures often top 100 °F, and there are no trees or sources of shade. Bring water, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a shade structure, and stake it down!
  • Convective activity is very common. Large dust devils may form and blow through the launch site without warning. Afternoon thunderstorms can develop, especially in the summer months.

Inclement Weather Safety

ROC will cease operations whenever thunder can be heard or lightning is known to be within 10 miles. During the hold, stay inside hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up. If it is actively raining, do not drive your vehicle. Wet lakebed is impassable, you will get stuck. Stay safe and enjoy the show.

DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE ON WET PLAYA. You will get stuck, and the permanent ruts you create will damage our launch site and our relationship with the BLM. If you get stuck, you’re pretty much on your own – but we will try to get help to tow you to the nearest pavement.

More Useful Information

Local Lodging: If you need to stay overnight in the area, and camping is not your thing, there are motels available in Victorville, Barstow, and Apple Valley. The eastern part of Big Bear is also an option, only 45 minutes away or so.

RV Rental Near the Launch Site
JR RV Rentals, LLC. of Apply Valley is known for supplying the best RV, Trailer and 5th Wheels for your next camping trip. Delivery and set up is available to make everything easier for your trip without the hassle of towing a trailer.
JR RV Rentals
16229 Maricopa Lane, Apple Valley CA 92307 us
Phone: (760)508-4569

Food and Supplies: It is always a good idea to bring everything with you, but if you do forget something, you can probably find almost anything at one of our favorite local businesses, located just south of the intersection of 18 and 247:

Lucerne Valley Market and ACE Hardware (they even sell motors!)
32946 Hwy 18
Lucerne Valley, CA 9235
(760) 248-7311

Restaurants: Lucerne Valley is home to a handful of restaurants, including Pizza, Chinese, and Cafe 247

Driving Directions

Take exit 147, Bear Valley Road off I15 south of Victorville. Continue 7 miles until it merges with CA-18 and take CA-18 to Lucerne Valley. At the junction of Highway 247 in Lucerne Valley, continue north for 2.4 miles to Granite Road. The launch site is approximately 0.8 miles west of here. You may also wish to take Cambria Road to ROC Road, approximately 3/4 of a mile north of Granite road as conditions on Granite road can vary.

If you are arriving from the north, Lucerne Dry Lake is about 30 miles south of Barstow on CA 247 (Barstow Road exit from I-15). CA-58 from Bakersfield is the best route inland from all points north and west.


About the middle of the dry lake, you will see a group of vehicles way out on the lake on the west side.

More Fun Info About Lucerne Dry Lake!

There are some additional resources on the web that give more information about Lucerne Dry Lake, and about that part of the eastern Mojave Desert. First, there is the Lucerne Valley Community site. A particularly cool site is called the Digital Desert, which has a wealth of information about the Mojave Desert, and includes photo tours of the Lucerne Valley, and Lucerne Dry Lake itself. There’s another sequence of photos covering the area around Highway 247. They even have an aerial tour! This is a great way to see what you are headed into when headed out to Lucerne for the first time.