The Rademacher Hills Trail is a 8.5-mile trail which extends through desert terrain on the south side of Ridgecrest. This trail is open to hiking, jogging, horseback riding and mountain biking. Most of the trail is closed to vehicles to avoid conflicts with nonvehicular users and nearby residents. This area is within the Ridgecrest city limits, and is closed to all shooting by city ordinance.
Copyright: Bureau of Land Management
The Rademacher Hills Trail is located on BLM managed public land to the north of Cerro Coso College. The trail extends from Gateway Road on the east, to South Downs Avenue on the west and Javis Avenue on the north. As shown on the Rademacher Hills Trail map, there are 11 trailheads at various points along the trail. These trailheads have parking areas where users can access the trail system and kiosks with trail information.
The Rademacher Hills Trail system is comprised of trail segments which pass through a variety of desert terrain. These segments provide differing degrees of trail difficulty -- ranging from open, flat desert to steep, rocky ridges. The trail system is designed to offer the opportunity for both loop trips or point-to-point trips. The Ron Henry Interpretive Site has been established at a trail intersection site on the ridgeline between the Gateway and Sunland Trailheads. Work is being done at the interpretive site to install small interpretive signs with information about the area's natural resource features, cultural history and geographic points of interest.
The large basin on the south side of Ridgecrest is formed along the uplifted northern flank of the Rademacher Hills. This creates a "viewshed" expanse of desert which is highly visible from Ridgecrest. This South Ridgecrest Viewshed is an area where the BLM, recreational users, and interest groups are actively working to protect and enhance the scenic, ecological and recreational values. There are dirt roads and off-highway routes in this area which are open for vehicles and off-highway vehicles. Some redundant roads and steep hill climbing routes have been closed in this area to enhance scenic values, reduce surface erosion, and protect ecological values. Work continues on restoring five steep hillsides that were damaged by past use. These damaged hillsides were creating a visual distraction and surface erosion, which is now being restored to a natural condition. There are several routes between Javis Road on the east side to South Downs Avenue on the west side, which continue to provide vehicular access through the Rademacher Hills Viewshed to the Spangler Hills Off-Highway Vehicle Area located south of the crest. There are also a variety of motorcycle and 4-wheel drive routes open for recreational riding inside the Rademacher Hills Viewshed.
Directions from Cerro Coso College, CA: The trail extends from Gateway Road on the east, to South Downs Avenue on the west and Javis Avenue on the north. There are 11 trailheads at various points along the trail. These trailheads have parking areas where users can access the trail system and kiosks with trail information.
Directions from China Lake Boulevard: The centrally located Sunland Trailhead is the primary trailhead for accessing the Rademacher Hills Trail system. The Sunland Trailhead is reached by driving south on China Lake Boulevard for 3.5 miles, turn left on College Heights Boulevard, and then east from College Heights Boulevard for half a mile on Belle Vista Road. The turn east off College Heights Boulevard is marked by a BLM Sunland Trailhead directional sign.