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Frank Petronio
2-Sep-2006, 13:28
I am planning a shoot in LA in November and seem to remember that there is a dry lake bed -- Lake Elsinore ? -- near by. Is it "almost" like those great salt flats in Utah or is it more vegetated? How is access and what weather might I expect in November? Would it be possible to get out onto it at dawn or dusk? And most importantly, will anybody shoot me for trespassing?

Thanks, FP

Gordon Moat
2-Sep-2006, 13:38
You might be thinking of El Mirage Dry Lake. Or some place closer than that?

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

JW Dewdney
2-Sep-2006, 13:43
Well, I've seen a spectacular one in death valley - but it's a five hour drive...! Is there something like that near joshua tree? Anyone know?

Curt Palm
2-Sep-2006, 15:09
Rodgers lake? near Edward's air force base.
from wikipedia:

he base is strategically situated next to Rogers Lake, an endorheic desert salt pan; its hard playa surface provides a natural extension to Edwards' runways. This large landing area, combined with excellent year-round weather, make the base an excellent site for flight testing.

The space shuttle used to land there.

BrianShaw
2-Sep-2006, 15:21
Frank,

Last time I saw Lake Elsinore it still had water in it. If you are talking about the dry lake bed at Edwards AFB (VERY historic), call the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) at Edwards. I don't know if there are public access areas or not, but the best stuff is probably under USAF or NASA control. If the Edwards PAO is like those at other military bases, they will help you as much as they can.

Jeff Conrad
2-Sep-2006, 16:48
There's also Owens Lake near Lone Pine on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. However, it's a 4-5 hour drive, depending on where in "LA" you're starting from.

Kevin Crisp
2-Sep-2006, 18:16
Frank: I suspect you are thinking of Lucerne Dry Lake, although there are probably a hundred of them in southern california somewhere or another. It is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Los Angeles if you aren't in traffic. It is next to the town of Lucerne Valley, on the back side of the San Bernardino mtns. I was there last weekend as a matter of fact and can confirm that it is very dry. There are some gems between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as frequently used in car commercials, but you'd have to drive more to get there. Lake Elsinor is not a dry lake, although it has come close in recent memory before we got wet winters. I believe Lucerne Dry Lake is the one used in the famous Leibowitz (sp) rock star in the middle of the dry lake photos.

Brian Ellis
2-Sep-2006, 18:50
If LA is draining other lakes at the same rate it's draining Mono Lake they'll all be dry if you can wait a while.

Don Bryant
2-Sep-2006, 19:39
If LA is draining other lakes at the same rate it's draining Mono Lake they'll all be dry if you can wait a while.
The L.A. Water Authority is no longer draining Mono Lake (and hasn't been for awhile). The water level is rising there. They have to raise the lake level to what it was back in the 1950's if I am remebering correctly.

Jeff Conrad
2-Sep-2006, 20:11
The target level for restoration of Mono Lake is 6392 feet, approximately the level in 1963. The low point was 6372 feet in 1981; the current level is 6385 ft.

Rising waters have had some interesting (and unintended) effects for landscape photographers: the South Tufa Area, popular at sunset and even more so at sunrise, has shrunk considerably, making it difficult to accomodate the hordes that arrive around the time the the full Moon in October. Some of the more interesting tufa now are submerged, and two spectacular towers collapsed several years ago from lapping waves. All the information you ever wanted is available on the Mono Lake Committee (http://www.monolake.org/) web site.

LA did do a number on Owens Lake, which dried up shortly after water from the Owens River began to flow into the LA aqueduct early in the 20th century. On windy days, the dust from the lake can make it as far north as Big Pine 50 miles to the north.

But we're getting away from Frank's original question ...

Daniel Geiger
2-Sep-2006, 21:51
Rodgers lake? near Edward's air force base.
from wikipedia:

he base is strategically situated next to Rogers Lake, an endorheic desert salt pan; its hard playa surface provides a natural extension to Edwards' runways. This large landing area, combined with excellent year-round weather, make the base an excellent site for flight testing.

The space shuttle used to land there.

Be careful around Edwards airforce base as much land is military, though not terribly well marked. I got stopped near Rosamond dry lake in the mid 90' by military police there, and they were not joking. So best avoid it, *carefully* check go and no-go areas, and possibly check with the base.