The China Lake Museum Foundation Invites You....

... to visit and tour the exciting China Lake Museum of Armament and Technology and learn about the rich air and surface weapon systems development heritage of the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, the Navy's premier full-spectrum weapons research, development, and test facility located in the Upper Mojave Desert on board the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, California. The Museum is also located aboard the US Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, CA. Please take a moment to view the very informative INTRODUCTORY MUSEUM_VIDEO. A large variety of present and past, US Navy aircraft, weapons and technology are available at the Museum for close up viewing and scrutiny. In addition the Museum has a well stocked gift shop with books, videos, clothing and other paraphrenalia relative to the museum's exhibits. Much of the weapon development heritage of the China Lake facility--past, present, and future--is unique and irreplaceable, and has been nationally recognized as a critical resource that has provided advanced weapon system development and support for maintaining the United States' unsurpassed military strength from World War II to the present. Since its beginning in 1943, China Lake has accomplished a long list of "Technical Firsts" in its laboratories and on its Test and Evaluation Ranges. The history of the China Lake Military Mission is unique indeed. The Museum preserves and displays many unique achievements in naval air and surface armament and technology. Entrance into the Museum is free. Come visit us!!

Because the Museum is located on a highly classified US Navy base, it can, unfortunately, currently take up to 2 hours to get clearance for access to the Museum, but it is well worth the wait. Please go to the Visitor Center at the entrance of the base. You will need a drivers license and proof of car insurance to gain access to the base. While you are waiting for approval you can take advantage of a visit to the local Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest. The Maturango Museum is an important educational and cultural resource that provides exhibit galleries which feature the natural and cultural history of the Upper Mojave Desert. In addition, the Maturango Museum sponsors many programs and tours, including tours to the world-famous Coso petroglyphs originally created by the ancient indigenous peoples. Maturango Museum is an information center for Death Valley National Park and the Northern Mojave Desert. The beauty of the indigenous plant and wildlife, the mountains, and the minerals of the Upper Mojave Desert can be viewed in this Upper Mojave Picture Gallery. A map of area provides the relative geographical location of China Lake in Southern California. If you need more assistance, please call the Museum staff at 760-939-3530.


  • Monday through Saturday
  • 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Closed Sundays and Holidays
  • Guest passes allowing entrance to NAWS China Lake are available for visiting the museum.
  • Contact us at (760) 939-3530 for more information.

In addition, the China Lake Museum Foundation encourages you to join us and become involved in the support, operation, and expansion of this unique Navy museum and help preserve the history of the "Grand Experiment at China Lake" for today and for the generations to come. The story of China Lake is told in detail in the book "Arming The Fleet" which is available at the Museum Store. The Museum is self-supporting, i.e., it receives no operation funds from the US Government, and it critically depends on monetary donations from the public, and the continued, highly necessary, efforts of volunteers to function and operate. If you philosophically support the Museum's mission and purpose, particularly if you have been involved in direct development and support of China Lake weapons systems currently or in the past, please consider becoming a member, a volunteer, and/or giving a monthly or annual monetary donation by check or PayPal. Several levels of membership are available.

The Museum has received a $250,000 grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment - Museum Grant Program. These grant funds will be used in conjunction with existing China Lake Museum Foundation funds gathered through the Founders Program, capital assets fundraisers, memberships and special events such as the annual CLMF Dinner Auction to complete a Phase 1 capital building project on Kern County leased land next to Maturango Museum. Infrastructure including parking lot and utilities will be completed along with a 2,880 s.f. building which will house an information center and expanded gift shop. View the new museum site plan here: New Museum Site Plan. Some of the current museum weapons related displays will be relocated to the new Ridgecrest facility and others will remain in the base awaiting completion of Phase 2. When completed, the new Museum building located in downtown Ridgecrest will more easily be accessed by the public. If you desire to donate to the building fund, please link to the Donation Pledge Form and donate to the new building.

For the most up to date information on Museum events, join us on the CLMF Facebook Page

CLMF Website last updated on: OCT 5, 2016


Because the Museum is currently located on a military base, access to the Museum can be complicated. To greatly improve and ease general public access to the museum itself, the Museum Foundation is conducting a fundraising program to build a new museum building in the adjoining city of Ridgecrest. The Foundation specifically invites and encourages all veterans to donate to this worthy effort. Veterans wishing to donate to the new museum building fund may do so on the Veterans donation page.

Call for Aircraft Restoration Volunteers

The Foundation is issuing a call for volunteer aircraft enthusiasts to help restore historic aircraft that are currently stored on base. No prior experience necessary, but volunteers will need to already possess a Flightline (F) or North Range (N) pass. Full contact information is provided in the Call for Aircraft Restoration Volunteers flyer.


2016 and 2017 DINNER/AUCTION

The Foundation held its fun-filled 16th Annual Dinner Auction Fundraiser on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at the Kerr McGee Center in Ridgecrest, CA. The 2016 dinner auction was a great success. Check out and view pictures of the 2014 event on the links below. Be sure to mark your calendar now for the May 13, 2017 dinner auction event.

Please Remember to DONATE AUCTION ITEMS to the Museum early for 2017.

2016 Dinner-Auction Flyer Call for Auction Donations 2014 Dinner-Auction Pix

An exciting new addition to the Museum fundraising efforts is the Museum's sale of engraved bricks. Each purchased brick will be proudly displayed at the Museum with your engraved message. Support the future of the museum and order your personalized brick now!!

Note: The China Lake Museum Foundation is incorporated in the State of California as a non-profit public corporation organized for educational purposes. The Foundation is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a charitable organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The pertinent business documents relative to the Foundation's organization and tax status are available for viewing. Additional CLMF documents (Forms 990, yearly audits, et cetera) can be obtained from the CLMF Business Office.

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