Trails & Plaza

Owens Lake and the trails and plaza are open to the public. Partnering with a diverse group of local and regional stakeholders and other interested parties, LADWP created three public access trails and viewing areas as part of the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program. These trails could not have happened without the cooperation and support of community stakeholders, other interested parties, and our partners, including the California State Lands Commission, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, and the Paiute-Shoshone Tribes, and the Eastern Sierra Audubon Society. The land art installation includes a central plaza, surrounding paths, and natural art and architectural elements.


The trails—Boulder Creek Trailhead, Plaza Trailhead, and Dirty Socks Trailhead—allow public viewing access to over 120 bird species for artists, scientists, and researchers as well as casual observers and visitors and other wildlife.


Plaza Trailhead
The Plaza Trailhead’s most noticeable feature is the Plover Wing Plaza, inspired by the Snowy Plover, a bird that appears in the Owens Lake area during spring and summer. These small structures help dust control by keeping particles from being gathered up by wind. The rocks used for the whitecaps also help to provide habitat for reptiles, insects, and mammals. Around the plaza are gravel paths and roads that lead visitors to marshes, habitat islands, reflecting ponds, and local wildlife.

Boulder Creek Trailhead
The Boulder Creek trailhead are distinguished by round, metal shade structures with benches that resemble a cross-section is of the L.A. Aqueduct. There are birds visible in the nearby mudflats and a large shallow flooding pond to the south. 

Dirty Socks Trailhead
Dirty Socks took on its name because a nearby natural spring with a high sulfur content offers an aroma that may remind some of dirty socks. 

Click on the trailhead below for its location. 


Boulder Creek

Dirty Socks

Public Safety and Access Guidelines

LADWP wants you to enjoy your visit to the Owens Lake Trails. To ensure a safe and pleasurable experience, we ask that you please follow these public access guidelines:

• Drive only on maintenance berm roads and park only in designated parking areas. Maintenance berm roads are not paved, may be narrow, and are used by heavy construction vehicles.

• Do not stop or exit your vehicle on a maintenance berm road unless you are in a designated parking area.

• Slow down and yield to construction vehicles and heavy equipment.

• Do not drive on muddy surfaces or in unauthorized areas. You will be responsible if your vehicle gets stuck and needs to be extricated.

• Do not enter areas where construction or maintenance is taking place.

• Walk only on designated walkways and paths.

• Please do not consume water from any part of the lake. It is not safe for consumption.

• Make sure to bring ample amounts of drinking water with you.

• Do not enter any irrigated or flooded areas.

• Deposit all trash into designated waste bins.

• Do not drive in excess of 25 mph for safety reasons and to prevent the circulation of dust.

• Keep dogs and other pets leashed at all times.

• Do not start any fires. 

Please call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. Be aware that cell phone reception might not be available in all areas of Owens Lake. Camping is prohibited at Owens Lake. For questions on public access or safety call (760) 876-4109.