Frequently Asked Questions

Not sure about something? We have you covered. Most things our guests inquire about are covered in our frequently asked questions below. If we haven’t answered your question here, we are always happy to address any concerns you may have. Please contact us.

General Questions

Minimum age to rent and drive is 28 with a valid driver’s license. In order to be a passenger you must be able to sit in the seat, with your feet flat on the floor, back against the seat and your hands firmly on the hand hold.  While we do not enforce a strict height requirement, typically if an individual is about 54 inches tall, they will fit and be able to ride. Minors must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian.  All participants are required to wear a helmet with goggles (helmet and goggles provided to borrower during your rental period) and wear closed-toe shoes at all times while in the vehicle. Happy Trails Rental reserves the right to refuse service to anyone, even those meeting the qualifications above, based on our sole discretion.

Primitive camping is allowed anywhere within the boundaries of the Johnson Valley OHV Area, except on private property and established dirt roads. There are also a few vault bathrooms located on Anderson Dry Lake and on the north side of Cougar Buttes. Responsible camp fires are allowed, however do not burn wood with nails (pallets prohibited). The burning of potentially hazardous materials e.g. (but not limited to) gas, oil, plastic and magnesium is strictly prohibited. Please avoid building new fire rings. Federally protected desert tortoises are located in the OHV area so please be vigilant to stay away from these protected tortoises. Johnson Valley OHV is managed by Bureau of Land Management, Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311, (760) 252-6000.

Self-Guided GPS Tour Rentals are offered to customers who want to use the aid of GPS technology and follow pre-planned routes to exciting destinations within Johnson Valley OHV park.  Self-Guided GPS Tours are ideal for the novice rider who wants to enjoy the riding experience with the confidence of a GPS device guiding them in the vast Mojave Desert.  Our Self-Guided GPS Tours allow you the freedom to stop and go at your own pace while giving you privacy on your ride experience.

Private Guided Tours are also available if you want to play follow-the-leader on your trail adventure and experience Johnson Valley OHV Park in a special unique way with expert trail guides. Call us for details and reservations.

No, unfortunately pets are not allowed in the Polaris vehicle during your rental period or in our staging area.


Rentals need to be returned before sunset for Self-Guided Tours at the same location you departed from.  A $60 late fee will be charged per unit if the rental is brought back up to 1 hour late. A $120 late fee per unit if the rental is brought back up to 2 hours late and after 2 full hours late, late fee will be another full day rental charge extra.  There are NO REFUNDS for early returns for any reason, including (but not limited to) weather or damaged vehicles during the rental period.

Call us immediately so we can handle the situation appropriately.  If it is an EMERGENCY, then use the provided satellite emergency beacon to alert the official emergency authorities.  Your safety is our top priority.  However, you are responsible for any broken down retrieval cost if it is your fault for being reckless or careless.  You are not to attempt any type of repair or recovery on your own as our friendly staff will provide the necessary assistance.

Drivers and passengers need to wear closed-toe shoes and we highly recommend wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts.  In the cooler months, dress in layers including a heavy jacket.  Backpacks are recommended to stow loose items.  Bring your camera to capture the special moments.  Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are highly recommended.  Bring extra water and snacks as you will need to keep hydrated and fueled up to make the most of your riding experience.  Please note, the last mile to our private staging location in on a groomed dirt road.  The dirt road is maintained by the county so most 2 wheel drive vehicles can travel on it when dry, however if it’s raining at our location, the road can have some muddy sections on it. and may require an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.

All rentals include one full tank of fuel. If you run low on fuel before your rental period expires, we will provide you with additional fuel for an extra $5.00 per gallon so you can continue to enjoy your ride. However one full tank of fuel will typically be more than enough fuel for a full day ride.

All vehicles include multiple devices to prevent you from getting lost. Each vehicle is equipped with a GPS device to show your real-time location on a map. You will always be able to see your current location and where you started your ride so you can navigate back safely. All vehicles also come equipped with a sealed integrated location device to allow the Happy Trails Rental team to see your exact location in real-time. We can always come to you in case you need our assistance.

As a last precaution, all vehicles are also equipped with a Emergency Location Beacon. If you activate the beacon, it will alert emergency personnel to your exact location so search and rescue can come to you. The Emergency Location Beacon is only for life threatening emergencies and the renter is responsible for all related emergency cost if the beacon is activated for any reason.

As an alternative, you can always elect to take one of our Guided Tours and have the confidence you will not get loss if you are still concerned.

Rental Agreement Specifics

There is a $250 cancellation fee for each vehicle if canceled up to 1 week prior to your rental date.  Within 48 hours of the reservation, the cancellation fee becomes the full price of the reservation.  If reservations are made over a Holiday week or weekend (i.e: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Memorial Day, Labor Day, King of Hammers week, etc.) the cancellation fee is the full price of reservation.

Yes, a  $3,500 security deposit is required per vehicle.  Included Protection with each rental the renter is responsible for the first $3,500 of any damage to the vehicle (including parts, labor, loss of use). All additional damage charges will be waived. Please acknowledge: the renter’s credit card that is used will be saved on file and WILL have a hold placed on their card (on the day of rental) for the security deposit in the amount of $3,500 per vehicle. Once the vehicle is returned and inspected for possible damage or abuse and no signs of damage or abuse are found, the credit hold will be immediately released.  If there is any damage or abuse detected then Happy Trails Rental will keep the security deposit hold in place to allow a mechanic time to inspect and report all damages.

All rentals include a Damage Protection Plan.  The renter is responsible for the first $3,500 of any damage to the vehicle (including parts, labor, loss of use, abusive or reckless wear and tear).  All additional damage charges will be waived. The Accidental Damage Waiver is not insurance and covers only accidental damage to the vehicle. Careless and abusive driving is not permitted – absolutely NO donuts, jumping or excessive high speeds are allowed and strictly enforced.


Let Happy Trails help create that special event for corporate team building, bachelor or bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations – you name it we can help curate that unique experience you are seeking.  We have access to fully equipped RV campers for overnight stays in the desert so you can enjoy the breathtaking starry nights and warm campfires.

Still have a question or concern?

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