Rogers Dry Lake
is an endorheic
An endorheic basin is a closed drainage basin that retains water and allows no outflow to other bodies of water such as rivers or oceans...
A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...
Natural salt pans are flat expanses of ground covered with salt and other minerals, usually shining white under the sun. They are found in deserts, and should not be confused with salt evaporation ponds.A salt pan is formed where water pools...
in the Mojave Desert
The Mojave Desert occupies a significant portion of southeastern California and smaller parts of central California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona, in the United States...
of Kern County, California
Spreading across the southern end of the California Central Valley, Kern County is the fifth-largest county by population in California. Its economy is heavily linked to agriculture and to petroleum extraction, and there is a strong aviation and space presence. Politically, it has generally...
. The lake derives its name from the Anglicization from the Spanish name, Rodriguez Dry Lake
. It is the central part of Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...
as its hard surface provides a natural extension to the paved runways. Runway 17/35 is the longest runway in the world at 7.5 miles.
During the extremely brief rainy season, it is possible for there to be standing water on the lakebed, which pools at the approximate low-point elevation of 2,300 ft for the region. The lake is adjacent to the smaller Rosamond Lake
Rosamond Lake is a natural dry lake bed in the Mojave Desert of Kern- and Los Angeles County, California. The shores of the lake are entirely within the borders of Edwards Air Force Base, approximately from Lancaster. The lake is adjacent to Rogers Dry Lake which through the Holocene, together...
which through the Holocene
The Holocene is a geological epoch which began at the end of the Pleistocene and continues to the present. The Holocene is part of the Quaternary period. Its name comes from the Greek words and , meaning "entirely recent"...
, together made up one large water-body.
Edwards Air Force Base
Many of the notable aeronautical achievements at Edwards have taken place at Rogers Lake. It is also famous for the world's largest compass rose
A compass rose, sometimes called a windrose, is a figure on a compass, map, nautical chart or monument used to display the orientation of the cardinal directions — North, East, South and West - and their intermediate points. It is also the term for the graduated markings found on the traditional...
painted into the lake. It was designated a National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...
- 04/22 in addition to its paved component of 15,000 ft (4600 m) has an extra 9,000 ft (2700 m) of lakebed runway
There are seven other official runways on the Rogers lakebed:
- 17/35 is 7.5 mi (12.1 km) (primary runway)
- 05/23 is 5.2 mi (8.4 km)
- 06/24 is 1.4 mi (2.3 km)
- 07/25 is 4.0 mi (6.4 km)
- 09/27 is 2.0 mi (3.2 km)
- 30 is 2.0 mi (3.2 km) (runway 30 rolls out onto the compass rose, so its corresponding, unmarked, runway 12 is never used)
- 15/33 is 6.2 mi (10.0 km)
- 18/36 is 4.5 mi (7.2 km)