The other day I had a chance to do a photo shoot at the Inyokern Airport, about two and a half hours north east of Los Angeles or about an hour north east of Palmdale. This is a private airport in the middle of the Mojave Desert surrounded by Joshua trees and the Southern Sierra Mountains. A lonely place, unless you are a jackrabbit or a coyote. If you film on runway 18, you will have a great view of the Sierra’s, in winter it is not uncommon for the peaks to be covered in snow, occasionally the snow level drops down to the valley. Don’t fret, by mid-morning all the snow will melt and one will be left with a view of the mountains that will be stunning. Since Inyokern is high desert, in summer temperatures are hot, but not unbearable like one would find in Death Valley about three hours north/east. Since this is a private airport and film friendly there are not the usual restrictions one would find at public airfields. The staff is friendly and very accommodating; they really go out of their way to make sure your specific needs are met.
The town of Ridgecrest is about ten miles east of the airport; there is no shortage of places to lodge your crew. My favorite place to stay is the “Heritage Inn & Suites” (760-446-6543), the rooms are comfortable the pillows are soft; there is restaurant that serves great food. The Hampton Suites Ridgecrest is another great place to stay, or if you are really budget conscious there is the Motel 6, (760-375-6866) with parking across the street for large vehicles, rates are under $40, you can’t get cheaper, the rooms are adequate, cable TV, a table to do your work and a warm shower. My only complaint, the heater does not work well. In terms of food, there are plenty of good restaurants, check out YELP for your favorite food.