1. Autos

Southern California 4x4 Trails & Maps - Where To Go 4Wheeling

Off road driving trails, and maps with directions and GPS coordinates for places to go 4wheeling in the Southern California area. Check here for where to ride your 4x4 truck or 4WD SUV off road.
Afton Canyon Natural Area
Located in San Bernardino county, Afton Canyon is one of the few places where the Mojave River flows above the surface. GPS coordinates: 35.044'N 116.285'W. Here are detailed directions and contact info.
Albanita Trail
This 7.5 mile trail has several steep sections that make is best suited for the intermediate rider. Detailed directions and contact info here.
Alimony OHV Trail
This trail is approximately 6 miles in length and is open to all OHV use. Parts of this trail are in steep, rugged terrain and may be difficult for inexperienced riders. Detailed directions and contact info provided.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
There are more than 500 miles of primitive jeep roads and paved roads in the park, including the following trails: Split Mountain, Blair Valley, Grapevine Canyon, Pinyon Mountain, Borrego Mountain Area, and the Carrizo Badlands. Map and directions are found here.
Bald Mountain OHV Route
This 3 mile trail is a great beginner's route with a excellent view from Bald Mountain Summit. Detailed directions and contact info here.
Beach Ridge Trail
This 6.7 mile trail begins at Troy Meadow overflow and follows the ridge north ending at the Albanita Trail. Here are detailed directions and contact info.
Bear Diversion OHV Route
Located in the heart of the High Sierra Recreation Area, this is a short drive to a diversion dam. The road is 3 miles long and is an easy drive for the beginner four wheel driver. Detailed directions and contact info here.
Benchmark Road
This is a short (1 mile) and level easy route. Directions provided.
Big Bear Trails
Here are detailed directions to a number of trails in the Big Bear area, as well as what to expect when you're out there.
Big Sur Backroads
Part of the Los Padres National Forest, the secondary roads here are a bit rough but can be easily handled with an SUV. To get to the trail head, take Coast Hwy. 1, north of the town of Big Sur. Then take the dirt road that heads east at the Bixbey Bridge. Here are maps, directions, and contact info.
Big Sur Secret
Located in Monterey County, this trail is part of the Los Padres National Forest. Detailed directions and contact info here.
Blackrock Mountain Trail
This beginner to intermediate trail is 8.2 miles in length. It connects the Osa Meadow area to the Granite/Broder Trail and offers a variety of scenic views. Detailed directions here.
Bradshaw Trail
The Bradshaw Trail is a 70-mile dirt road that is periodically graded. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended due to stretches of soft sand. Detailed directions and contact info provided.
Brewer Lake OHV Trail
This is a challenging 3.5 mile off-road trail that goes through the heart of the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness and ends up on the Kaiser Pass Road. There's good fishing and great mountain scenery. Here are detailed directions to the trail.
CA-168 & Sierra National Forest OHV Area
Here are detailed trail descripitons, difficulty ratings, and an idea of what to expect when you get to one of 13 different trailheads in the Sierra National Forest OHV Area -- all conveniently located off of CA-168. Map included.
Canebrake Road
These graded dirt roads run through the canyons. Some small spurs roads require a 4wd vehicle. Overall, this is an easy scenic dirt back road that can be rocky in places. Directions, maps, and contact info here.
Clear Creek Trail
There are thousands of acres and many miles of roads and trails for the hardy OHV enthusiast, whether your interest be in four-wheeling or single track. Here, directions and contact info are provided.
Corral Canyon Open Off Road Vehicle Area
Located within the southern-most third of Cleveland National Forest near Morena Reservoir. Maps, photos, local weather, and contact info are available.
Covington Flats
Located in the northwestern portion of the Joshua Tree National Park, this 9 mile trail offers some great opportunities for exploring. Detailed directions and contact info provided.
Coyote OHV Route
Known for its camping and fishing opportunities, this 3.5 mile route is rated moderate. Detailed directions here.
Deep Creek Wild Trout Area
This trip report includes detailed directions and maps.
Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Area
Also referred to as an Open Area, this is an exciting and remote area for off-highway vehicle recreation area. Bordered by steep volcanic hills and the slow running Amargosa River, the region is easily recognized from a distance by its distinctive sand dunes. Here are driving directions and a map.
Dusy-Ershim OHV Route
This one is 30 miles and two or three days of pure fun. The Dusy-Ershim route is a corridor between two wilderness areas, and definitely only for experienced drivers in lifted, locked, short wheelbase vehicles. Here are detailed directions and contact info.
El Centro Resource Area
As part of the Colorado Desert, there are miles of trails here. Places to ride: Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, Plaster City Open Area, Superstition Mountain Open Area, and Lark Canyon OHV Area. Directions and contact info for each.
El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle Area
The El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area is located in the Mojave Desert on the western edge of San Bernardino County near the Los Angeles County Line. This Off-Highway vehicle riding area attracts a variety of activities. Here are detailed directions and a map.
Fish & Troy Connector Trail
Only 1.8 miles long, this trail connects the Troy Meadow Campground overflow area with Fish Creek Campground and is excellent for beginners. Here are directions and contact info.
Garcia Ridge Road
This ridge top route starts at the Hi Mountain junction with Pozo-Arroyo Grande Road and is 4 miles long. Directions and contact info provided.
Glamis Sand Dunes
Located off Highway 78 at the southern end of the Imperial Sand Dunes Area, Glamis is the center of action for people driving every imaginable off-road toy: quads, 4x4's, sand rails, Baja Bugs, motorcycles, desert race trucks, and ATV's. Here are links for directions, GPS coodinates, color photos and contact info.
Gorman / Hungry Valley
Most stock 4x4 vehicles will be able to handle the terrain. Here are detailed directions, maps, and recommendations.
Granite/Border Trail
This 4.8 mile trail has some rocky, steep sections. Contact info and directions provided.
Guadalupe Canyon
Imagine a palm oasis canyon in a remote area of the Baja desert; Cool springs that feed the lush landscape with oversized boulders and waterfalls. If you can handle the 30+ miles of unimproved dirt roads, this is the spot for you. Located 40 mi. SW of Mexicali off Hwy. 2. Detailed directions and photos here.
Hopper OHV Route
This 1.5 mile route is a nice drive in a scenic area. Directions and contact info provided.
Horseshoe Meadows Road
This small winding road climbs southwest to a lovely pine filled valley. Maps, directions, and contact info provided.
Howard's Hill
Experienced riders will enjoy this trail, as half of it is very narrow and steep. Detailed directions and contact info provided.
Imperial Sand Dunes
Sometimes called the Algodones Dunes, this is the largest mass of sand dunes in California. This dune system extends for more than 40 miles. A map, BLM regulations, and contact info is provided.
Jackass Creek
This 4.5 mile trail begins at Fish Creek Campground. It's a relatively easy route with a few steep sections. Directions and contact info provided.
Jawbone Canyon & Dove Canyon
These canyons are part of the Mojave desert, and are the extreme eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada. Detailed directions and BLM regulations here.
Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area
Located in San Bernardino County, Johnson Valley is a varied landscape for the off-highway vehicle driver. It is punctuated by steep red rocky mountains, rolling hills, open valleys, dry lake beds and sandy washes. Here are detailed directions and a map.
Juniper Flats
Located in the northern foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, the roads in this area connect San Bernardino National Forest with Victor Valley to the northwest. Here are detailed directions and contact info.
Kennedy Meadows
Located in Kern County, this trail is part of the Sequoia National Forest. Detailed directions and contact info here.
Kern Plateau OHV Trails
Part of the Sequoia National Forest, there are several OHV roads and trails on the Kern Plateau. Here are detailed directions to the trail heads and contact info.
Kern Plateau Roads
The two major 4wd roads on the Kern Plateau are the Sherman Pass Road and Monache Jeep Road. Directions and contact info for these Sequoia National Forest trails provided.
Lark Canyon OHV Area
Located just west of the southern tip of Anza-Borrego State Park. Contact info for directions available.
Las Chiches Trail
This 6-mile trail has several steep sections. Contact info and directions provided.
Las Coyotes Indian Reservation
This area provides a smorgasbord of off-road terrain, with obstacles ranging in difficulty. It's located near the Anza Buraego State Park in northern part of San Diego County. Here are detailed directions, maps, contact info and GPS coordinates.
Last Chance Canyon & El Paso Mountains
A desert rat's delight... these two areas make for a rugged and difficult canyon climb. There are several interesting 4wd routes available for both challenge and recreational sightseeing. Directions here.
Lawson Peak
Part of the Cleveland National Forest, this trail is located in in San Diego county. Here's a trip report with photos, and maps.
Littlerock OHV Area
This area offers opportunities for the experienced off-highway vehicle user, and for beginning 4-wheelers. Contact info and a map are here.
Lockwood Creek/Miller Jeep Trail
Located in the Los Padres Forest, these trails have different types of obstacles to conquer. Detailed directions, GPS coordinates, map, and review here.
Lockwood Trail
This trail climbs out of the Lockwood overflow area and follows the ridge providing spectacular views, as well as challenging steep pitches. Contact info and directions provided.
Los Coyotes Recreation Area
You'll find everything from graded fire roads to extreme rock crawling here. Here's a map.
Mahogany Creek Trail
Here are detailed directions and contact info for the trail.
Mendocino National Forest
The Mendocino National Forest offers one of the finest opportunities for OHV recreationists in Northern California. Here are the rules & regulations for 4-wheeling in this area. Contact info provided.
Mirror Lake OHV Route
This more difficult route gives access to Mirror Lake. Here are detailed directions and contact info.
Mojave Trail
Here's a map and detailed trip report of what to expect on the Mojave Trail. Directions to the trailhead are also included. GPS coordindates: 35.268'N 116.174'W
Monache Road
This 4X4 road provides access to Monache Meadow and the South Fork of the Kern Wild and Scenic River. Excellent for beginners and all four-wheel drive users. Detailed directions and contact info provided.
Mountains to Desert
This trip report covers the route from Green Valley Lake to Hesperia. Detailed directions are included, as well as turn-by-turn mileage points.
Mt. Gleason
Located in Los Angeles County, this trail is part of Angeles National Forest. Detailed directions and contact info here.
Nordhoff Ridge Road
Nordhoff Ridge has a limit of 20 vehicles per day through this pristine area. Here are detailed directions and contact info.
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area
There are 1,500 acres for riding on beach and sand dunes. Directions and contact info here.
Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area
Located just east of Anza Borrego Desert State Park, off State Highway 78 and near the town of Ocotillo Wells. Contact info and directions are available here.
Old Dale Road
This 23-mile road is part of the Joshua Tree National Park. Here are detailed directions, as well as a trip report of what to expect.
Onion Springs OHV Route
This rough 5-mile road is in a wilderness corridor that originates from Edison Lake and goes into the Ansel Adams Wilderness Area. Contact info and detailed directions provided.
Ord Mountain Route Network
South of Barstow, this trail links the Stoddard Valley and Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Areas. Here are detailed directions and contact info.
Ortega Trail
The Ortega Trail is open to 4WD vehicles for 2.5 miles and offers some beautiful views. Here are directions and contact info.
Pacifico Mountain
Located in Los Angeles County, this trail is part of Angeles National Forest. Detailed directions and contact info here.
Pine Mountain Road
A very difficult rocky section called "the Stairsteps" makes riding the entire route a real challenge. Not recommended for stock vehicles. Contact info and detailed directions are provided.
Pinkham Canyon Road
The most challenging sections of the 20-mile road lead through deep, sandy wash and rocky flood plains. Here's contact info, as well as detailed directions.
Piru Creek Trail
This is primarily a motorcycle trail, but the first three miles from Halfmoon Campground are four wheel drive also. Here are directions and contact info.
Plaster City Trail
This area provides a great place to test individual driving skill over a variety of terrain. Here are directions and contact info for the trail.
Powerline Road (29S27)
This old road is an easy route with a gradual climb. Here are directions and contact info.
Pozo/La Panza OHV Recreation Area
This area offers many different trails with miles of use. Many of the trails accommodate all types of OHV's while others are more specific in their travel use. Directions and contact info provided.
Prewitt Ridge
Located in the backroads of Los Padres National Forest you'll find dispersed camping options on dirt backroads that are the ultimate in seclusion and enjoying nature. Here are detailed directions and maps.
Quail Road
This short route leaves Navajo Road and dead ends on the main ridge top. Directions and contact info here.
Rand Mining District
Located in Mojave County, detailed directions and contact info for this trail are found here.
Rasor Off-Highway Vehicle Area
This is an exciting and more remote area for the off-highway vehicle user. Rasor has rolling hills, open valleys, and sand dunes that invite riders willing to travel through this remote area. Here are detailed directions and a map.
Rattlesnake Creek Trail
This 2.5 mile trail offers a variety of conditions ranging from, gradual hill climbs to creek bottom riding. Contact info and detailed directions are provided.
Red Lake OHV Route
This 2-mile drive will present a challenge for beginners, but it's not the most difficult trail. Here's contact info and detailed directions.
Red Mountain Trail
This trail is real rough. It's maintained by local 4WD clubs. A lifted 4WD is required, and this trail should be taken by only experienced off-roaders. There are lots of lakes for fishing and camping nearby. Directions included.
Rincon Trail
This 19.5 mile trail ascends and descends in elevation, in and out of drainages, passing through flats of Jeffery and grey pine, cedar and chaparral. Here are detailed directions and contact info.
Rohwer Flat OHV Area
Here are detailed directions, a little bit of history, and contact info. GPS coordinates: 34'34.551N 118'22.424W.
San Diego Off-Road Trails
There are a number of great places to ride in the San Diego area, including: Cow Mountain, Spangler Hills, Rasor OHV Area, Stoddard Valley OHV Area, Johnson Valley OHV Recreation Area, and El Mirage OHV Recreation Area. Detailed directions provided for each.
San Gabriel OHV Area
There are more than 150 acres of diverse off-road opportunities, including: water crossings, rocks, dirt roads, sand hills and the challenge of mud-bogging. Here's contact info and directions.
Sequoia National Forest Trails
For info on specific roads and trails currently open, contact the following Ranger District offices: Cannell Meadow, Greenhorn, Hot Springs, Hume Lake, Tule River/Hot Springs. Here is contact info for each.
Sherman Pass 4WD Jeep Road
This is a narrow, rocky, steep road with difficult terrain. Expert 4WD techniques are required. Not recommended for long wheel base vehicles. Here are detailed directions and contact info.
Sierra National Forest
There are currently 12 off-highway vehicle (OHV) routes that have been designated within the Sierra National Forest. They range in length from 1.5 to 30 miles and are located at elevations of 1,700 to 10,000 feet. Directions can be found here.
Spanish OHV Route
On this trail, you'll encounter loose dirt, some granite, a few rocks and a little uphill. Not recommended for full size pickups due to some tight maneuvering between trees. Detailed directions and contact info here.
Spanish Trail
This trail is home to a famous landmark: Radiator Rock. Here, many a copper coil has been hashed and smashed, humbling its owner. Detailed directions here.
Stagecoach Route
Located in San Diego County, this trail is part of the Anza Borrego State Park. Detailed directions and contact info here.
Stoddard Valley OHV Area
The easily accessed areas off the Sidewinder Road exit are used extensively for OHV free play. The area is also used extensively for competitive racing events by permit. Detailed directions and BLM regulations here.
Strawberry Lakes OHV Trail
This is a moderately difficult route that could pose a challenge for beginning drivers. Here are detailed directions to the trailhead, as well as contact info.
Sugarloaf
Located in Kern County, this trail is part of the Sequoia National Forest. Detailed directions and contact info here.
Swamp Lake OHV Trail
If you're looking for action, this is your road. A ball-bearing hillclimb, narrow ledges, rocks and boulders - this 11-mile trail has it all, and some great fishing along the way. Directions can be found here.
Swansea-Cerro Gordo
This is a trip report that includes detailed directions to the trailhead.
Trona Pinnacles
Located 20 miles east of Ridgecrest, California, the dirt access road is usually accessible by two-wheel drive vehicles. Following a rain, however, the road may be impassable to all vehicles, including by four-wheel-drive vehicles. Directions and contact info provided.
Trout Creek Trail
Here are detailed directions and contact info for the 4.4 mile trail.
Upper Lytle Creek
Located in Los Angeles County, this trail is part of Angeles National Forest. Detailed directions and contact info here.
West Frazier Mine Road
This is a rocky 3.5 mile 4wd road which passes several old mining areas. Detailed directions and contact info here.
West Frazier Tie Road
This is a steep 1.1 mile four-wheel drive road connecting West Frazier Mine Road with West Frazier Road on the top of Frazier Mountain. Contact info and detailed directions here.
Yellowjacket Canyon/Lockwood Mtn/Miller Jeep Trails
These trails lie within the boundaries of the Los Padres National Forest's southern end. Here's a trip report that includes GPS coordinates, detailed directions, and contact info for each of these trails.
Yuha Desert OHV Recreation Area
Located 15 miles west of El Centro on county Highway S-80, the Yuha Desert of extreme Southern California offers outstanding opportunities for four-wheeling. Routes traverse a variety of terrain, from flat desert pavement to sandy washes, to mud hills and other badlands type features. Contact info is provided.
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.