Where To Go Off-Roading in Southern California

Where To Go Off-Roading in Southern California

Where To Go Off-Roading in Southern California

If you've got your ATV, Jeep, or Truck ready for some off-roading adventures in Southern California, then you need to check out these off-roading trails! Southern California is a great off-roading location thanks to its varying landscapes from the mountains to the desert. 

Saddleback Mountain

Saddleback Mountain is between the north end of Orange County and southern Riverside County. Situated in the heart of California, it makes for a great off-road destination in Southern California. It can make for a quick getaway or a fun day trip thanks to its prime location. The elevation gains up to 5,600 feet so you'll see some breathtaking views along the almost 30 miles it has to offer. One Alltrails review mentions “lots of small waterfalls as you’re driving & gorgeous views.”There are several options to reach Saddleback Mountain:

  1. Enter on the Orange County side off Maple Springs Road and the southern end of the Main Divide. 
  2. Enter through Corona to reach Bedford Canyon and then reach the Indian Truck Trail in the south.

Saddleback Mountain is open year-round. 

Azusa Canyon

Azusa Canyon State Recreation Vehicle Area is off the 210 freeway in Los Angeles. Besides the trails, Azusa Canyon Area offers mud pits, a rock crawling obstacle course, hill climbs, water crossings, and open areas to explore. If you opt for the mud pit, bring a friend with you to tow you out. This is the perfect spot for new off-road adventurers! Azusa Canyon is only open on weekends and holidays.

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Lost Horse Loop

If you’re looking for some desert fun in the hot sun, check out the Lost Horse Loop. This trail in the Joshua Tree National Park is 6.5 miles long and has an elevation gain of almost 900ft. Just be sure to check for the fee beforehand! Reviews on Alltrails mention going early to avoid the heat and heading clockwise to avoid the hill. 

Cleghorn Ridge 

Find 14.4 miles of off-roading in the San Bernardino National Forest which has an almost 3,000 elevation gain. You’ll get mountain and desert views as you travel over Cleghorn Ridge to State Highway 138 at Lake Silverwood. Once on the trail, you have the option to off-road on a scenic fire road or a 4x4 trail. Be sure to get your adventure pass in advance for you to display when you get there. There are options for a day pass, multi-pass, or annual pass. A Daily pass to get you into the San Bernardino National Forest is $5, while an annual forest pass is $30. So if you know you want to come back, invest in the annual pass. If you have an American the Beautiful Annual National Park Pass, that will bypass the entrance fee. 

Pioneertown to Big Bear

Also found in the San Bernardino National Forest is the Pioneertown to Big Bear trail. This trail is 18.7 miles long and has an elevation gain of about 3,300 ft. Alltrails mentions that this trail requires a high clearance vehicle. Vehicles without lifts and tires that can handle steep trails are not encouraged to try this trail. If you need a lift on your vehicle, check out our store at 15230 San Fernando Mission Blvd Suite B102, Mission Hills, CA. 

Pilot Rock

Check out this off-road trail in Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area. This route is almost 13 miles long and has an elevation gain of 2,644 ft. Alltrails mentions the main trail is great for most high-clearance 2-wheel drive vehicles. But the side trails require 4-wheel drive and are considered difficult. The end of this trail takes you to Lake Arrowhead, so enjoy the ride and the destination with this off-road trip! 

Crowley Lake Columns

Speaking of lakes, try this short 4 miles route near Mammoth Lakes. This route is a lot calmer compared to other off-roading routes. This option is mostly a beach and sand path for off-roaders. One review on Alltrails says drivers will need a 4x4 with high clearance for one section of the trail. Other than that, adventurers should be fine with regular 4x4 driving. 

San Bernardino National Forest

Most of the trails mentioned so far are in the San Bernardino National Forest. Here are some additional ones:

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