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Off Road Areas

We are lucky to have many fun places to drive off road in Southern California; most have great scenic mountains and deserts to enhance your trip. Most of these areas have campsites but many are dry areas. This means no toilets and little water. Check before you go to see if you can have a campfire. When you can, it’s usually in a fire ring or pit. You might need a green sticker to drive off road in a vehicle that is not street legal. Ask the rangers when you call. Also you need to have a good muffler and/or spark arrester on your vehicle. You might notice that some of the phone numbers are the same for areas close to each other. This is due to ranger stations or area district managers controlling the same places. When you call for more information tell them the area you want to go to. For sand dune areas see the sand dunes page. Check out-www.ca.blm.gov/caso/ohv.html


DB – Dune Buggy
MC – Motorcycle
ATV – All-terrain Vehicle
4WD – Four Wheel Drive
Some areas could be two narrow or steep for long wheelbase vehicles. Call before leaving.

Alamo Mountain
Mt. Pinos Ranger District, Star Route, Box 400, Frazier Park. (805) 245-3731 Take highway 5 to the Grapevine pass. Turn north at Frazier park way. Coming from the north side take highway 33 to the Frazier turn off. MC, 4WD, ATV

Arroyo Salado
Just 10 miles west of highway 86 on highway 78 north west of Salton Sea. The “open Area” is 4,800 acres. It’s next to Ocotillo Wells off road recreation area. Low hills and sand washes. (760) 337-4400 MC, 4WD, ATV, DB

Ballinger Canyon
Mt. Pinos Ranger District, 34580 Lockwood Valley Road. (805) 245-3731 Take highway 5 to the Grapevine pass. Turn north at Frazier park way. Coming from the north side take highway 33 to the Frazier turn off. MC, 4WD, ATV

Big Bear Lake
Big bear Ranger District Fawnskin, (909) 866-3437 There are some great trails going up to the mountain from the desert. They are talking about closing some so call first. MC, 4WD, DB

Corral Canyon
Descanso Ranger District, Close to Apline East of San Diego (619) 445-6235 MC, 4WD, ATV

El Mirage/Shadow Mountains
Located 10 miles west of Adelanto on Crippen/El Mirage Road. This is a dry lake bed. It is flat and very long and wide. There will be many others moving fast. Keep an eye out. You will see land yachts and maybe an airplane or two land. (760) 255-8700 MC, 4WD, ATV, DB

Hungry Valley
50301 Peace Valley Road, Gorman. (661) 248-7007 Trails from 2,600ft to 8,000 ft cover 150 miles of OHV trails on adjoining Los Pradres National Forest. They have an obstacle course for 4 wheel drives plus a under 60cc fenced junior rider play area open to the public. Camp site and dot the area. No water but primitive toilets are available.

Jawbone Canyon/Dove Springs
28111 Jawbone Canyon/Dove Springs Cantil (760) 373-1146 Located 20 miles north of Mojave on highway 14. Access is Jawbone Canyon Road and Dove Springs Road. There are tall steep canyons with hill climbs and lots of trail riding. It has two open areas with a total of 8,500 acres of riding. At this time we don’t know just what you can take to ride so call before going.

Johnson Valley
From Barstow take the 247 west about 15 miles. Open valleys with hills and mountains. Some dry lake beds and dunes dot the land. Try the hamburgers at the Slash-X café. The open area is 140,000 acres. (760) 252-6000 MC, 4WD, ATV, DB

Lake Arrowhead area
Arrowhead Ranger District, 28104 Hwy 18 Skyforest. (714) 337-2444 MC, 4WD, ATV

Lark Canyon (McCain Valley)
70 Miles east of San Diego on highway 8 stop at Boulevard. There is 1,200 acres of low hills and selected trails. Wheel width can’t be wider then 40″. (760) 337-4400 MC, ATV

Mt. Baldy Ranger District
110 North Wabash Ave, Glendora (626) 335-1251 MC, 4WD, ATV, DB

Ocotillo Wells
5172 Highway 78, Ocotillo Wells. (760) 767-5391 Around 60,000 acres of desert no water some fire rings and picnic tables. MC, 4WD, ATV, DB

Ortega Trail
Ojai Ranger District 1190 East Ojai Ave, Ojai (805) 646-4348 MC, (4WD call for permits)

Plaster City
Drive about 15 miles west of El Centro on Highway S-80. There is 41,000 acres of desert area and low hills. Just north of the area is a military bombing range that’s closed to the public (duh). (760) 337-4400 MC, 4WD, ATV, DB

See the sand dunes section

Rice Valley
See the sand dunes section

Rowher Flats
Rowher Flat OHV area is located approximately 10 miles north of the town of Newhall, CA. Take the Antelope Valley Freeway (Hwy. 14) and exit at Sand Canyon. Go north on Sand Canyon to Sierra Highway and turn right. Take Sierra Highway approximately five miles to Rush Canyon access Road. Keep an eye out for the Rowher Flat sign on the left-hand side of the road. Rowher Flat is open to motorcycles, ATV’s and 4-wheel drive vehicles. No unloading or OHV riding is permitted on the Rush Canyon access road. Restrooms are available.
Saugus Ranger District, 30800 Bouquet Canyon Road. Saugus. (805) 296-9710 MC, 4WD, ATV, DB

Rice Valley Dunes
See Sand Dunes page

San Jacinto Area
San Jacinto Ranger District (909) 659-2117 MC, 4WD

Spangler Hills
Located 10 miles north of Red Mountain on Trona Road. Rolling hills and steep mountain with open valleys with rocky areas. It’s an open area with over fifty thousand acres to visit. (760) 384-5400 MC, 4WD, ATV, DB

Superstition Mountain
Drive about 15 miles north west of El Centro on Highway S-80. Use Huff and Wheeler roads. The area consists of dry lakes, sand dunes, rocky mountains and rough area (badlands). (760) 337-4400 MC, 4WD, ATV, DB

Stoddard Valley
Set between Barstow and Victorville use Hodge and Sidewinder off ramps from the 15 freeway. Open valleys with hills and mountains. Some dry lake beds and dunes dot the land. The open area is 5,000 acres. There are open mine shifts in the area. Keep an eye open. (760) 252-6000 MC, 4WD, ATV, DB

Tujunga Ranger District
12371 North Little Tujunga Canyon Road, San Fernando (818) 899-1900 MC, ATV, DB, 4WD

Cleveland National Forest, Trabuco Ranger District (909) 736-1811 MC, 4WD, ATV

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