Tag: California

Escape Trail (Fish Canyon)

The Escape Trail (aka Fish Canyon) is a trail of moderate difficulty that a truck with good ground clearance and a decent tire should be able to navigate. This trail traverses Fish Canyon and connect Panamint Valley to Searles Valley across the Slate Range. There are no difficult obstacles on this trail, just a lot of hard rocks and a few spots that will test your articulation and approach/departure angles. This trail earned its name from a few families that escaped from Death Valley in the 19th century. The Panamint and Death Valleys are at a fine temperature during the winter time and a wonderful place to visit if you ever have a few days to spare. Enjoy the photos and find all of them here!

Location

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Vallecito Wash: Motorhome Wreckovery

Sometimes I am surprised and amazed by the vehicles I see leave pavement for the desert and am pleasantly surprised. Other times I chuckle a little and can yank someone out of a bad situation or drag their disabled vehicle to a better place. Then there are times where I am simply dumbfounded by what I encounter. I thought that I was going to end a nice day of driving through some easy trails and hiking with one last jaunt off-road and found a class A motorhome attempting to make its way back to civilization. It ended up being a long night for me and an even longer next day for the wayward travelers…

Oriflamme Canyon

I posted a page about the trail through Oriflamme Canyon a while ago and recently went through again to take some high-quality video footage of it. I’ll post up some pictures later of a hike through a small portion of the Pacific Crest Trail along with a nightmare recovery involving a class A motorhome. Enjoy the video

Mazourka Canyon

Mazourka Canyon is a trail of moderate difficulty that lies to the east of CA-395 and offers astounding views of Owens Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountains. A 4×4 truck with decent tires would be needed for this trip, specifically the rocky and steep sections in the northern and central portions. I started this trail from the northern end by taking Death Valley Road to Forest Road 9S13. The southern end of this route starts from Mazourka Canyon Road just outside of Independence. I spent approximately six hours on the forty miles of trails that I drove through though I wish that I had spent several days out here. There are so many side routes and hiking trails out here that it would take weeks to go through it all. I can’t wait to see this land again.

It takes a while to sort through and upload over 280 photos. Enjoy the rest of them on the full photo page!

West Side Road

West Side Road is a long, washboard road that runs parallel and to the west of Badwater Road. Any 2WD truck would make it through just fine and this amazing route offers access to numerous trails, hikes, and historical sites like the Eagle Borax Works. I started this road from the southern end just after squeezing my truck through Mengel Pass. There are a lot of alkali beds out here that anyone dumb enough to drive through will learn a painful lesson from. The land in Death Valley National Park offers such stunning beauty and these pictures are just a small part of what there is to see out here. Enjoy the rest of the photos on the full page here!

     

     

     

Titus Canyon

Titus Canyon is an easy one-way trail that starts in Nevada and ends in California. Titus Canyon Road is accessible via NV-374 and ends on pavement at Scotty’s Castle Road 27 miles later. This road can be completed by any 2WD vehicle with some ground clearance in a few hours. The canyon is extremely dangerous during any period of rain and should be avoided at such times. The ghost town of Leadfield is located about halfway along the road and you will have to watch out for individuals driving the wrong direction. I almost ran into a large group on motorcycles in the western end where the canyon is at its most narrow.

     

Enjoy the photos and find the rest of them here!

     

     

Kane Spring Road

Kane Spring Road is a “road” of moderate difficulty that starts at the northwestern edge of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, passes through Ocotillo Wells, goes through a very long wash, and ends at CA-78/86 and the Trifolium Border Patrol checkpoint. This road is broken up by Split Mountain Road is not a single path all of the way through. Some of the signs have also been placed in the wrong spot.
   You’ll want to take a truck with high ground clearance and good tires through this road and should have a 4×4 on the eastern section as you weave in and out of the wash. Those of you with long-wheelbase trucks will want sliders. If you finish on the eastern end there is a good chance that you will be approached by the Border Patrol. I didn’t take a lot of pictures on this trip, but the rest of the videos can be found here.
Perhaps people get stuck out here when it is muddy out? I saw several of these signs along the eastern portions of the road:

The Mojave Road, East

My one-man journey across the Mojave Road continues shortly after the sun rises. The night was cold and camping in a two-man tent didn’t feel great but at least the sunrise was beautiful. My day started at the Penny Tree as I ventured through the last forty miles of the trail to Needles Highway. I really wish that I had taken more time on this trail to hike around the various features.

As in the previous portion of the road, I went from west to east so all of the cairns (piles of stone) are on the left side. The temperature throughout the night into the early morning was about 0 °C but quickly warmed up as I went a few thousand feet down the ridge. As you head down Lanfair Ridge there’s a spot on the road that is badly eroded which probably explains why there is a “ROAD CLOSED” sign on the eastern side. Any 2WD truck should be able to make it through this portion of the road unless it is extremely muddy.

My starting location for the day:

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There’s much more to this portion of the road so please find the rest of the photos and videos here. Enjoy!

The Mojave Road, West

The Mojave Road is an easy trail, with the exception of Soda Dry Lake when wet. A 2WD truck with some ground clearance and decent tires should be able to make it through this trail. You could do the entire trail in a day if you wanted to, but then you would miss much of what is offered out here. How else could you walk around the ruins of Fort Piute? How would you drag a stolen Dodge Challenger out of the Mojave River Wash if you didn’t stop to take in the sights in for a minute?

I drove the Mojave Road, starting at Afton Canyon from west to east. Most people seem to do this road east to west. There is a section of the Mojave Road that continues west of Afton Canyon, but I opted not to do so. This post covers the road going from Afton Canyon to Kelbaker Road.  Find the full video playlist here and the rest of the pictures here.

This is part one of three on the Mojave Road. It takes a while to make these posts and it doesn’t make sense to put all of the videos and pictures on a single page. I’ll get to it soon though, I swear it!

The Mojave Road, Central

The Mojave Road, East

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Cleghorn Ridge

Cleghorn Ridge is normally an easy trail that can be done in a 2WD truck with decent clearance. With the snow and ice present 4WD and a good tire would be a wise choice. There are many optional side roads that are of moderate and extreme difficulty that I opted not to take on this trip. The views of the surrounding area are astounding and this trail is a lot of fun with some snow on it. This trail can be reached from the Cleghorn Road exit on I-15 a few miles south of Cajon Junction.

Unlike going to the trails in Big Bear, you won’t have to go through highways filled with morons who decided not to get snow tires or bring chains/cables along with them. Enjoy!

Location:

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 Find the rest of the video and photos here!

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