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!
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…
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
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:
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:
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 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
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!
Find the rest of the video and photos here!