The Best Places to Off-Road in California

Get Your Bronco Ready for Summer and Fall Fun Outdoors

Have you thought about going off-road in California? It is a premier destination for all things outdoors! Because of California’s diverse climate and captivating scenery, if you’re into camping, hiking, and especially off-roading, then this state is the perfect place to test your off-roading rig. From easy paths to cut your teeth on to challenging environments that will seriously test your skill, California has a trail-ready for any type of off-roader.

We’ve gathered five different off-roading trails in California for you to check out. These paths showcase how diverse and exciting the trails in California can be! We’ll start with some easy trails for inexperienced off-roaders, and then crank up the difficulty and give experienced trailblazers an off-roading path they’re sure to enjoy. Are you ready to scout out your next adventure? Here are the best off-road trails in California.

  1. Holcomb Valley OHV Road (Fawnskin, CA)

If you’re looking for the perfect place to test out your brand-new off-roading Bronco, then this is the spot for you! This is a fantastic trail is an easygoing route found near Fawnskin, California. “Regular” cars have been known to be seen driving the trail but having a good clearance on your truck will make this trail easier to handle. Its easy terrain and beautiful scenery make it the perfect starting point for first-time off-roaders.

If you have a 4WD

  1. Cleghorn Ridge OHV Road (San Bernardino, CA)

Another trail located in San Bernardino National Forest, this dirt trailway practically screams ‘adventure’! The scenic view of the mountains offers drivers plenty of natural flowers and wildlife. The scenery makes it a popular destination for off-road, and you’ll probably run into a few during your exploration. If you want to avoid crowds, try coming a little earlier. The main trail is an easy, accessible path any vehicle can enjoy, but those wishing to test their skill can find trail offshoots for experienced drivers. This trail is open year-round for you to enjoy.

  1. Pioneertown to Big Bear via Burns Canyon Road (Pioneertown, CA)

This trail is recommended for only prepared off-roaders. This moderately-challenging route can only be tackled with the right equipment, like a lift kit, durable tires a good F-Series/Bronco suspension upgrade. High clearance on your truck is a must-have with a trail this steep. This trail is also not as marked as the other trails, so be sure to have a map handy when you’re exploring. As long as you’re ready for it, the Pioneertown to Big Bear trail is a solid off-road outing you’re guaranteed to have fun with. This wonderful trail is available year-round.

  1. Signal Peak OHV Trail (Near Truckee and Soda Springs, CA)

Signal Peak, right off Interstate 80, just outside of Truckee, California is a great off-road trail for Broncos, Jeeps, and other off-road rigs. This trail starts with a steep climb and loose rock. These obstacles pay off great views once you reach the top.

Arguably the most difficult part of the trail is the first mile. The rocks may shift as you climb so keeps your eyes and ears peeled and be ready to adjust your direction as needed. Some areas are narrower than others with sections being off camber which can cause you to slide side to side whilst traversing the trail. If you want a true challenge of your off-roading skills, then Signal Peak OHV Trail is made for you.

  1. Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area (Gorman, CA)

Hungry Valley is one of California’s largest off-highway vehicular recreation areas (OHV). It has everything an off-road enthusiast could ever want, including grasslands and fields, coastal sage scrub, hills and valleys, and heavily wooded areas with oak trees, pine trees, and many native species in these woodlands.

Hungry Valley is motorcycle, four-wheel drive, and all-terrain vehicle-friendly. So bring your Broncos, your ATVs, your dirt bikes, your Jeeps, and more. They have 130 miles of trails marked for all levels of off-highway vehicle operators and hikers. From flat and level trails to steep and narrow, there is something for everyone in this off-the-beaten trail oasis.

As if that isn’t enough, they also have over 150 miles of National Forest off-road routes available.

It’s important to remember that before you take your off-road rig… Well, off-road… You need to run through a safety and functionality checklist because the trails are fun but they are also challenging and anything physically challenging can be dangerous.

  1. Make sure you have the right equipment for the job. Does your Bronco have the ground clearance you need for the trails you are attempting? Do you have the right shocks and off-road bump stops? Is your 4x4 functioning as it should? When was the last time you serviced your Bronco’s transfer case? Do you have a winch? Off-road bumpers for Broncos?
  2. Bring your tools just in case. Do you have enough fuel? Always start a trail with a full fuel tank and bring extra cans if you can. Is your fire extinguisher still good? Bring a bumper jack. Make sure your spare tire is full and ready. Check the dates on everything in your first aid kit.
  3. Bring a CB radio and learn the local channels in case you are out of cell phone range. The universal emergency channel for a CB is 9. Channel 9 is usually monitored by local law enforcement and fire departments. Channels 17 and 19 are often used by truck drivers.
  4. Do your research on the trails you are about to take. Know what to expect from others who have done it.

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