Are you craving an offroad adventure? There aren’t many regions of the U.S. better for exploring in your 4×4 than the Golden State. Famous for its beautiful sunny, warm weather and varied topography, you’ll discover ideal areas for all your outdoor experiences. Choosing the appropriate vehicle will provide you with opportunities to explore an extensive range of landscapes, including overland, forest and desert trails. You can look forward to navigating sand dunes, canyons and mud pits. Rock crawling will add the ultimate thrill to your trip. Look for lift kits for Jeeps and other 4×4 vehicles. Then, check out these must-travel California offroad destinations.
1. Reward Mine, Lone Pine, California
Reward Mine sits at the bottom of the United States’ second tallest mountain, Mount Whitney. This is an easy out-and-back driving trail. Don’t mistake easy for boring, though. It offers an experience unlike any other. This is an all-time favorite trail for many people, and for good reason; you can drive your vehicle more than a half-mile into the mine.
2. Pinkham Canyon, Desert Center, California
Joshua Tree National Park is nearly 800,000 acres, making it more extensive than Rhode Island. Pinkham Canyon makes up a portion of this park, one of many attractions that offroaders love exploring. Its beautiful trails highlight incredible rock formations, Joshua trees and desert flora. As you make your way down this nearly 20-mile trail, be sure to stop for a visit to the Snow Cloud Mine, an old, out-of-service quartz mine. The Pinkham Canyon is a moderately challenging straight-through trail.
3. Rattlesnake Canyon (RC3331), Big Bear City, California
The Rattlesnake Canyon trail is an intermediate-level offroad connector trail, almost 16 miles long. As you traverse its muddy, sandy and rocky terrains, you’ll witness spectacular views from Johnson Valley and into the San Bernardino Mountains.
4. Kramer Arch, Barstow, California
At 0.3 miles long, Kramer Arch is on a short yet relatively treacherous loop that begins at the mouth of the Phillips Canyon trail. The natural stone arch can be an obstacle for oversized vehicles. Smaller vehicles can typically navigate through the arch. The trail can be challenging to drive due to curves and rocky terrain that can make for tricky travel in places.
5. Rubicon Trail, Pollock Pines, California
The Rubicon Trail is a highly challenging, 16.24-mile, straight-through trail. It typically takes about three days for an experienced offroader to traverse the extreme terrain. A lifted vehicle and oversized tires are necessities. Consider a Rough Country suspension lift kit if you need a lift before hitting this trail. With the right vehicle and the guts to set out on this adventure, whether you’re an offroader, overlander or rock crawler, you won’t be disappointed. It’ll provide great fun and incredible canyon views. Be prepared to cross high water and to scale large rocks, ledges and slabs. You can also expect to navigate hills of loose rock and approach rock drops that many find unnerving.
When you’re ready for an exciting excursion, search online for 4×4 parts and accessories like a Jeep Wrangler soft top Bestop. A reputable dealer will hook you up with everything you need for the adventure of a lifetime on or off the trails of sunny California.