Beginner Offroad Trails Near Oceanside

Nate Harrison Grade

Nate Harrison Grade is a dirt backroad into Palomar Mountain State Park. This trail leads from the scenery of typical Southern California scrubland up to lush forests and mountain views. Throughout the route, you'll encounter…
Total Miles
7.8
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

North Main Divide Road

Tucked amidst the hustle and bustle of Southern California's heavily-populated coast is a slice of heaven called the Cleveland National Forest. This mountainous region is undeveloped save for a few great trails connecting world-class views…
Total Miles
11.4
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Orosco Ridge Truck Trail 12S02

This trail winds its way through the Cleveland Forest from Pamo Road to the Guejito Truck Trail. The trail is not very well maintained. It is very rutted. The trail takes you up and over…
Total Miles
5.4
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su

Santa Ysabel Truck Trail

Santa Ysabel Truck Trail is a narrow, shelf-road trail running through a section of the Cleveland National Forest in Ramona. The trail follows along Santa Ysabel Creek and offers beautiful views over the mountains, and…
Total Miles
4.8
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Fa / Sp / Su

3S04 Main Divide to Santiago Peak

The Main Divide is composed of 3 sections, all of which are very easy going trails that can be done with any high clearance 4x4 and can also be done in any low clearance AWD…
Total Miles
4.6
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Maple Spring Road

A fun trail for vehicles with some ground clearance to view scenic views of the Cleveland National Forest. At the end of the trail is an elevated patch of asphalt that appears to be a…
Total Miles
11.6
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Su / Fa / Sp

8S05 - North Palomar Mountain Road

8S05 is a well-maintained service road, but you can expect large rocks, ruts, and very steep drop-offs throughout. The weather could have a significant impact on the road. Muddy conditions are likely; one should ensure…
Total Miles
10.1
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp

Palomar Divide (9S07)

The Palomar Divide is an easy drive with beautiful views. It is a single lane with pull-offs throughout. The majority of the trail is dirt however has some old paved sections in the lower elevation…
Total Miles
10.9
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

4S03

Scenic trail from the 15 Freeway to Santiago Peak. The dirt road is hard packed and easy to navigate, but does have a few sections with sharp rocks and a few ruts. The road has…
Total Miles
3.3
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Otay Mtns Truck Trail

This route goes up and over Otay Mtn with sweeping views over the San Ysidro Mountains and a little bit of San Diego in the distance. The road is made up entirely of dirt and…
Total Miles
13.4
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Fa / Sp / Su

San Jacinto Ridge Trail (FS 5S09)

San Jacinto Ridge is a two-way trail running East to West between the Banning-Idyllwild Panoramic Highway (SR 243) and Bee Canyon Road (FS 5S07) in the San Bernardino National Forest. Comprised of mostly hard-pack dirt,…
Total Miles
10.4
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

6S13 - Thomas Mountain Road

Uneven, rutted dirt trail with loose rocks and sand. Muddy conditions should be expected during the rainy season. The trail is primarily one vehicle wide with some portions wide enough for passing oncoming traffic. Steep…
Total Miles
7.7
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Idyllwild Mountain Road

Beautiful trail overlooking the neighboring town of Banning and the surrounding mountains. The deserted mountain scape is chock-full of secluded camp spots with some wind cover and appears to occasionally be used for shooting. The…
Total Miles
7.3
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Black Mountain Road

This is an easy trail that most stock vehicles could tackle. There are some really beautiful views, and the high point is the lookout, which gives a breathtaking view of the sunset. There are 5…
Total Miles
5.1
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Black Mountain

This is a well-maintain fire road that takes you up to boulder basin group campsite. On the way there, you'll see some turns-outs for rock climbing and overlanding. During the winter months, trails may be…
Total Miles
10
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Su

Coyote Canyon

This is an out and back route that ends at a nice hike and small campground. Along the way, you'll encounter a small water crossing or two, depending on the time of year and rain.…
Total Miles
8.7
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Fa / Sp

Alder Creek Road - FSR 1n16

Starting in Highland, 1n16 is a fairly easy dirt road with some parts rutted out, but any 4x4 can make it through the trail easily. Many parts of the trail are single-vehicle wide, but there…
Total Miles
10.5
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Thomas Hunting Grounds

The Thomas Hunting Grounds Trail (1N12), often also referred to as the Morton Peak Trail, is an easy dirt road that takes you from the chaparral and shrubs of Mill Creek to the oaks and…
Total Miles
11.2
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Blair Valley

Take a scenic loop through the desert to see a significant archeological area. Hike a couple of short trails to see pictographs, Native American mortars and the remnants of an old desert homestead at the…
Total Miles
9.1
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Fa

1N09 City Creek Trail

A long overland trail with plenty of recreational activities such as site-specific shooting areas, yellow post campsites and creek crossings. This is a well-maintained dirt road with some minor ruts, rocks and shallow creek crossings.…
Total Miles
21.1
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

2N40 Cloudland Truck Trail

A short, but beautiful trail with great views of San Bernardino and the mountains beyond. It is doable in 2WD during dry conditions, but 4WD may be required when wet. Closures can occur during winter…
Total Miles
6.4
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Sheep Canyon

This is a very easy trail leading from Swarthout Canyon Road to Lytle Creek Road. No major obstacles, but the uphill portions can be a little slick. Street legal vehicles only.
Total Miles
2.1
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Pilot Rock Road

Total Miles
8.4
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi

Upper Lytle Creek Divide

The trail consists mainly of dirt, rocks, and some roots. It is wide enough for one vehicle, but there are turnouts for passing throughout the trail. Stock height 2WD SUV and truck type vehicles are…
Total Miles
7.3
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su

Pilot Rock OHV

Pilot Rock OHV offers spectacular views and water crossings along the hills near Silverwood Lake and Arrowhead Lake. Some of the surrounding cities include Lugo, Hesperia, and Apple Valley. It can take 1 to 4…
Total Miles
5.8
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Cleghorn Ridge

If you are a beginner looking to push your limits, this is a great route for you. You will follow along a ridge with great views of Silverwood Lake and have the option to dip…
Total Miles
14
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi

McCain Valley Road

Total Miles
13.7
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp

Willow Creek Road

Total Miles
6.2
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi

Sharpless Ranch

This is a simple trail that leads from Lone Pine Canyon Road to Upper Lytle Creek Divide. It is an easy trail that is just a fun little uphill or downhill trail depending on direction…
Total Miles
2.2
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Slade Canyon

This is a a fun, quick trail that leads you up into the mountains from the creek bed below. After heavy snowfall, ice could make for very dangerous conditions. If snow is present 4WD is…
Total Miles
2.6
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa