Beginner Off-Road Trails Near Palm Desert, California

Berdoo Canyon Road

This is a fantastic trail that can be run in either direction. The trail is relatively easy, but there are a few obstacles that can give you trouble if you don't have enough clearance and…
Total Miles
23
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Eureka Peak

This trail takes you to Eureka Peak, which is a mountain top viewpoint allowing you to have a 360-degree view of the area from a high elevation. There are hiking trails throughout this area and…
Total Miles
8.6
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

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

Geology Tour Road

Geology Tour Road leads through Pleasant Valley in Joshua Tree National Park. It's a dirt and sand road meant to discover different geological features with points of interest along the way. There are hiking trails…
Total Miles
7.3
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

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

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

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

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

Fonts Point

Total Miles
4.1
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Fa / Wi / Sp

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

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

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

SR2013 Red Canyon Jeep Trail

Right off the 10 Freeway just South of Joshua Tree National Park is the Red Canyon Jeep Trail. A 13-mile trail that winds its way through the mountains into the Bradshaw Trail. The trail is…
Total Miles
12.5
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Fa / Wi

Smarts Ranch 3N03

This is a less often traveled trail close to Burns Canyon and 18. Although there are not any vistas, there are a few points to stop and enjoy the solitude. The section closest to Burns…
Total Miles
7.1
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Bradshaw's Trail

Bradshaw's Trail is roughly a 70-mile-long trail stretching from Blythe, CA, to the eastern side of the Salton Sea. The trail runs east to west although it can be traveled from either end, and goes…
Total Miles
66.9
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Fa / Wi

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

Ocotillo to Train Bridge

Leaving Highway 78 the wash is large and wide enough for a few cars as you get further into the trail the wash tightens up and becomes wide enough for 1 car. The wash turns…
Total Miles
14.2
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Fa / Sp

Oriflamme Canyon Loop

This trail starts and ends in Banner and loops around Chariot Mountain and goes into the Oriflamme Canyon. The trail is open to all types of 4x4s and dirt bikes, although the entrance through Banner…
Total Miles
14
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

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

Parachute Landing

Parachute Landing is an unmaintained paved road and beach trail leading to a decommissioned Naval Auxiliary Air Station. A non-technical but eroding road with sand drifts turns into a dirt path, eventually terminating at the…
Total Miles
4.5
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Fa / Wi

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

Olla Wash

This is an out and back trail that splits of from Fish Creek wash in the Sandstone Canyon area of Anza Borrego State Park. Just before the end of the trail, there is a small…
Total Miles
1.8
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Fa / Wi

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

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

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

McCain Valley Road

Total Miles
13
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Coxey Road

Nice, easy going, wide sandy trail connecting other great OHV roads. The trail runs from Grapevine Canyon Road to Bowen Ranch Road. Look for the sign for 3N14 off Grapevine Canyon Road to start the…
Total Miles
6.9
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Willow Creek Road

Total Miles
6.2
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Sp / Su / Fa

Ride to the Fish Pond

This trail is very easy, on this ride you'll see great views of the Orb Mountains and enjoy a great ride through easy terrain. At the final destination, you will find an old water trough…
Total Miles
8.9
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Fa / Wi / Sp

Psycho Ranch Turnout

This trail tears off from the main route of Coxey into the hills. There are a few singletrack turnoffs for those looking for some adventure. There were no natural camping spots noticed on this route.…
Total Miles
1.4
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Fa / Sp