Beginner Offroad Trails Near San Diego

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

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

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

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

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

McCain Valley Road

Total Miles
13.7
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp

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

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

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

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

Laguna Hanson Route

This is the general route through the Sierra Juarez mountains in Baja, California that accesses Laguna Hanson and the Parque Nacional Constitucion de 1857. This is a relatively easy dirt road but can get muddy…
Total Miles
61.5
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Su / Fa

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

Fonts Point

Total Miles
4.1
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canyon de Guadalupe High Road

When this road through the lake bed is wet and muddy, this is the safe route to access the Canyon de Guadalupe Hot Springs. It is long and bumpy, so it's wise to air down…
Total Miles
32.5
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / 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

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

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

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

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

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