Jawbone to Lake Isabella

Total Miles


2,486.79 ft


5 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

Long scenic route crosses sprawling high desert from Jawbone OHV Area, climbs above 8,000 feet across the Piute Mountain Range inside Sequoia National Forest, then descends quickly to Lake Isabella. Vast areas of dispersed camping with open riding around Jawbone Station. No greensticker vehicles allowed on Jawbone Canyon Road. Although Forest Road 27S02 is open to green-sticker vehicles, we don't recommend riding here.

Photos of Jawbone to Lake Isabella

Jawbone to Lake Isabella
Jawbone to Lake Isabella
Jawbone to Lake Isabella


Easy: We found the road well graded the entire way, but be prepared for ruts and washed-out sections on steep grades. Winter snows may close the road for brief periods at higher elevations. Mud possible in spring.


The rusty teepee-like structure you encounter on this trip was used to burn mill waste for a saw mill located nearby. At one time you could find these odd structures all over California. The Clear Air Act 1970 did away with their use and by 1980 all were shut down. Please respect the structure and take only pictures.

Technical Rating


Status Reports

Alberto Gómez
May 23, 2024
1988 Jeep Wrangler
Mud ruts are still present, just south of the incinerator. There is a side trail folks have made to get around this muddy mess. I went East towards Sorrel Peak, so I don't know how the rest of the road looks heading N/NW towards Bodfish. It may still have patches of snow on the North face of Piute Mtn.
Nathaniel Mcfadden
May 10, 2024
Temporarily Closed
Closed Gate
Ryan Anderson
May 04, 2024
Deep Snow
Jawbone to Claraville was fine, some deep mud before the teepee, nothing a 4x4 can’t handle. Road past Claraville was blocked with trucks stuck in the melting snow/mud. Trail was backed up & we were warned about the situation by groups that had turned around. From the T intersection at Claraville we were able to drop down the eastern side into Sugarland. It was an easy route.
Sharon Moore
May 01, 2024
We encountered a very muddy section near the pictured ruin (old incinerator?) that the Subaru in our group could not get through. It is south of the intersection with Piute Mountain Road/Claraville. We were planning a hike to Weldon Peak but could not get there. 4x4s with good mud tires might get through.

Access Description

From town of Mojave, take Hwy. 14 northeast about 19 miles and turn left on Jawbone Canyon Rd. Continue west 4.9 miles to SC176 on right just before distinctive Blue Point.

Popular Trails