Pinyon Mountain Valley

Total Miles
30.0

Elevation

1,215.72 ft

Duration

5 Hours

Technical Rating

7

Difficult

Best Time

Fall, Winter, Spring

Trail Overview

Very scenic, long desert crossing with special challenges. (See rating below.) Entire trail is in beautiful Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. All vehicles must be street legal. Travel recommended west to east. Unique side trip into Sandstone Canyon (Trail #83, described separately). Take 1-mile hike to curious Wind Caves. At Wpt. 06, access difficult Broken Shaft Gulch to bottom of Diablo Dropoff.

Photos of Pinyon Mountain Valley

Pinyon Mountain Valley
Pinyon Mountain Valley
Pinyon Mountain Valley

Difficulty

Difficult: Much of this trail follows sandy washes, which are mostly easy with occasional moderate rocky sections. Two major obstacles, however, are for hard-core vehicles only. Wide vehicles can expect side damage getting through The Squeeze. Pinyon Dropoff is extremely steep. Avoid trail if rain is expected due to flash flood danger.

Technical Rating

7

Status Reports

Jason K.
Jan 14, 2024
4x4
Open
Normal
Dusty
Rough/Deteriorated
Great Fun, the trail was in good condition. We saw what appears to be less dirt, when compared to videos I saw from years ago, probably from all the storms from last year and a few from this year. Slight breeze kept the dust down on the first part of the trail. We did open the top a couple times until the dust on the later part of the trail was to much to bare. We do have the six speed manual and I only stalled three or four times on the trail. On Heart Attack Hill I had a great spotter and took it slowly using very little front brake (I used the hand brake and just stayed in 4-Low first gear if power was needed. It wasn’t bad at all. Overall great trail, however I won’t be scheduling another trip there any time soon.
Romain Laboisse
Oct 22, 2023
4x4
Open
Normal
Elvin Lai
Oct 22, 2023
4x4
Open
Christopher Skolnik
May 07, 2023
4x4
Open
Dusty

Access Description

From Scissors Crossing on Highway 78 between Julian and Ocotillo Wells, take Highway S2 south 4.4 miles. Turn left on sandy road in bushes immediately after large sign that says: Welcome to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Sign for trail says Pinyon Mountain Area (hidden in bushes).

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