35 Best Off Road Trails California 2022


Trails California: California is famous for its vast stretches of farmland as well as beautiful weather. 

From deserts to mountains You’re never far from an amazing trail. Explore these off-road trails California offers.

35 Best Off Road Trails California

If you’re seeking a moderate hike take a look at Pilot Rock OHV Trail in Cedarpines Park. It’s suitable for 2WD vehicles but it has some difficult sections away from the main trail. 

If you’re looking for something more challenging Try Signal Peak OHV Trail in which you’ll face a number of obstacles as well as some rocky terrains.

The 35 most popular off-road routes that we have found in California areas like:

  1. Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area
  2. Cleghorn Ridge OHV Road 2N47
  3. San Gabriel Canyon OHV
  4. Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area
  5. Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area
  6. Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area
  7. Prairie City OHV
  8. Metcalf Motorcycle County Park
  9. Miller Canyon OHV Trailering Site
  10. Stoddard Wells OHV Area
  11. South Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area
  12. Pilot Rock OHV Staging Area (2N33)
  13. La Grange OHV Regional Park
  14. 4×4 Practice Track
  15. Devils Hole OHV Trail 2W01
  16. Corral Canyon OHV Area
  17. Wildomar OHV
  18. Johnson Valley OHV
  19. Mammoth Bar OHV Area
  20. Hot Springs Mountain
  21. Otay Mountain: Minnewawa Truck Trail to Marron Valley Road
  22. Sardine Lakes
  23. Berdoo Canyon
  24. Old Coast Road
  25. Movie Road Trail
  26. Signal Peak OHV Trail
  27. Joshua Tree National Park Geology OHV Tour Road
  28. OHV Trail to Bodie Ghost Town
  29. Mount Watson Trail
  30. Valley of the Moon Trail
  31. Twin Peaks through Sawmill Pond OHV Trail
  32. Pio Pico Campground to Otay Mountain
  33. Painted Canyon Road
  34. Palomar Divide Road
  35. Canyon Sin Nombre

You won’t regret choosing California as your destination for the next off-roading adventure. 

The stunning weather, breathtaking landscape, and natural terrain contribute so many things to an off-road adventure. Take a look at these trails and off-road parks in California and prepare for your next adventure.

35 Best Off-Road Trails California

35 Best Off Road Trails California

1. Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area

Hollister Hills has the opportunity to ride 24 miles of off-road trails to explore. It’s perfect for beginner and experienced riders. 

The trails are well-marked, well-maintained with numerous challenges and hill climbs to take pleasure in.

It also offers a camping area with lots of facilities, as well as picnic areas. It’s first-come-first-served which means you don’t have to make reservations.

Upper Ranch Upper Ranch is primarily used for Jeep riding and motorcycle-related events. The ranch is open from 8 am until sunset. 

It’s open daily from 8:30 am to sunset. Lower Ranch is used primarily for ATVs and motorcycles. There’s even a mini-bike track. Lower Ranch is open from sunrise to sunset. Lower Ranch is open from sunrise until sunset.

2. Cleghorn Ridge OHV Road 2N47

Cleghorn Ridge is a great area for advanced and novice riders of all levels. There are numerous offshoots that can be challenging and places to explore. Many enjoy it in the rain when they can splash around in the puddles and mud.

Weekends can be very full of activity. Be sure to have a partner or an extra person to watch you, as the challenging trails can be hazardous for a person to walk on their own.

3. San Gabriel Canyon OHV

This off-road path offers 160 acres of rugged, sandy terrain for you to explore. Be careful because there are difficult parts. Be prepared for rivers, rocks as well as gravel, sand, and mud. It’s not big, but enjoyable.

San Gabriel is a beautiful area that has large canyons as well as an inland lake. It’s a wonderful spot to hang out with your family and friends as well as get to know other off-roaders.

It is important to note that there is an 8 charge per primary car. There is a fee of $5 for each additional vehicle.

4. Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area

With over 1300 acres of off-road terrain and more than 80 miles of trails that are rugged, Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area is an excellent place to explore. 

You can expect rocky terrain as well as steep hills and canyons when you walk through the eastern hills of Alameda. Explore the amazing views it has to offer.

There will be new challenges to overcome with every visit. The ideal time to visit is during a day or two following a light drizzle. 

Otherwise, it’s mostly hard and sandy in the summer. There are some fantastic mountains to climb, and trails marked, ranging in difficulty from the green variety to diamond difficulty.

5. Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area

This is an excellent region with plenty of trails that can be enjoyed for long periods of time. Hungry Valley offers more than 130 miles of trails suitable for Jeeps motorbikes, ATVs Dune buggies, dune buggies, as well as 4×4 vehicles.

Visit during the fall and spring as rain aids in the traction and helps keep the dust to a minimum. 

There are trails suitable for both novices and experienced hikers. For those who are just beginning you can go to the Native Grassland Management area, which offers easy, scenic trails. 

For more advanced riders, they can take to the backcountry areas where they’ll come across hills and sand-washes.

There’s a lot to discover in this area, so it’s a good idea to carry an itinerary. Also, rangers are available who can help you find your way. On weekends, it can be very packed, but it’s worth the effort.

 Vehicular Recreation Area

6. Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area

Ocotillo Wells is a fantastic area to explore off-roading. It’s a huge desert with over 85,000 acres of land to explore.

It accommodates all levels of experience. Try your skills off-road by visiting one of the numerous locations it has including Devil’s Slide. Also, you can enjoy camping in open areas.

7. Prairie City OHV

It is a great sporting activity, and you can barbecue and enjoy the outdoors. Prairie City OHV area offers excellent trails for novices and experienced riders. 

Pick from a variety of terrains and you can expect the rolling hills and oak trees, wide grasslands, and stunning landscape.

It’s a great spot to take the whole family for the day of playing on the dirt. There are plenty of options to pick from with the car you own, such as ATVs, trucks, Jeeps dirt bikes, and many more.

8. Metcalf Motorcycle County Park

Metcalf Motorcycle County Park, located in the southeast of Santa Clara Valley, offers 17 miles of trails that are dirt to explore. There are areas available for advanced and beginner riders. There are also tracks for motocross as well as picnic areas as well as bathroom facilities.

The park is open from Thursday until Monday. All users of OHV must wear helmets that are DOT-approved.

9. Miller Canyon OHV Trailering Site

Miller Canyon is an excellent area to explore off-road. The trails are well-maintained and provide various degrees of challenge. Weekends are extremely packed, so you might prefer the weekday.

It’s also a wonderful place to camp or take a picnic. You can enjoy the views and the pleasant guests.

10. Stoddard Wells OHV Area

Its Southern California off-road trails in this region offer the chance to experience a variety of landscapes. It is characterized by open valleys, rolling hills as well as steep climbs, and mountain peaks that are rocky. 

It’s the perfect spot to escape from the hustle and bustle and get outdoors. Camping is also an option.

A majority of visitors are using four-wheel-drive vehicles, ATVs UTVs, motorcycles, and ATVs. There are many areas to explore, including an eatery to take in. The terrain is extremely difficult to navigate in certain areas, particularly close to Hodge road.

It’s an excellent spot to enjoy this desert area without Sand dunes. Be aware of big vehicles and riders who are coming from the opposite direction.

11. South Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area

South Cow Mountain offers 23,000 acres of land that is open to the use of OHVs. You can enjoy the scenic views while you travel through your way through the Mayacamas Mountains. 

The trails are marked with difficulty ratings and car suggestions. The dirt road in the vicinity of the Red Mountain campground can be challenging so ensure you’ve got an SUV.

It’s also a great location to camp, with lots of amenities. They’re well maintained and well-loved by tourists.

12. Pilot Rock OHV Staging Area (2N33)

This 12.6-mile trail that runs through Cedarpines Park is accessible year-round. There are numerous routes you can explore that range from simple to strenuous. 

This washed-out region can become rough as well as muddy and strenuous. It can be accessed with a 2WD vehicle, however many of the side trails require requirements for 4WD.

This is an excellent spot to get off the beaten path and bring your family together to enjoy the great outdoors. The hike is short and could take two hours to walk. It’s easy to get on and has stunning views.

13. La Grange OHV Regional Park

La Grange offers 147 acres of fun to explore. It’s a favorite region that has trails loops, mud bogs as well hill climbs as well as play zones. 

The west-facing park features four tracks, with designated areas for motorcycles as well as ATVs. The east portion is a non-directional zone with rugged terrain that is suitable for vehicles with 4×4 capabilities.

There are plenty of things to keep riders entertained at all levels. The park is accessible every day, all year long. There are campsites, BBQ areas, picnic tables, and restrooms.

14. 4×4 Practice Track

The 4×4 Practice Track is an excellent place to spend an off-road weekend with your vehicle to enjoy some riding and test your suspension. Test the off-road ability of your vehicle by using the eight created by humans features. 

Their tracks mimic the backcountry of California, with high and rocky terrain. There’s plenty of room and an experience for all levels.

15. Devils Hole OHV Trail 2W01

This is a fantastic trail with steep hills and stunning views. It’s not an easy off-road route. 

You’ll require the clearance of a 4WD to travel down and then back up. There are loose rocks which make it challenging, but it is also fun.

There’s also a tiny lake, ideal to have a picnic. A big vehicle is not recommended for getting there as it’s quite rough and steep. Instead, park at the top and then hike down. You can also do it using either an ATV or UTV.

16. Corral Canyon OHV Area

With more than 51 miles of off-road trails, the Corral Canyon Off-Road OHV Area is perfect for Jeeps dirt bikes, trucks, quads, and side-by-side. The trails range from beginner to expert. 

If you’re looking to test your car then take a trip and adventure on some of these black diamond tracks.

There are OHV markers throughout the region. They contain vehicles’ recommendations, difficulties, and system numbers for the map.

17. Wildomar OHV

Wildomar OHV offers 8 miles of trails for you to explore that range from simple to difficult. It’s open all year round and accessible via South Main Divide Road.

It covers 360 acres and has campgrounds close to OHV routes. A valid Adventure Pass is required. Red or green stickers should be visible on all non-street-legal vehicles. street-legal vehicles.

18. Johnson Valley OHV

Johnson valley is an amazing location to ride in, with various terrains to pick from. Take in the desert scenery with the rolling hills, rocky mountains, and the open valley. There are dry lake beds as well as sandy washes that you can test your vehicle on.

Sleep under the stars, or take the RV you have to their campgrounds. Off-road vehicles should have a safety flag and the riders are required to wear helmets.

Mammoth Bar OHV Area

19. Mammoth Bar OHV Area

Mammoth Bar, OHV Area north of Sacramento provides stunning landscapes with wildlife, as well as places to explore. 

There’s a variety of trails, including steep hills and challenging terrain. Be aware of your limitations and only ride on trails marked for your use. There are facilities like barbecues and picnic tables.

20. Hot Springs Mountain

The 9.5-mile route is an OHV trail that is dog-friendly and is home to a variety of wildflowers, rare wildlife, and rare wildflowers. 

This trail close to Warner Springs is open all year round and boasts an elevation increase of 720m. Hot Springs Mountain is relatively difficult, however, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views and fantastic places to hike.

21. Otay Mountain: Minnewawa Truck Trail to Marron Valley Road

This 13.8-mile point-to-point route close to Dulzura, California, is an exciting area in which you can hike and mountain biking, as well as running, or off-road driving. 

It is a climb of 936 meters and has breathtaking views. Don’t let this trail deceive you by its easy 4WD side trails. It is an easy to difficult hike.

22. Sardine Lakes

A popular choice popular among Californians The moderate trail for 4x4s located within Sierra City offers astounding views of the mountains of sandstone. 

It’s a 1.8-mile beautiful drive that’s available this time of year, this beautiful trail is filled with options like snowshoeing, mountain biking, fishing as well as hiking, and other things!

This unique trail, along with numerous others, is dog-friendly as well. If you’re lucky, you might witness the waterfall at Sardine Lakes.

23. Berdoo Canyon

If you’re in search of an easy-to-moderate desert trail, then look no further as this 24.3-mile point-to-point trail is open year-round. 

In addition to being one of the top California off-road trails, you can also climb, mountain bike, and bird watch, and take in the trails to take in the views. Be aware that this trail is not suitable for pets.

24. Old Coast Road

In close proximity to Carmel, California, is Carmel, California. It is a 10.1-mile point-to-point trail. It is open year-round. 

It is a great wildlife sanctuary, as well as the nearby forest. Be aware that vehicles with high clearance are required.

25. Movie Road Trail

The home of Alabama Hills Recreational Area, this trail is well-loved by many. It has a 17-mile loop located in Lone Pine, California, the trail is classified as moderate. 

There is no need to have a 4WD in some areas, but you might not be able to travel far enough into the backroads. There is no need for a 4WD for certain regions, but you might not be able to go too far into back roads. 

The roads are broad and easy for off-road vehicles to travel however there are some bumpy places.

26. Signal Peak OHV Trail

This 11.1-mile point-to-point trail in Soda Springs rewards you with stunning views. It’s considered to be difficult, with an uphill slope with loose rocks, so be sure to use be cautious.

Due to this, cars with more tires and more lifts are advised. Signal Peak is a great location for off-roading with little traffic.

27. Joshua Tree National Park Geology OHV Tour Road

One of California’s most stunning routes, the 17 miles one close to Twentynine Palms, California, is a great off-road ride with breathtaking views of wildlife. 

A rugged loop of the road, this OHV route has an elevation of 483 meters and is open year-round.

28. OHV Trail to Bodie Ghost Town

This point-to-point, the moderately-busy trail is mostly popular for its off-road driving opportunities. 

The trail is situated close to Bridgeport, California, this off-road route has a beautiful lake, and should be visited from May through November. It’s a historical site also.

29. Mount Watson Trail

Another off-road trail that features a lake within Tahoe City is Mount Watson Trail. The 25.4-mile out-and-back trail is classified as moderate, and it is partially pavement. 

It is a great place for exciting activities such as nature walks or bird watching as well as walking, this trail offers many trails that are side. It’s worth noting that it’s ideal to ride at dusk.

30. Valley of the Moon Trail

The trail is located in the Jacumba Wilderness, Valley of the Moon trail is an easy out-and-back trail in California with a myriad of exciting activities. 

It is also one to be included in the books as at its conclusion, you will find the Elliot Mine sitting on top of The Peak.

31. Twin Peaks through Sawmill Pond OHV Trail

A short 3-mile trail within South Lake Tahoe, Twin Peaks is the best trail to take advantage of during a day of running as well as hiking, or off-road driving. 

It’s a little rough when compared to other trails but offers stunning views.

32. Pio Pico Campground to Otay Mountain

Beautiful wildflowers can be found here This 12.4-mile trail that is located in Jamul is sure to delight visitors with its natural beauty and exciting activities. 

It is classified as a moderate trail known for its off-road drive, this trail is open all year round. Pets are allowed but must be on the leash.

33. Painted Canyon Road

If you’re looking for a beautiful drive and a beautiful view, the 9.4-mile trail is for you. The trail is rated moderate, making it suitable for people of all levels. Painted Canyon Road is accessible all year round.

34. Palomar Divide Road

A 25.1-mile point-to-point trail that runs through Aguanga, California, Palomar Divide Road will never let you down with its abundant wildflowers or a variety of outdoor activities.

35. Canyon Sin Nombre

Explore this off-road route located in Ocotillo, California. This 8.4-km out-and-back trail is ideal for those who want to take the 4×4 to enjoy an adventurous day.

Most popular from November to April The off-road drive site might be small however it’s brimming with stunning views of mud formations as well as thrilling slot canyons. Be sure to bring an automobile with sufficient ground clearance.

Conclusion – Off-Road Trails California

What are the top 35 trail systems for off-roading in California? In a nutshell the list, here are the 35 trails:

  1. Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area
  2. Cleghorn Ridge OHV Road 2N47
  3. San Gabriel Canyon OHV
  4. Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area
  5. Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area
  6. Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area
  7. Prairie City OHV
  8. Metcalf Motorcycle County Park
  9. Miller Canyon OHV Trailering Site
  10. Stoddard Wells OHV Area
  11. South Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area
  12. Pilot Rock OHV Staging Area (2N33)
  13. La Grange OHV Regional Park
  14. 4×4 Practice Track
  15. Devils Hole OHV Trail 2W01
  16. Corral Canyon OHV Area
  17. Wildomar OHV
  18. Johnson Valley OHV
  19. Mammoth Bar OHV Area
  20. Hot Springs Mountain
  21. Otay Mountain: Minnewawa Truck Trail to Marron Valley Road
  22. Sardine Lakes
  23. Berdoo Canyon
  24. Old Coast Road
  25. Movie Road Trail
  26. Signal Peak OHV Trail
  27. Joshua Tree National Park Geology OHV Tour Road
  28. OHV Trail to Bodie Ghost Town
  29. Mount Watson Trail
  30. Valley of the Moon Trail
  31. Twin Peaks through Sawmill Pond OHV Trail
  32. Pio Pico Campground to Otay Mountain
  33. Painted Canyon Road
  34. Palomar Divide Road
  35. Canyon Sin Nombre

Sunny California offers many exciting off-road regions to explore. Like always, it’s the best state for beach activities as well as outdoor pursuits. Off-roading isn’t an instance! 

From the high Sierra Mountain trails, tranquil lakes in Tahoe to scenic roads that span to the Pacific, California is indeed an untapped treasure trove of off-road trails and parks throughout the entire country.

Where can you go off roading in California?

Off-road enthusiasts can discover trails between the mountains and the desert, which will make them want to be lost in the wilderness ….
The following are top ten spots within Southern California from most to least cool for those who love motors to discover.

  • Ocotillo Wells, Ca – …
  • Pioneertown, Ca. 
  • Miller Canyon, Ca. 
  • Johnson Valley, Ca. 
  • Mammoth, Ca. 
  • Calico, Ca.

Are quads street legal in California?

In general, ATVs and side by sides are not allowed in California highways, which includes streets. The only exceptions include: You can cross a street with two lanes at an angle of around 90 degrees. You can cross a street that is more than two lanes, only if this crossing is authorized by the appropriate signs.

Where can I drive my UTV in California?

The Top 10 ATV and UTV Trails in California
  • Cleghorn OHV Trail.
  • Dumont Dunes.
  • Hollister Hills SVRA.
  • Hungry Valley SVRA.
  • Jawbone Canyon.
  • Johnson Valley OHV Area.
  • Miller Canyon.
  • Ocotillo Wells SVRA.

Are razors street legal in California?

Registered. To be eligible for registration on the highway 1978 year model and later off-highway vehicles that have engines at 50 cubic centimetres (cc) or more must have an emission tag affixed to the car, indicating the certification of the manufacturer for use on the highway.

Do you need a license to ride a dirt bike off road in California?

If you operate it on land that is open and accessible to the general public to enjoy OHV riding, whether privately or publically operated, it must have either a license for highways or an OHV ID sticker issued by the DMV. The OHV stickers are “Green Stickers,” “Red Stickers,” and California Nonresident OHV Use Permits.

Can you make a side by side street legal in California?

It was odd since I’d not realized that one could operate a UTV as a street-legal car in California. … UTVs and Side-by sides are considered an off-highway vehicles, are not compliant with requirements for emission standards on highways, and are not registered as vehicles on streets…

Can you ride a 2 stroke in California?

Two-stroke engines have not been “banned” for use on all waterways in California, and there aren’t any plans to ban them. Electronic injection and carbureted two-stroke engines are classified as high emission engines. They were made before 1999.

Are dune buggies street legal in California?

In California, Dune buggies are classified as off-highway recreational vehicles.

Can you drive a Polaris on the road in California?

You won’t be able to have your RZR registered within California unless you manage to write it as a vehicle that is specially designed and requires an inspection with a lightweight brake at a minimum from CHP. The biggest issue you’ll encounter is that the DMV is aware of the CARB label that states it is safe for use on roads.

Are 2 stroke dirt bikes banned in California?

From around 2022 and going on to 2023 and in 2022 and beyond, two-stroke bikes will be taken out of the marketplace.

Do you need a license to drive an ATV in California?

Drivers do not require authorization to use ATVs. Also, it is not necessary for ATV owners to sign up, get license plates, or buy insurance.

Trails California FAQ

1. Are Trails in California open?

In Southern California’s national forests, most trails and natural spaces are accessible. Some areas were closed due to overcrowding from the pandemic.

2. Can you go hiking in California during Covid?

California recognizes the importance of outdoor activities for mental and physical well-being during the difficult time of COVID-19. Due to wildfire impacts, COVID-19, and other issues, some units and groups’ campsites are still closed.

3. Are campsites open in California?

State Parks has reopened most campground sites in the State Park System since the lifting of the Regional Stay at Home Order.

4. Can you camp for free in California?

You can find free camping in California on USFS property. Some of the best spots are found by driving down a dirt road with cattle guards until you reach a pull-out.  They also segregate national parks from national forest and distinguish between 4WD- and paved roads.

5. Is backpacking allowed in California?

Campers must always have their Backcountry Permit. Only camp in designated areas and only at your assigned trail camp. Maximum campsite occupancy is six people. A guardian must accompany campers younger than 18 years old.

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