Explore 4x4 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Some awesome off road jaunts

4x4 Map

Camped overnight to take pictures of the Perseids meteor shower and drove through on the way out of JT in the morning.

Did the full loop; trail had bad wash-boarding/ really bumpy at the beginning for a quite a while. The trail was mostly sand and some loose rock. Views were nice and only saw one other car on the trail.

Fun to drive, easy road, can be muddy and can be sandy.

The tour is beautiful! Snakes back through rock formations. I wouldn't advise anyone going not in 4x4, despite the other reviews. Digging yourself out of the sand would be a huge bummer in 105° weather.

We did it in a factory 2018 Tacoma (9.4 inch lift). Two rock crawling sections, everything else was sand. Probably took us just short of 2 hours and was gorgeous. We did the Berdoo Canyon add on as well.

Drove this in a base model Discovery Sport with factory all season tires and did not need to take it out of highway mode. Saw no other cars. Maybe due to the 100 degree temperatures. Made sure to get the 2 page print out from the visitors centre. The marker posts are often difficult to spot.

Easy trail, have done this several times in a Sierra 2500 Z71, 3” lift and 33x10.5 Ko2s. Only time I have ever needed 4 high was when it had lightly rained the morning of, and at that i could have probably just picked a better line and got through it with rear locked but 4x4 was easier.

Great trail. Didn't need the 4 wheel drive. Not very crowded. Only saw a couple vehicles. Great views of rocks and was able to stop at a few and get out and walk around.

off road driving
5 months ago

Very easy trail with some tight spots thanks to some fallen trees. I took my stock Jeep renegade and had no problems. Some pretty waterfalls and great views.

nice views

off road driving
7 months ago

Great way to see Death Valley from off the paved main road which means no crowds of vehicles either slowing you or blocking your view. This time the road was in excellent condition to where any vehicle could make the whole road, however this has not been the case in the past. There are many spurs off this road to get into canyons or go to mines. We took the Warm Springs Canyon spur to the Geologist's Cabin (22 miles one way) and the Queen of Sheba Mine Road spur (4 miles one way). The Warm Springs Canyon spur gets very rough and rocky right about the time you get to Warm Springs Camp, some high clearance needed to continue on. The Queen of Sheba Mine Road spur is a jeep trail, super rocky, high clearance and some experience navigating your tires is a must.

This is one of my backyard trails. There's wind, some Poison Oak, some reliable water sources, excellent trail angels, and a few water caches that are well maintained. Check the water report at pctwater.net for the most up-to-date information. See you on trail.

off road driving
8 months ago

This was a fun ride that we wanted to do again recently and we were very disappointed to see it closed.
I don't know why that's the case but hopefully it'll reopen at some stage.

Easy trail out and back via a 4WD in the loop portion. 2WD would be ok if higher clearance vehicle. Family sedan would be too low for some rocky portions. Nice to get away from the crowds!

on Miami Trail

off road driving
9 months ago

The Forestry Service has done an awesome job keeping the trail maintained. Ran through some of the trails off of the main loop in a Jeep JK before heading to Yosemite and had a blast.

Geology road tour was in great condition. Some spots had washboard, but nothing terrible. Views were excellent, didn’t manage to grab a map with the description of the markers so we made up our own description. Next time will grab the map. I agree with the previous comments: The signs say 4 wheel drive only, but really it is not needed. Did this in a stock 14 Subaru Forester and had no issues.

off road driving
Monday, October 02, 2017

West Side Road is a good way to experience the floor of Death Valley in relative seclusion. It also grants access to some areas you can't get to from the main paved road. The road is wide and easy, though rocky and heavily washboarded. However, the road is in Death Valley National Park, and traverses the valley floor where the park reaches its hottest temps, so be prepared to take care of yourself in the event of an emergency. There is no cell service, low likelihood of traffic coming by, and potentially dangerous temperatures many times of the year. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend any solo off-road exploration in the low elevations of DVNP during the summer months and definitely don't go without a lot of extra water just in case. The danger here comes not so much from the conditions of the road (as long as you're expecting a back country desert road), but the remoteness of the location and the extreme environment.

off road driving
Friday, July 21, 2017

West Side Road allows you to drive right through the salt flats, it's a pretty cool experience. But please, STAY ON THE ROAD. Please be respectful of the natural beauty of the flats and don't be that guy and drive off the designated road.

The road transitions between sand and rock with a few washouts. While 4wd is recommended, it is not required. I would say high clearance is mandatory, and I recommend airing down your tires, going with a group, and bringing plenty of water. It was around 120 degrees when we went and we didn't see a single person out there, or a park ranger for that matter.

off road driving
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sweet way to get away from the crowds. Trail is doable in a 2wd.

Got it class of 2017. Night hike the aqua duct section during a full moon. I highly recommend.

off road driving
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Can easily run this in a decent pick up or AWD Subaru. No flyers available but the scenery is gorgeous regardless. Took it to the trail head for Berdoo Canyon.

off road driving
Saturday, April 01, 2017

Pretty easy trails. Area is huge. Lots of trails with dead ends. Definitely needs to turn on 4x4 at some places. The places without 4x4 gets kind of boring after awhile. No modification needed, I went through with my stock trd off road 4x4 without a problem. Watch out for dirty bikers!

off road driving
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Beautiful trail, perfect for exploring many unique landscapes in JTNP. The 4x4 section of the trail is quite easy, with a couple of potential sandy/muddy spots depending on the road's condition, but nothing that requires a huge amount of technical skill. TIP: Pick up the free guide at the Visitor Center so you can learn about the various geological landmarks along the route.

scenic driving
Friday, February 10, 2017

Sunrise over the Mojave. Absolute must. The road was completely desolate. I parked and just listened to the silence.

heaven on earth

bumpy and fun

off road driving
Friday, June 03, 2016

This is a fun little drive for anyone who wants to get off the main paved roads and away from the bigger crowds in Joshua Tree. I took my Jeep on this road and had an awesome time. Some of the number markers for the self-guided tour pamphlet were either hard to read or missing, but if you read the literature and pay attention to the landscape, you can figure out what they are talking about in the various places, and learn some cool things along the way. Fun drive, highly recommended :)

Geology Tour Road is an unpaved road in Joshua Tree National Park. Dogs are permitted on unpaved roads but not trails, so this is a great spot to take a dog.

Monday, November 23, 2015

CLOSED as of 11/20/2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Great to get here early, to get pictures of the sunrise, and of the mountains.

off road driving
Monday, June 23, 2014

West Side Road is NOT paved--repeat--it is NOT paved. This is important to know because the conditions of unpaved roads throughout Death Valley can change, here, based on rain because portions of the road can get washed out. Also, before even thinking about taking this road, be sure you have plenty of water in your car because if anything happens to your car, it can get pretty hot out there and this road is not patrolled by park rangers very often (if at all???). Heck, I've seen more coyotes than anything else on this road. Why take it? Well, you might want to just get a different feel for Death Valley. You can take this road by catching it on Highway 190 (in Death Valley) just south of Furnace Creek and pretty much near where Artists Drive meets Badwater Road. West Side Road then runs south along the valley floor for about 40 miles. From this road you can access some other canyons to the west along the Paniment Range--but again, be sure you can change a tire and have plenty of water. Once you're on this 40-mile road, you can't get off it other than to meet up with Highway 190 further south. (We like to take West Side Road on our way back to Las Vegas as we're leaving Death Valley--makes it fun, and we count the coyotes along the way. Not recommended for families with a car full of young kids--there's just nothing out there except rocks!

rock climbing
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The road was a little bumpy this year. We rode in a small compact car, so it wasn't very fun. However, you get a great view of the valley. Lots of cool rocks to boulder as well. If you want to go bouldering, the geology tour is a great place to go. The boulders go really high.

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