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

Desert bikepacking Map
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Great hike for sure, fir being right off the 5 highway you only notice it in view. Loved dome of the areas that challenged you up some decently steep grades. Even areas that have nice mature old Oak trees along the route. I went on a Monday mid morning and only passed a few people. The trail connects to others if you want to make it closer to a 6.5 mile hike.

I think it is important to note that this trail is in the Agua Caliente Indian Canyons (https://www.indian-canyons.com/indian_canyons), and not in the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument as it is currently noted here (as of 12/10/2018). There is a fee schedule per person (not per car) to get into this park, but the price is WELL WORTH IT!

Great hike. Took the family including our little who is only 2 but even she enjoyed it! There are some steep banks and you gain decent elevation throughout but all in all this has been one of my favorite hikes in LA.

Had a great hike! Start a bit later (around 10am) and the weather was perfect. We hiked the loop counter clockwise (which I recommend as most folks seem to be going clockwise). There are many lookouts just before the summit over Santa Clarita - if you keep going you'll get to what is the 'actual' summit on the trail, but there is a side trail on the right that loops around and takes you to the spine of the ridge up to an actual summit. Lookouts from up there are great! It also seems like that used to be a maintained trail but no longer is (it keeps going to other summits nearby). With that extra spur we clocked around 7.2 miles and were back to the car by 1pm.

off road driving
17 days ago

First time driving my wrangler off road and it was well worth it! Awesome views of Lake Silverwood. Not too bad if you’re a newbie but there are some more challenging off shoots if you’re brave!

hiking
21 days ago

**WARNING**

Hiked on 11/25/18, parked in the dirt parking lot on the right and someone tried to break into my car. They busted both driver and trunk keyholes but thankfully weren't able to get in. I didn't have any valuables in my car that might tempt someone so be aware of leaving your car in the free parking lot.


Hike itself was enjoyable but I wouldn't want to risk my car getting broken into.

Kickass hike, tar pits, just an all around amazing trail with great scenery and awesome for picture taking

hiking
1 month ago

Very good and very challenging hike. Some steep cliffs with long drops; watch where you step! The ascent wasn’t too tough but the descent down the winter creek trail was brutal; bring poles if you have them. Was bothered by bugs at times but not overwhelming. Would hike again!

very fun, with beautiful views and scenery that you would never realize exist in the desert area. the last quarter mile of Bradford Ridge section is very sketchy make sure you have proper shoes. Children not advised, take plenty of food and water as this Lube can take upwards of 7 hours to complete. Not recommended in the summer.

Awesome 15 miles hike!!!

15 miles! Great hike

Awesome loop hike. Bugs were really bad. I had to hike with a head net from strutevant camp to the summit. My GPS had me at 15.7 miles.

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail with some nice canyon splitting. There are numerous tar pits at the beginning of the trail. There is quite a bit of wildlife as well. Very moderate hike with only a small section with some grade to it

Wow what a butt kicker...Beautiful trail. Took the lower trail out ( this is the trail from the lower parking lot. It was shaded almost all the way to the top of Mt Wilson. I didn’t run into any bugs not even at the top. Up to the camp the trail is pretty moderate after that it’s all incline and you will feel it. We arrived around 6:15 am and there was only about 4 parking spots left. Not sure about the overflow parking. On the weekends there is a cafe open at the top of Mt Wilson and there are restrooms as well.

off road driving
3 months ago

Beautiful views. Lightweight fire road with more aggressive off-shoots all along the main road.

Seriously, don’t hike this trail. Hiking west from the top of Brown Mountain and going down the ridge there is no discernible trail and had to bushwhack down 2k of intense brush. If you do want to go to the top of Brown Mountain approach from the East and turn back around and go back the way you came.

Just did this one for the first time this morning, and I have to say it is by far one of the most intriguing hikes I've done. My friend and I started from the east end and worked up and down to the west end, where we found a BUNCH of tar pits!! I could even smell a hot spring somewhere, but I could not find it. After the tar pits is a very small interesting canyon with beautiful rock formations. I was very fascinated by them because some of them have a white substance all over them - I wonder if it's calcium or salt - and the striations are vertical as opposed to horizontal. There are also lots and lots of holes in the rocks which makes me believe at one point these rocks were submerged in water. All in all, it is not only a very beautiful hike, but a very educational one. I recommend it to everyone, even beginner hikers because even though it is a very challenging hike, the sights are well worth it!

off road driving
3 months ago

This was my first trail jeeping (noob), 11 Rubicon 4 inch lift on 35s. for the most part this trail has a main fire road that is mostly flat dirt with a steady incline and you have the option to go on the more difficult climbs. i went off the map provided on the app and as i said the first 2/3 of the trail had the options to do difficult climbs but the last third of the trail had me sweating bullets because there is no turning back and it gets eaven more difficult, reguardless i had lots of fun and was a great first learning experience. I would had felt more comfortable if i had another vehicle with me as there is no way to winch yourself out. also the map provided is wrong, there is no looparound trail , at tge top 3 tabs (Reviews, photos, recordings) go to recordings and user "back light" posted tge correct map trail.

Gorgeous

Beautiful hiking trails, good for family and pets.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike and well shaded. I started at the bottom at Freeman grove off of Lloyd Meadow Rd and hiked up then came back down. There is a great rock about 1.25 miles from the top near one of the bridges that overlooks the creek that is a perfect place to stop for lunch.

The area where you can hike through the flowers was closed :(

First hike for the Six Pack of Peaks challenge and I loved it. Went on a Wednesday and only saw 3 people the entire hike. The trailhead to go back down is kinda hidden, once you are in big parking lot look to the right. Would for sure do again!

I did this yesterday and it was very enjoyable. First the parking was super packed at 9:30am already. I did I two round in the lots then I was trying to find on the road and there was a nice guy pointing at his car that he’s leaving! Thank you sir!!

Anyway if I didn’t know about the trail, I would be sure to get lost. So you should check where the trail sprit. And like everyone said here it’s not 12 miles. It’s more like 16miles. (My phone die on the way coming down, so there is no accuracy but I was glad that I made it to parking lot) Last couple of miles going up was tough. I kept stopping and looking up when this uphill/switchback end.

I finished my entire 1.5l water going up so make sure you have enough water and snack to refill.
Cosmic cafe save my life on summit.

Going down from summit was confusing. There is no sign going down. I had to walk around the parking lot and observatory gate. There is a trail in the middle of parking lot. But again no sign!

Downhill was easy but sandy and easy to slide so be careful. At the white creek ? Trail sprit and I had no strength to go uphill at the beginning of trail, so I went right to chantry flat for another 3 miles.

Going up and down, there is plenty of gnat and mosquitoes. Be sure to spray bug spray everywhere and I saw a sign that there is a bear so maybe bring a bear bell.

I saw a deer family running by me and looking at me so it was a delightful moment and that it self made my day.

mountain biking
4 months ago

It is a great trail but it’s definitely not for beginners. I’m a beginner so it was a terrible experience. I should’ve checked the difficulty first but I just trusted my husband. Get plenty of water if you’re planning to walk it. :)

Excellent training hike - I took the loop via Stuyvesant camp to the top and returning on the opposite side.

1st thee+ miles felt great - I started early to avoid the heat (6:00am) and bugs. Once I passed Stuyvesant though the uphill kicked in. There is some serious uphill for 3 miles so be prepared for a long slog.

The observatories, exhibits and cafe were a welcome respite while preparing for the descent. The descent is tough - what goes up steep will come down steep so pace yourself.

My GPS unit had me at 15 miles and I spent a little over 7 hours on the hike (3 hrs up, 2 1/4 hr down and about 1.5 hrs trying to recover at the top and during the steep switchbacks). Key is to pace yourself and just keep moving.

Because of the lower elevation, heat will play a bigger factor so watch out - the downhill was interminable but the last 1/2 mile climb to the parking lot in 93+ degree heat was rough when your tired and ready to be done lol

Leaving early helped minimize the bugs while the afternoon sleep also seemed to have tempered them. I really only saw the gnats and they were less than many other trails

Overall excellent hike that let me know I had done some hiking! Be proud of your accomplishment

Great hike! However, like previous reviews stated it’s more that 12.6 miles. My fitness watch doc’d it as 17. 7 miles. Cafe at observatory was a lifesaver. Note: they close at 5pm.

We will def be back!

came to hike I usually go to Simpson Park but wanted to try a new Trail however all trails are closed at Diamond Valley Lake until further notice I was extremely disappointed

hiking
5 months ago

This trail is awesome! I hiked it going down from Blue Jay Campground, and stayed on the northern sections which tended to be more shaded. The path is very easy to see and navigate by foot, and I could see a ton of mountain bike tracks in the more rutted areas. I made it all the way down to the hard turn in the clearings south of the Mary Thomas bridge before I turned around and headed back up since it was approaching sunset. I will say that it is much harder to go back up than come down, but not impossible. No climbing necessary. This was my first time ever on this trail, and had never heard of it before camping at Blue Jay, but now I want to go back and do the whole thing!

One thing I will critique though, is that the intersections in the trail are not very well marked. There are some white spray paint markings with arrows along the trail and at the intersection, but they're not in a very easy to understand format. So have your wits about you and make cairns or leave non-permanent markers to show you which way you came if you're doing a shuttle/in-n-out run.

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