Explore the most popular off road driving trails in Inyo National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

So good!!!! Loved every minute of it!

Awesome trail did it yesterday with my gf and our 2018 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (stock) unfortunately no snow up there at all but still very scenic trail love it!!!

highly recommended 4x4 low range and high clearance vehicles only maybe some lockers would be good if snow!!

scenic driving
3 months ago

Been to Laurel Lake 44 times! Always 4x4! (mine is a Jeep TJ standard) Talk to a Forest Ranger in Mammoth Lakes--Sometimes they have new updates on trail. Arrive at trail beginning "early" say sunrise up to 11:00 a.m. Then enjoy the drive and peninsula on lake. Peninsula is highest place to legally have a campfire! Wonderful fly fishing here! 7 wonderful hikes around & above lake. When driving back down never, ever leave till 2:00 p.m. ! ! WHY? Road is narrow...just a bit winder than your vehicle! No head on meeting! Very difficult to dive backwards with steep drop offs. Only 2 areas to pass each other and far apart. My Activity: 4x4, fishing, photography, hiking, walking.
Best months to go up: no snow. Saturday can be to crowded---new visitors unaware of narrow road!

The road to the trailhead requires a high clearance vehicle. Driving a Honda Civic, the closest that I could get to trailhead was a good 4.3 miles away! (End of asphalt in Fuller road). I could never figure out the start of the trail and hence just climbed the hill till I saw something that resembled a trail. I again lost the trail after the small pond. Nonetheless it made the hike that much more interesting. Did it on Oct 14th as a day hike.
There are too many use trails after Red lake to get to Split mountain. On the way back you will see the good ones :-)
Just remember to come back to the correct ridge. There are use trails from the top which take you further down to the lake on the left (looking down) and possibly to the ridge on the left fork (looking down). We want to be on the right fork.

Great easy to moderate trail (at the higher elevations/along side spurs), very scenic. After traveling for a while up a pretty canyon, you end up high in the Inyo Mountains with great views of Owens Valley and the Eastern Sierra. Definitely explore some of the spurs off to the west for the best views.

Great views and absolutely exciting for a first timer. Definitely a low gear experience coming down. 5-6 water crossings over a light running creek.

off road driving
7 months ago

Did this trail on a 2005 KTM EXC 450 and had my brother in law with his built up Jeep LJ. For carbed bikes, I highly recomment adjusting your jet. I went down to a 168 but I feel i should have gone down to a 160 since i had the fuel screw turned in heavily. She was definitely gasping for air. For vehicles, I recommend pressuring down and having an air compressor ready. Make sure your tires have a good side wall, the rocks were pretty sharp and plentiful. Didn't catch anything here, but the lake was gorgeous with some snow in the distance.

off road driving
8 months ago

Best of the Best

off road driving
8 months ago

Amazing time and breath taking views. Some tough moments with the jeep, especially the last turn. I saw a ton of razrs up there crushing it. Overall the end results is awesome. Water was sub zero.

off road driving
9 months ago

stock 2015 Toyota 4Runner Trail: take it slow and you'll be fine. Great camping

Split mountain via Red Lake. We did this one with an extended route because the road is too bad to take a regular 2wd low clearance car all the way to the TH. If you have high clearance 4wd, you should have no trouble making it to the trailhead.

We started at the car around noon and made it to the trailhead about 2pm. Then made it to the lake around 7pm.

The following morning we got up and hit the trail again at 4am and made it to summit by 10am. The only tricky section was at the top of the glacier, there is a pretty steep scramble. Look at the waypoints on my map for detailed areas.

off road driving
9 months ago

Fun trail, amazing views from the top area. If traveling down from White Mountain you will want to lock in low gear and use breaks lightly, which is hard to do with the steep grade, loose rock, and shelf road. I recommend taking a break at one of the large turns to give them a rest.

Spotted 32 Big Horn Sheep in the mouth of the Canyon. If you don't see them, shut your car off and listen, you can hear them causing rocks to fall as they walk around.

There are six or more water crossings, all which are pretty low, about 2 inches deep if that. The last one (or first if you are traveling up) is the deepest, roughly 5-6inches deep.

Beautiful views. We could see the smoke in the valley.

A dull hike with spectacular vistas on both side of the ridge...the trail is above tree line and in the sun.

off road driving
10 months ago

This trail crosses a creek at least six times, went in July with 105+ degree heat so stopping a couple of times to soak your feet and wet a towel makes this an added plus.
The trail starts out with a very subtle incline until about the 6 mile mark when it begins to climb fairly steep with many switchbacks. rock formations and views are fantastic!

off road driving
10 months ago

Anyone know whether or not a Polaris Ranger would make it up this road? Wondering if the "High Clearance" would be a problem for a ranger.

Thanks-

off road driving
11 months ago

Snow stopped us half way up. Nice rocky trail, a couple technical areas with deep ruts & boulders.
But a stock Suburban made it to the camp ground half way up.

off road driving
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

We went on Dualsport motorcycles, pretty easy most of the way. Beautiful clear skies that day. It's not listed here, but check out the trail to McGee Mountain, Mt Morrison Rd off 395. That was hairy, steep, lots of switchbacks on the way up. Beautiful view of the valley from the top. I'd rather been on 4 wheels than 2 that day. You Jeep people would love it !

off road driving
Monday, February 27, 2017

This was a really fun trail on our Dualsport motorcycles. I'm not terribly experienced but it was pretty easy, even the water crossings. You can go all the way to The Bristlecone Pine Forest.

off road driving
Sunday, February 05, 2017

The road out of Bishop area is called Silver Canyon you will cross a creek minimum of 4 times depending on time of year with a water depth up to 2 feet, it is steep with lots of switch backs all the way to the top on to Bristleconepine road. At certain points the inclimb is more then 20% High clearance 4×4 only, so no Subaru
Do not attempt this road when you encounter snow, the chance of sliding off the mountain is very high.

off road driving
Friday, December 16, 2016

Great spot. Awesome camping at the end, and midway along the creek. I'm not sure how good of a hike it would be, lots of loose shale rock along the path. Fishing was poor which I was bummed about.

Monday, October 17, 2016

So beautiful the whole way! Lots of waterfalls and beaver dams. Took my 63 year old parents who are not avid hikers and they did great (with rests of course).

off road driving
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Always a blast out here with the boyfriend and our kiddos. We tend to always go back and take off on a new dirt road each time.

hiking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

This lake is pretty gross. We want to check out the tufas but decided to go back before getting to them. Very muddy and smelly. Was very disappointed

off road driving
Saturday, May 21, 2016

Road was dirt but not bad at all, I don't even think you would need 4X4. BEAUTIFUL VIEWS! We saw deer. Very peaceful. :)

off road driving
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The last hairpin at the top has a pucker factor to it if you have a long wheelbase vehicle.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Easy but steep 4wd track.
Terrific views from the switchbacks.
Take the alternate route near the top for a more challenging finish.

off road driving
Saturday, February 09, 2013

Best for off-road driving..

off road driving
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Deadman's Pass is a really fun jump off point to the San Juan trail up to the Two Teats & San Juan Mountain, putting you up over 10.000ft. Great for a challenging trail run or Mnt bike run. Awesome off trail options either dropping off trail East towards June Lake & rt 395 or West towards the PCT & the Minarets. It's actually in Mammoth Lakes CA not Oakhurst CA, enjoy

hiking
Sunday, September 16, 2012

I started on this trail from Independence to Mazourka Peak on Saturday, Sept 15, 2012. I came out at Big Pine 7 hours later. It was described as an easy one way in-one way out trail and that is true. I'm guessing the tower operators pay to keep the road smooth for service trucks But when I got to the peak, I noticed a trail going north to Papoose Flats with a sign on the side which said "Road to Papoose Flats washed out". So I took it. You continue north over two mountains through woods on a defined trail. Some technical skill required. No major obstacles. A lift would be helpful but not required-- i was on 35" tires with a 4" lift. No washed out road noticed. No lockers required. 4WD mandatory due to steepness and loose dirt. A lot of off-camber driving. This part of the drive is breathtaking with great views of the Owens River Valley north and south for miles! From Papoose Flats, there is a smooth section with very little elevation change at about 8000 to 9000 feet, and then a steep descent into Death Valley Road where it is paved into Big Pine. On the way down this paved DVR, there is a sign on an A-Frame facing traffic going towards Death Valley saying "Road Closed". You can't always believe what you read!

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