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

Driving a wrangler JL 2 inch lift with 35s and made it through on 2wd. Great drive and one moderate section that needed to checked out first. Great through and through for the National Park!

Pretty much what everyone else said, need a high clearance vehicle. I went from North to South in a 4WD Tahoe with street tires and running boards (rental) and had to stack up rocks in several areas to avoid bottoming out. Wife wasn’t stoked, it got a little intense in a few areas. Go slow and use a spotter. Amazing views of the park!!

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
1 month ago

Fun trail for off roading. My Toyota 4Runner is 2wd and it made it with no problem.

off road driving
1 month ago

Great trail for beginner to intermediate. Drove 2018 Raptor. Started on North entrance (Geology Tour Rd). First half is just dirt road, which has a lot of washboard sections. But then it gets interesting and the Raptor’s capabilities came into play. Nothing that the truck couldn’t handle with ease even if it caused me to sweat. Make sure to take a spotter as wheel placement is key and the trail gets narrow. There are plenty of little side tracks to test out your skills including a few sand hills that are pretty intense.

off road driving
1 month ago

Did this trail in a stock height 2018 Tacoma TRD4x4OR and Chevy Colorado Z71 doing an out and back from Indio. First trip through here, second trail run ever (Meccacopia was the first) and had relatively no problem with it. Being our second trail run ever we spotted way more than was actually necessary to be safe but really there was only 1 area at the end, if you came from Indio, where a spotter felt necessary. With that said, this is a very smooth, sandy, and easy trail except for that one spot... and yes I accidentally ran Paul into a rock, it came out of nowhere! Check out the video for a full video of the trail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj3rgDX5W50

off road driving
1 month ago

Good trail run for a little “dirt time.” Pack a sammy and a cold one to enjoy amongst the yucca trees in JT!!

Easy to moderate desert trail connecting Indio Hills to the backside of Joshua Tree National Park. We ran it as an out and back (23 miles) from the Indio Hills end headed North. The beginning of the trail does take you through the BLM designated shooting area, so be aware and not surprised to hear gunshots. Mostly a sandy wash through the desert canyons with sections of rocky hardpack. There are 2 rock gardens to deal with that warrant the moderate portion of the rating, but stock rides with at least 31” tires should be ok with no scrapes! (Unless your spotter steers you into a big ass rock!..thnx T)

Zero trip tick @ Dillon Rd / Berdoo intersection:
1.2 miles- shooters wash
3.8 miles- gate to enter Joshua Tree Park
4.0 miles- 1st rock garden
8.6 miles - 2nd rock garden (narrow canyon)
11.5 miles- stopped for lunch/ photos/ turnaround

on Black Eagle Mine

2 months ago

enjoyed the trip

Brooklyn mine. Is my first off-road destination I’ve done in Joshua Tree. I went on the black eagle trail a day later with not seeing much. If I had one choice go for Old Dale road, and Brooklyn mines. There are several other mining camps around the area. A easer (flatter) way to BM is by turning left after exiting Joshua NP to goldenrod mines then head north to Los Angeles mines there you can hike up into BM. I took all trail map route to the hilly part. I seen everyone (but not me) turn around. A lift, good tires aired down , and in lo 4 wheel. The rocky scary looking hills was not too hard at all. I enjoyed having the place to myself.

First off road adventure - novice four wheeler. Entered from Geology Tour Trail. plenty of time to get u sedan to the feel of 4 wheel drive before encountering the "moderate section"

We were in a jeep Wrangler Rubicon. high clearance is definitely recommended. Needed to spot the road ahead twice - mostly because of inexperience. Narrow areas, some rock hopping through the narrow wash down to Dillon Road.
Had a great time

nice views

off road driving
2 months ago

We enjoyed driving this easy trail up to Joshua Tree. most of the drive can be accomplished by a novice driver, but there are a few mildly technical spots which require clearance, attention and some care.

3 months ago

Great easy ride only one spot that is tight with rocks.

off road driving
3 months ago

Be prepared for a very bumpy climb. The trail is misleading. Starting from the south, the first 20 minutes are very easy and flat. It quickly changes as you climb. This trail may have a moderate rating but the climb is pretty intense. I have a Land Rover LR4 with stock wheels and I managed to make it out alive, but I did have a very difficult time in certain areas. The trail has had a lot of erosion so some of the gaps have become very large. DO NOT ATTEMPT WITHOUT A HIGH CLEARANCE VEHICLE. A Subaru Forester in front of me had to turn turn around. Plan to be driving at least 1.5 to 2 hours.

All that said, I had a thrilling and memorable experience on this trail. 5 out of 5.

off road driving
3 months ago

Brooklyn mine is a great spot to spend the night. it's rated as a hard trail but it's not very hard. it is remote and you do loose the trail at times but it's a great spot to get to. The mine is quite extensive. the ladders are questionable so make sure you tie off. my sniffers never went off while I was there but I didn't get to the bottom of the mine. I saw at least 3 levels in the mine and will be going back to explore and map it.

off road driving
3 months ago

A very easy and pleasant enough way to/from Joshua Tree and Indio (and beyond).
Due to being close to Joshua Tree it's mostly weekend/amateur off-road drivers.

off road driving
3 months ago

I don't get the hard rating as it's a pretty easy drive, you just have to slow down in a couple of spots to maneuver some rocks.
The northern side is a nice place to explore, while the southern exit point is more of a means to an end.

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!

off road driving
4 months ago

Loved this one too- such interesting plants along the way! Even the rocks change from rounded and HUGE, to craggy and sharp, back to rounded... Started in Indio off Dillion Road and ended up at Pappy & Harriets! We did stop to eat lunch at a pull off near big rounded rocks- be careful of the bees! They were plentiful and very curious.

off road driving
4 months ago

Very scenic and beautiful. At the technical part coming down, just follow the other tire treads with a spotter down below. Looks much worse than it is. We were in a stock Nissan Xterra.

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.

Only did 1/3 of it because of sun setting but you for sure need a spotter on a few spots and need legitimate 4x4 and clearance!

off road driving
5 months ago

Nice drive. Easy driving except for one spot with rocks. Trail washed out in the river bed & took some figuring out.

off road driving
5 months ago

Driving “up” this trail from I-10 to highway 62 was Extremely challenging in a 2015 Subaru Forester.

Don’t try unless you have skid plates

Fun trail. Clearance is way more important than 4wd. I stayed in 2wd the entire way. Guy following me had a lifted 2wd Silverado rolling 35s and he was fine. I would recommend at least some good tires because its pretty rocky in some sections. Definitely a "Jeep trail". Slow, rocky, and rutted. Once we got down to Old Dale, it opens up and flattens out for some high speed action which is more my style so that was fun. If you're inexperienced and wondering whether to do this trail, I would advise against doing it alone.

Fun road. But the Joshua tree side is NARROW!!!!! You will do some rubbing on the brush in anything decently wide. Was in a ‘17 tundra.

The trail is pretty washed out in most spots. Some spotting needed to get over a few things.

off road driving
6 months ago

Great road. Started on the south side going into Joshua Tree. Drove a ‘17 tundra with 3” lift. Most was easy, few spots needed a spotter.

off road driving
6 months ago

Suggest 4x4 and high clearance. Some rock climbing required if you do end to end.

off road driving
7 months ago

Super fun, but know your stuff if you plan to drive this. I personally, did not know much about off-roading, and we were caught on an incline throwing rocks and loosing air in one tire. Thankfully a small adjustment freed us from the rut and after throwing in a spare tire the only road ahead for us was the easy sandy roads of Geology Tour Rd. Personally, I would skip the off-roading and just cruise Geology Tour, make a pit stop to hike Pushwalla. That’s just me though, I’d rather not be stuck in a car.

off road driving
7 months ago

Super fun trail I did it it my Tacoma only one section I needed to use my 4x4

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