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.

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.

off road driving
1 month ago

My first moderate trial in my Jeep Renegade Trailhawk all stock. Driving from south to north was beautiful but barely required the 4x4. The carved out sandy roads were a breeze and as it changed to bumpy rocks we were slowed down a bit but there was a stretch of extremely sharp rocks and sheer cliffs I did not feel comfortable attempting. I watched a Rubicon struggle and scrape the heck out of their under carriage so I promptly turned around only to scrape mine in doing so. My moderate ground clearance did not seem to be enough to tackle this last bit before the 62. Otherwise the drive before and back was very serene.

Always a fun drive. It's our short cut into Joshua Tree. Get the annual pass it's like $60 and gets you access to all of the national parks. The main drive is really easy, there is one spot where you need to take your time, and one spot where it's really rocky for like 3/4 of a mile. The rest is dirt or sand. There are a few side trails that are fun and challenging.

off road driving
1 month ago

First off I would like to start off by saying this is not an easy trail. I rate this moderate. I did this trail in a stock TRD off road 2017 4Runner. This trail starts off pretty easy. However, it does get pretty tight and rough the closer you get to the mountains. In places I was in 4low with the rear locked. You are able to get around the boulder. The only issue is I had inches to spare from my rearend sliding down in to it. Overall, the trail is packed with amazing views and some really good places to test your vehicle.

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

off road driving
2 months ago

We did this road from the national Park entry, the first part is really sandy. You definitely need to lower the tires pressure and have wide wheels as well as permanent 4x4 with lower gears and equipment to get your truck out of the sand in case.
After the sand, around 10 miles in, the road start narrowing and climbs, a “normal” 4x4 won’t probably make it and there really fewer turning points to turn around.
You need to drive through a lot of sharp rocks on the street, deep cuts and pretty intense obstacles to overcome driving up the mountain (better with differential blocks) .
Your tire pressure at this point need to be lowered or you won’t probably make it and be prepared to pop a tire and mount a spare tire on your way.
You won’t have network, and there are many minor side ways that can get you lost if you got stuck there and be prepared to walk in hard conditions, consider at least 1 gallon of water in case things go wrong, power battery for the map on the phone, and a knife for possible bobcats who might chase you (suggestion if you break down is to walk at sunset-night for avoiding the heat), flashlight and analog compass.
We popped the rear tire and we forgot the jack for the spare, a mistake that could have driven to a miserable death if we were not lucky enough to have water, equipment and know how to hike in the desert.
We walked 17 miles to get out on the 62 and get network, took us 6 hours hiking in with others two people we rescued on the street who got stuck in the sand, it was not possible to tow them out as their little suv 2wd was heavily stuck.

Here are our specs:
-Land Rover Range Rover 4.0 P38, 3 inch lift , 265/65 , wrangler duratrac tires

Here are our suggestions:
-don’t do this road if you are not experienced with desert, rocks and driving up in narrow, steep mountain off road tracks.
-be prepared with spare wheel and gear yourself up
-be prepared if your transmission break down or you hit a rock with and your wheel nut is gone
-have good breaks and low gears up/down, lockers preferred but not necessary if you know what you are doing
-this road is definitely not moderate, some passages who are hard and require rock crawling experience
-drive slowly on the rocks

A part of this is a fun road, good views and pretty scenic different grounds.

3 months ago

Lots of fun you can take a different route right as you get out of the wash it was intense but it linked us right back on to old dale rd

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.

off road driving
4 months ago

Traveled South to North. Roughly 16-20 of the 26 miles are just washboard dirt roads. The middle 6-8 miles or so are somewhat intense. 4WD definitely recommended but not 100% required if you know what your doing, plan out & pick a good line when traversing the rough parts and commit to it. I completed in a 2wd 2001 tundra with a mild lift in the front and 32" BFG AT's. Good tires & some ground clearance a must if you attempt in 2wd. (others in my group had 4x4 so, I had some insurance). Wrangler Sahara 4door on 35" tires also never put it in 4x4 during our trip. Took use about 3.5 hrs to complete with several sight seeing stops along the way.

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.

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!

5 months ago

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
6 months ago

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

off road driving
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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

6 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
7 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.

8 months ago

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

off road driving
8 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
8 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
8 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
8 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
9 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.

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