Otay Mountain Truck Trail to Marron Valley Road

HARD 75 reviews

Otay Mountain Truck Trail to Marron Valley Road is a 13.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Dulzura, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
13.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,113 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dogs on leash

birding

mountain biking

nature trips

off road driving

scenic driving

trail running

views

Enter through the BROWN GATE next to Pio Pico Campground and left through Delzura.

off road driving
26 days ago

I've done this trail at least a dozen times, mainly due to it passing through BLM territory where some friends and I do some routine target shooting. There's a lot more areas that are now gated/fenced off that weren't a year or two ago but even with the off-limit areas, there's plenty to explore.

First and foremost, you don't need a special rig to get through this trail. I've completed the main trail in a RWD Nissan Xterra, FWD Lexus NX200, AWD Ford Escape, AWD Subaru Outback, 4WD 2017 Ford Expedition, 4WD 2018 F150 Raptor. All stock, no issues. With that said, there are tons of side trails, many of which are deserving of the "hard" label, some of which I've only been able to complete in the Raptor and others that I haven't even attempted because they're too tight for my truck. If you stick to the main trail, anything with half way decent ground clearance will do just fine.

With that said, the roads in many areas are quite narrow with a near vertical drop to what would likely be your death if you aren't paying attention. Traffic flows in both directions and there's only room for 1 vehicle at a time. There are several areas along the trail where you can pull to the side to let another vehicle pass. Make a mental note anytime you pass one because you never know when you'll encounter an oncoming vehicle that may require you to reverse your vehicle back to that spot so you can safely pass each other.

If you're going on a Saturday or Sunday, traffic is light but not what I would call "remote" you'll almost certainly encounter other off-roaders at some point along the trail and possibly a Border Patrol vehicle or two. If they come up behind you just pull over to the side as soon as it's safe for you to do so and let them pass. They know the roads well and drive vehicles that aren't theirs so they typically like to haul ass.

Bring water and some protein bars. The main trail will take about an hour to complete but you can easily be up there all day if you stop to take photos or decide to explore some of the side trails. Most of the side trails will lead to a dead end or link back up with the main trail. Some side trails aren't really side trails but another main trail. If you make a wrong turn you can find yourself heading way down south all the way to the 905 just a few city blocks away from the border. I like to bring my drone with me for the times I want to explore a side trail I haven't been on before. I take the drone up to get a good look at the trail difficulty and see where it goes before committing myself and my vehicle to it.

One last thing... If you enter from Otay Lakes Rd (aka Pio Pico) and exist from Marron Valley Rd and then head north on Campo Rd, you will have to go past a Border Patrol check point. The line is usually pretty short. I've rarely waited longer than 5 minutes, but something to consider. There is no stopping necessary if you're going South on Campo Rd, so some people may opt do the trail in reverse by entering through Marron Valley Rd and exiting Pio Pico.

off road driving
2 months ago

Had a glorious 5.5 hr. Jeep trek from Pio Pico to Campo Rd. (94), well almost. The gate at 94 was locked and only through satellite photos did I find a route out, apparently through private property. As I was exiting onto 94 a CPG agent stopped me to advise that he was coming to open the gate and that I was indeed on private property. I assure him my intention was not to trespass as during the 5.5 hours I saw at least 5 agents a various stages, did not encounter any locked gates, and did not drive past or ignore any advisory signage indicating off limit areas. This is the first time I have done this route and planned it based on the route indicated from AllTrails. He indicated that the gates I passed through should be locked or closed as various parts of the trails pass through private lands etc., or are not supposed to be travelled on by the public. He was frustrated, not with me, but the fact I had such easy access. I wish there was some sort of official advisory and clearly noted routes that off-road enthusiasts could adhere to. Most of us do not want to trespass on private land and want to use the resource respectfully. My next trek, I will stop and ask each agent I encounter if I can be on that stretch of road and indicate where I am going. I will ask their name and give them mine so they can radio ahead that traffic is approaching, What else can we do, Im sure they don't want to play tour guide, but we just want to be able to get in and out without concern about being locked in or out of entries or exits. The agent did indicate I could have been accidently locked in at some point along the way....good thing I carry basic camping gear, food and water. This trail can be difficult at times and I do not recommend 2 wheel vehicles with insufficient clearance, as at times, it is not a Sunday drive in the best of conditions.

hiking
3 months ago

Late post, hiked Otay Truck from Pio Pico campground to the antenna towers on Saturday, 04/28/2018.. Disappointed there was no Peak Log or Geological Benchmarks, but overall good steady uphill trek to the peak! Accumulated 13.05 RT mileage and a whopping 3,135 ft. elevation gains!

off road driving
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

this definitely wasn't easy but doable. gradual elevation gain over long distance. good trail running conditions. great views

off road driving
3 months ago

I did this trail on 04-28-18 in my relatively stock baja bug with no problems. Easy to navigate, and It has great spots to pull over for pictures!

3 months ago

Fun drive, not to challenging

3 months ago

Beautiful views in all directions

4 months ago

Great trail with great views. A little narrow and steep at the beginning from Jamul side but nothin too crazy. Highly recommend!

off road driving
5 months ago

Well maintained not challenging at all except the exit prison side gate was locked but 20 yards down had a mini climb out onto Alta road. Great views saw one border patrol truck on a random view point. Dirt bikers, hikers, an other off-roaders. If your in San Diego and wana get off-road but do not worry bout anything. Also had cell service the whole time. Check it out

5 months ago

Nice views for the top of this trail. Also had the option to try some more difficult terrain if a person would like. What I liked most about it is that it’s an easy day trip from my home.

off road driving
5 months ago

Doable with a 2-wheel drive vehicle, this trail was gorgeous! We took our 2017 Tacoma from the Pio Pico entrance to the 94, and stopped at every overlook. It took only a few hours to complete and we had a blast for our first trail experience.

*Watch for bikes and keep your dogs on a leash. This trail wasn’t too busy, but don’t take your chances.*

off road driving
6 months ago

I started on the pio pico side and ended by the prison. Very great trail, views were spectacular. Took my 3 month old and my 5 year old girls, of course was very careful and in absolutely no hurry nice calming Saturday test drive on my new 2018 4Runner...Did not need 4x4 did it with just 2wd. Their was border patrol but as long as you stay clear of their way they leave you alone. This is my 4th time on this trail and not the last.

off road driving
6 months ago

Wonderful drive! We entered on the east side in Jumal. On the right side of the Pio Pico campground there is a yellow gate and a brown gate. Go through the brown gate. The east side was very rough with steep drop offs. The west side entrance says private road but do not be discouraged. Worth the drive.

off road driving
6 months ago

Very nice views. Easy to drive.

off road driving
6 months ago

main grade 2wd
panoramic view of the mountains and sea
THHHE BEST!

off road driving
6 months ago

Drove in from the Eastlake side, but ran into a locked gate. Dove around the prison and found a way onto the trail using private property. They definitely don't want you entering from this direction.

Well maintained road throughout. One direction (hence entry from the north west).

6 months ago

Gate is open, first day we hiked 2.5 miles up hill all the way and then back down. Drove up the trail with my truck day 2. Saw many Boarder Patrol but they never said anything about us being up there. If you enter at Pio Pico when you get to the top by towers go straight. Gate at end is opened by sensor approach slowly and it will open. Best views around!

off road driving
7 months ago

This trail was a nice drive and was fairly easy. There are some side trails where you definitely need 4WD, but fit the most part you don’t need it. Ran into a couple border patrol agents and they were cool and differ have any problems. Took about 90 minutes with couple stops along the way. The trail was dry, but once it rains it will be a good time and you probably will need the 4x4. Can’t wait!

7 months ago

Was a very nice ride.

off road driving
7 months ago

I’ve gone up this trail plenty of times, I’ve taken my truck, Harley, and my old wrx wagon. Great views and super easy trails!

off road driving
7 months ago

Excellent trail with a great amount of challenge due to narrow roads and step mountain sides hugging the road. The views make everything worth it. If you have a Jeep then pop the top off and leave your doors at home in order to maximize the experience.

off road driving
8 months ago

not a difficult trail ..but was enjoyable and worth doing again.

off road driving
8 months ago

A little tricky to find due to the fact that it leads you to somewhere that’s a little off from where it is. If you’re coming from Otay Lakes after it says you’ve reached destination there should be a street named the same thing going through little gates. Got to the top and it’s private property. Overall it was okay drive but nothing extra.

off road driving
9 months ago

Drove this in my 4x4 F150. Excellent drive and the views are really nice

off road driving
9 months ago

It was easy! I got a 2wd tacoma and went in with no issue whatsoever! Now if you want to have fun, take your 4x4 and go on the side roads!

9 months ago

haven't had a chance to try the trail because it is closed for the fire season. im not too sure if they will open it back up. I see some comments that say it was all gravel.... they're mistaken and are talking about Otay mountain truck trail which i was able to do in a Prius. Otay truck trail (without the word "mountain") is the hard one.

off road driving
11 months ago

Wife found the spot. Turns out if Dallas G. didn't mention the brown gate, we wouldn't of found it. Noticed some spots people turn off to the side to set up firing spots (guns). Good to know! If it's your first time like ours, have the GPS record your path in case you're having too much fun and forgot if you made a left or right. I don't thinks it's possible to get lost but you never know. Respect the law. Respect our Border Patrol. Don't drink and drive and if you see a vehicle in need of help, don't hesitate to be a good person.

off road driving
11 months ago

The trail itself is great! There are some sketchy side trails that are pretty crazy so always when in doubt, get out of your car and walk the trail. As of today I was made aware the trail is closed, off roading is prohibited because it's fire season. Just looking out for my fellow off roaders! It is illegal now there.

off road driving
Monday, August 14, 2017

it was good, very narrow. flat packed dirt mostly but is up high on the side of the mountain at most spots no need for 4x4. goes off more side trails and you can definitely get lost for a while so bring a GPS or download offline Google maps of the area. I only saw 3 vehicles the few hours I was there. enter in at this address (13652 Otay Lakes Rd, Jamul, CA 91935) by the coyote canyon Cafe. Google map it and you will see the Otay truck trail.

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