Explore the most popular scenic driving trails near Desert Center with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice views, but after taking in Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Channel Island NPs during the same week, this was not that memorable.

1 month 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
2 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!

3 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.

Nice path and great sunset viewing

off road driving
4 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
4 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
4 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

4 months ago

enjoyed the trip

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
5 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.

5 months ago

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

off road driving
6 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
6 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
6 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.

off road driving
6 months ago

Very easy drive to great hiking. There were also several little Jeep trails off of the main trail to add a little off road excitement. We had a great time.

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
7 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.

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!

Don’t be intimidated by the unpaved road leading to this trail. My Civic did it, no problem! As others have said, beware repeated car break-ins during the week :(
Watch for rocks forming arrows to the path and other clever helpful rock messages! Ladders are mostly safe and all very secure. I saw many families with children, but some struggled on the ladder parts.
Overall, lovely hike with somewhat tricky trail but beautiful and unique views!

off road driving
8 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.

off road driving
8 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.

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