Are you ready for adventure? If you love nature, love to drive, and don’t mind getting a little messy, why not pick up off-roading as your next hobby? Southern California’s off-roading trails are some of the best you can find during the summer months and beyond. Whether you need something easy or are ready to take on a difficult experience, the state has plenty to offer.
Lake Fulmor in San Jacinto
Situated in the San Jacinto Wilderness, Lake Fulmor is an easy, looped, half-mile trail with gorgeous views. The trail is an excellent choice for beginners in the off-roading experience or for those who want a family-friendly adventure. The kid- and pet-friendly trails are perfect for off-roading, hiking, fishing, and simply enjoy two acres of nature. If you’re someone who wants to show off your custom Jeep accessories, this is a place to do it where you won’t need to worry about damaging them.
Modjeska Peak in Cleveland National Forest
Advertised as a trail that is somewhere between easy and moderate, Modjeska Peak in Cleveland National Forest spans nearly 20 miles in Silverado. While driving through, you’ll take in lush forests, gorgeous wildflowers, and all the beauty that California has to offer. If you need a breather along the way, pull off the partially paved trail to enjoy hiking or simply have a snack. Keep in mind that this trail is seasonal and may close for some weather conditions. Some parts of it are rocky and sandy, so wheel and tires packages with 4×4 capability are recommended.
The Old Pilot Rock Trail in Apple Valley
When you feel you’re ready to step up to an intermediate skill level for your off-roading adventures, head to The Old Pilot Rock Trail in Apple Valley. This iconic desert trail is known for its scenery. Short but extreme, the trail winds up the hills near Lakes Arrowhead and Silverwood. This trail bypasses a lot of the harder areas and is usually safe for stock vehicles. You can even check out snow wheeling when the season is right.
Red Lake Trail in Shaver Lake
After you’ve mastered easy and moderate trails, you might decide to upgrade your wheels and tires and head to a difficult off-roading adventure. Red Lake Trail at Shaver Lake offers just that. The rock-crawling 4×4 trail winds up the mountain through dense forest, ending with a gorgeous view of the lake. While there are a few short stretches of easy off-roading to give your mind and vehicle a break, most of this scenic trail is very rough and not for someone inexperienced. Even so, when you’re ready to take it on, the reward of camping under the stars by the lake is worth it.
Before you head out for your off-roading experience, ensure your vehicle meets all the requirements. Ask an expert to help you choose tires that work for the type of terrain you’ll be on, as well as a suspension system that can handle the big bumps. Finally, remember to pack safety gear, plenty of food and water, and your taste for adventure.