We don’t know about you, but the reason we got into off-roading was the adventure it promised. You know, the proverbial "call of the wild."
The 4WD editors have compiled a list of 10 favorite places for your perusal, along with reasons we like them and some information to help you plan a trip of your own if you’re so inclined.
It would be pretentious to claim that these are the 10 best ’wheeling spots anywhere, so we’re not going to assert that this list holds any sort of supremacy over other worthy destinations. These are simply 10 we like. The first five locations are in California (home to Christian and Kevin) and the balance are in and around Utah (where Phil lives).
Why do we like these places? Some offer spectacular scenery, others provide technical challenges, and still others bring myriad route options to the table. Who wants the same ol’ same ol’ all the time? Not us. Fortunately, we have options and we know you do, too.
What about you? Where do you like to go? Why?
We’d like to hear about your favorite adventure destinations. Please include photos if you have them. If we get enough responses, we’ll write a "readers' favorites" adventure destinations story
Here’s how to submit your entries:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: Adventure Destinations)
Attn: Kevin Blumer
4Wheel Drive Magazine
1733 Alton Parkway, Suite 100
Irvine, CA, 92606
Johnson Valley, California
Despite the heavy focus on the Hammer trails, Johnson Valley is home to a large variety of terrain to suit a wide spectrum of off-road vehicles and ability levels. Soggy Dry Lake lets you run wide open. You can find sand dunes in Johnson Valley if you know where to look. Cougar Buttes is an ideal area for those wanting to hone their hardcore trail skills before taking on the infamous Hammers. Johnson Valley is open to street legal vehicles as well as OHV’s.
Year-round, but be warned: Johnson Valley can be dangerously hot in summer! It’s most pleasant in the spring and fall. Winter can bring extremely cold temperatures.
Yucca Valley to the east and Lucerne Valley right next door to the west.
The 2011 iteration of Hi-Desert...
The 2011 iteration of Hi-Desert Roundup used Anderson Dry Lake as base camp/headquarters and participants fanned out through the area. This is the Hammer Down trail in Cougar Buttes.
Johnson Valley gets toasty....
Johnson Valley gets toasty. If it’s hot in the valley, consider a run up into Big Bear. The Rattlesnake Canyon trail is a direct off-road link between Johnson Valley and Big Bear. A side trip to Pioneertown makes for a perfect lunch stop.
Mojave National Preserve, California
The Mojave National Preserve fills in the big triangle between Interstate 15, Interstate 40, and the California/Nevada border. Administered by the National Park Service, the Mojave National Preserve is a multiple-use area that offers a variety of 4x4 adventures. Vehicles must be street legal here. Choose from hundreds of miles’ worth of routes including the Mojave Road. Camping is allowed at established campgrounds as well as previously-used trailside sites throughout the Preserve.
Year-round, but like Johnson Valley, the Mojave National Preserve is subject to hot summer temperatures. When it’s hot, the higher-elevation areas, such as the New York Mountains and the Cima Dome, are more pleasant. Winter can be bitter cold. Spring and fall are ideal, but be prepared for anything, hot or cold, when you’re here.
Far between! The Mojave National Preserve has no services once within its boundaries, so you’ll need to plan ahead. Along the Preserve’s perimeter you’ll find the communities of Barstow, Ludlow, and Baker, California, and also Primm Nevada. Nipton, California has a tiny hotel and tent cabins. Gas stations are found in Barstow, Ludlow, Primm, Baker, and at the Rasor Road, Cima Road, Halloran Summit, and Fenner Road exits off of Interstate 15.
A stop at Kelso Visitor’s...
A stop at Kelso Visitor’s Center is a must. Kelso is at the intersection of Kelso-Cima Road and Kelbaker Road. Kelso Visitor’s Center is the Preserve’s headquarters and features educational displays, a gift shop, and a lunch counter. Park Rangers are on hand to answer questions and give information.
The Mojave Road bisects the...
The Mojave Road bisects the Mojave National Preserve. It may be over-publicized, but it’s not overrated. A great adventure, even if it doesn’t count as hardcore ’wheeling.