Are you new to off roading and looking for some easy 4×4 trails to get started on? This is the NotaRubicon’s list of favorite easy and beginner offroad trails. All of these 4×4 trails can be completed by any stock 4×4 vehicle and most are short enough that they can be completed in just a few hours.
If you have questions about any of these trails please leave a comment and we will do our best to answer.
Additional photos provided by: Peggy Marty
Number 10 – Rainbow Basin
The very first trail that The Notarubion ever went on was Rainbow Basin . So easy, it can hardly be considered a trail, it’s a great dirt road for first-time off-road driver. Rainbow Basin is a colorful geologic formation in the Calico Peaks mountain range, about 8 miles north of Barstow just off of Ft. Irwin Road. The Rainbow basin is known for it’s beautifully colored rock formations.
Number 9 – The Red Canyon Jeep Trail
The Red Canyon Trail is a scenic trail that starts at Interstate 10 runs through the hills to Summit Road near Salton Sea. This trail is mostly flat easy road but there is one large, steep and intimidating hill to get up but any stock Jeep can make it easily.
Number 8 – The Bradshaw Trail
The Bradshaw Trail runs from Salton Sea to Blythe and is mostly flat, easy road with just a few sections of sand. There are several interesting things to see along the way including the abandoned Eagle Mountain railroad bridge.
Number 7 – Rattlesnake Canyon
Rattlesnake Canyon goes from highway 247 in Johnson Valley up into the mountains near Big Bear. There are a few sandy areas, a few narrow rocky spots, and usually mud in the winter months but any 4X4 Jeep or truck can complete this trail easily. Most times of the year you will find dozens of cows roaming free throughout the entire area
Number 6 – Burns Canyon Road (2N02)
Burns Canyon Road is an flat, easy dirt road that connects Pioneertown to Baldwin Lake near Big Bear. The Burns Canyon trail offers great views and also connects you with several other nearby trails such as Rattlesnake Canyon or harder trails such as Marble Canyon, Heartbreak Ridge and the Garden of Eden Jeep trail.
Number 5 – Lytle Creek Ridge
The Lytle Creek Ridge Trail is an easy trail composed mostly of fire roads and power line roads which cross the San Bernardino National Forest near the Cajon Pass. The trail runs from Lytle Creek to Lone Pine Canyon and offers beautiful views of the Inland Empire and Cajon Pass.
Number 4 – Old Dale Road
Old Dale Road in Joshua Tree runs through the Pinto Basin and into the Pinto Mountains, where it becomes Gold Crown Road. The route ends at Highway 62 not far from 29 Palms. There are dozens of abandoned mines and historic mining camps lining the route making it one of the NotaRubicon’s Favorites. There are a few rocky spots and shallow water crossing in winter months, but any stock Jeep or high-clearance 4×4 vehicle can travel this entire road easily.
Number 3 – Phillips Loop near Calico Ghost Town
UPDATE 2019 – Phillips Loop has become a bit washed out and may now be too difficult for some beginners! Drive at your own risk and don’t go alone!
Phillips Loop is a beautiful scenic drive in the historic Calico mining district not far from Barstow. The loop takes you through the beautiful mountains and landscape of the Calico Mountains and takes you to Kramer’s Arch – an amazing natural structure large enough to drive your Jeep through.
Number 2 – Cajon Bypass (3N45)
Cajon Bypass (3N45) also known as Old Rt 66 is a short, rough, dirt road that was part of the Historic Route 66 over 100 years ago.
Starting at the summit of Cajon Pass behind where the Old Summit Inn once stood, it winds its way through the hills offering beautiful views of Cajon Pass before it connects to Highway 138
Number 1 – Cleghorn Trail (2N47)
The Notarubicon’s favorite trail! Cleghorn is a 14 mile long trail that is actually a flat dirt road but it has several optional offshoots that range from easy to difficult – perfect for practicing your off-road and 4X4 skills. Many of the offshoots on Cleghorn are steep, off-camber and full of deep ruts but if you stay on the road instead, it’s flat and easy making this the perfect trail for beginners to practice on.