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Easy(ish) 4x4 areas?

 
  #1  
Old 10-29-2003, 08:24 PM
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Easy(ish) 4x4 areas?

Hey, all. So I've had my posh 4x4 truck for almost 10 months now, and I'm starting to feel like a real poser since I've only been off-road in 4wd once. I'd like to start getting the tires dirty (or however you 4-wheelin' types phrase it) at least occasionally, but I'm having a heck of a time figuring out good places to go.

Is there anything with an 45-90 minutes of L.A. that's scenic enough to warrant a trip and yet still appropriate for a beginning off-roader (and not blatantly trespassing)? I'm really not looking (yet, anyway) to get into anything that's going to break axles or ruin paint jobs or require a second truck along to winch me out.

I have looked at a few on-line off-roading sites, but most don't seem to list much in the way of entry-level routes. Also, I'm not interested in joining any clubs at this time, although that may be something I look into later on.

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-30-2003, 11:44 AM
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Well, if youre ever around Palomar mountain, theres a fun little dirt road named the nate harrison grade. Its pretty easy, but its still fun. Theres a couple of rough areas. Also, theres a great view of the valley below the whole drive up. Then when you get to the top you can look around palomar mountain, like the observatory and all that. The grade is on the west side of the mountain and you can reach it easiest by going through Valley Center. Heck, if youre ever down here tell me and Ill go along!
 
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Old 11-01-2003, 11:37 PM
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I hear there is an off-road park off the 5. Just past Castaic and up near Gorman. I never been there but some of my coworkers spent a wild-man weekend up there.
 
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Old 11-03-2003, 03:31 PM
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It's called Hungry Valley. Not bad, lots of beginner stuff also.
 
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Old 11-04-2003, 01:41 AM
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Hungry Valley sounds fun; I may have to plan a couple of days up there on some of my days off. I'll probably be down in San Diego around Thanksgiving, so maybe I'll check out Palomar Mtn. then.

Anyone know of anything in the San Bernardino mountains?
 
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Old 11-04-2003, 12:21 PM
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There are lots of dirt roads in the San Bernadino mountains, but only for summer use. Now that the first snow has fallen, I would not recommend it. Until the fires are completely out, no one is allowed in there anyway.

Arrowhead, Big Bear, Gregory and Green Valley lakes all have access to dirt roads nearby that are excellent for exploring.

Jim
 
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Old 11-04-2003, 04:16 PM
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I would stronly suggest NOT going "off road" unless you are accompanied by another vehicle - not all breakdowns are caused by a rough road, and you could get into to trouble on ANY dirt road. If you are alone, you are in for a potentially dangerous walk.

Theo
 
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Old 11-05-2003, 03:42 PM
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If you're up around the Santa Barbara area, try West Camino Cielo Road. It goes from the San Marcos pass along the top of the ridge between the ocean and the Santa Ynez valley. It comes out at Refugio beach, north of SB. Great views. Don't know current condition.
 
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Old 11-05-2003, 06:07 PM
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That is a cool road, I went up there earlier this year, the views a great.

Theo
 
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Old 11-05-2003, 07:41 PM
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Cactus Flats just outside Big Bear City is perfect for that kind of off roading. It's brobably about 90 minutes out from your area.
 
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Old 11-06-2003, 02:38 PM
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Also check out the Holcomb Valley on the north side of Big Bear Lake. I saw a lot of bad roads (the best kind!) on my topo quad map.
 
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Old 01-18-2004, 12:34 PM
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The best advice I can give is to go over to Barnes and Noble and pick up a book like "BackCountry Adventures: Southern California" by Massey and Wilson. It has hundreds of trails in so cal from san diego to Colorado river to Santa Barbara. I use it aloing with a basic hand held GPS and I have a great time. It is perfect to plan since it has pics, trail rating for difficulty and a whole bunch of other stuff. I used to just check on-line or even just start driving, but it is much better to have a plan.
 
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:00 PM
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Man, I've had my 2wd for 9 months and its been offroad 30% of its lifetime. Hey, take a look at generation-edge.com I think there are having a meet down there in that area soon.
 
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Old 01-27-2004, 08:21 PM
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If you live in Whittier you can also head up to Azusa Canyon (SR-39) it has some ok beginner stuff. Also for maps head to the local forest service and get maps for Angeles Forest. They show most dirt road, 4x4 trails and tell you where there are locked gates
 
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:50 PM
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Lots of fun trails up near Big Bear....you can stay on 3n16 around Holcomb Valley and take it for miles and miles....it's easy, but if you want harder those are definetly here as well....
 

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