Morongo Basin Desert Run Road - Johnson Valley

Yucca Valley, California (SanBernardino County)

Last Updated: 11/03/2017
5 /5 ( 1 review )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 1-2
(EASY )
Length: 0.9 miles
Highest Elevation: 3000 feet
Duration: About 15 minutes
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Yucca Valley
Nearest Town w/ Services: Yucca Valley
Official Road Name:
Management Agency: BLM - Johnson Valley OHV Area
District: Barstow Field Office
Distance:
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Morongo Basin Desert Run Road - Johnson Valley

Once in Johnson Valley, many people wonder where the best dispersed camping is at. Morongo Basin Desert Run Road (aka Desert Run Road) is one of two favorite spots for the locals to camp at. Desert Run Road is almost totally protected from the aggressive winds that can wreak havoc on the Means Dry Lake. The weather isn’t the only reason to choose this trail for camping. Immediately off of Desert Run Road is some of the best 4x4 and off-road trails in the area including trails like a Turkey Claw, which is an extreme rock crawling trail. Mommas Sand Hill is a popular place for razors and other side by sides to hang out and there are several natural dirt bike courses against the hillside. So the next time you are in the area and wondering where to camp, take your RV, 5th Wheel, or tent and look to Desert Run Road.

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Weather

7 day forecast for Morongo Basin Desert Run Road - Johnson Valley

Route Information

Advanced Rating System (BETA)

Recommended Vehicle:
2WD Vehicle with High Clearance
Concerns:

Technical Rating: 1-2
(EASY )

Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 8" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 9" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 12" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep but with good traction.

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Description

The trail is mostly a dirt road that crosses the desert. There are several open areas perfect for camping in both tents and RV's. This area is popular because it is against the hills helping to reduce the wind that can whip through Johnson Valley. The road is known for lots of woops, and as you cross Turkey Claw cut off, the trail will get harder and is no longer suitable for RV's and Trailers. The US Government has come to an agreement with the Off-Roaders that use the area, and we will be sharing areas of the land in Johnson Valley with the US Military. During these times which are unknown, civilians will not be allowed in the area. There is no set schedule yet of when it will be closing and reopening. This is a growing concern for many people that enjoy the area for the fear that they will permanently close this area after the first time they use this area for Military training. Please see URL for access issues for more information.

Waypoints

1. Desert Run Road and Boone Road (0.00 mi)

The trail splits off of Boone Road and heads west. This is a popular camping area where these two roads meet. When no one is out there it can be easy to miss the turn. But luckily, not far past this road is a Desert Map Sign on the right side of Boone Road. If you reach this sign, turn around and the road will be a hundred feet on the right.

2. Cut-off To Camp Rock Overlook (0.40 mi)

One of the several trails that split off of this trail is Camp Rock Road which is just east of the large open area before Turkey Claw. This trail is great for the intermediate offroaders and moderately modified vehicle. The trail splits off to the south and climbs over the hills that follow the south side of the trail.

3. Turkey Claw (0.70 mi)

The trail continues straight, but if you want some excitement in your life, you can turn left and head up Turkey Claw, which is a fun and difficult rock crawling trail that will put any 4x4 to its test. Turkey Claw is a fun and difficult rock crawling trail that will put any 4x4 to its test. Whether you are a Toyota, a 2 door Jeep Wrangler, or a 4 Door JKU person.

4. Mommas Sand Hill and Desert Run Road (0.90 mi)

The road ends at Mommas Sand Hill. Who doesn't love a good sand hill? Mommas Sand Hill is conveniently located in the epicenter of extreme off-road culture in Johnson Valley. Only a very short distance from the legendary basecamp of "King of the Hammers" lies this sandy playground. Soft loose sand, steep grades, and plenty of area to persuade your friends to try harder and harder obstacles, this sand hill can be hours of fun and entertainment for all off-road skill levels. Just don't get stuck. Last thing you want to do is call your momma to come rescue you in her 86 Olds Cutlass Supreme.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 34.399157, -116.525270

Starting Point: Lacurne Valley, CA

To get to Desert Run Road, you will need to get to Boone Road and take it 2.7 miles (Waypoint 6 on Boone Road). The trail is on the left side of the road just before the desert sign / map. ***To get to Boone Road*** ***From Lucerne Valley*** Take 247 east roughly 24 miles. You will see a Johnson Valley sign on the right side of the road and the white lines will be broken on the left side of the road where the dirt road starts. ***From Yucca Valley*** From Highway 62 and 247, take the 247 north / west for roughly 20 miles. The turnoff for Boone Road is on the right just after the highway curves to the left.

Camping

Dispersed

You are allowed to camp anywhere in the Johnson Valley OHV area but Desert Run Road provides some of the best camping in the valley. There is several popular areas when camping in Johnson Valley. When camping off of Desert Run Road, many people that tent camp like to camp against the hills to try and stay out of the winds, the closer you are to the hills, the less the winds are. For the people with the RV's and 5th wheels, they find themselves camping just off the hill sides in the slight flatter areas in the valley floor or closer to Turkey Claw where their is a giant flat area perfect for large vehicles. Everything from RV's, to trailers, to tents are welcome in Johnson Valley making it the ultimate dispersed camping playground. If you were wondering, the other popular area in Johnson Valley to camp is Means Dry Lake, where you will find that this area is a open flat area, but it isn't conducive to tent camping because of the dust, winds, and traffic. Please note that this is a dispersed camping area and the nearest forms of food, water, and help are about 30 miles away.

Camping: Morongo Basin Desert Run Road - Johnson Valley

Land Use Issues

The US Government has come to an agreement with the Off-Roaders that use the area, and we will be sharing areas of the land in Johnson Valley with the US Military. During these times which are unknown, civilians will not be allowed in the area. There is no set schedule yet of when it will be closing and reopening. This is a growing concern for many people that enjoy the area for the fear that they will permanently close this area after the first time they use this area for Military training.

Trail Reviews (1)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
My family have spent the past 10 years camping in this for thanksgiving with a big group of friends. This is an awesome area. There's so many areas out their to explore. stop and say hi if you see us on the trail.

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California

Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it. Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company based in Orange County, California. Nybble isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you." Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information. If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.
For individual use only, not to be shared.