Summit Road

Scout Route
5/5 (3 reviews)

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Starting at I10, Summit Road is entirely on BLM land and skirts over its 11 miles southward between the Orocopia Mountains to the west, the eastward Chuckwalla Mountains, and ends at the border of the Chocolate Mountains Bombing Range. The road is on or next to the raised railbed of the now-abandoned Eagle Mountain Railway, which hauled iron ore from nearby the Kaiser Eagle Mountain Mine. The railway carried its last ore in 1986, and it's only in recent years the rails and ties have been harvested for reuse. Portions of the raised railbed have collapsed, and Summit Road diverts down its sides and continues on a deep sandy wash. The road is surrounded by widely spaced Creosote scrub and other bushes native to the Colorado Desert. Military jets may fly overhead and are seen first before the roar of the engines catches up as they maneuver for practice bombing runs. You may see the rising smoke of a successful bomb drop off to the south. The road surface alternates between flat gravel on the railbed and deep soft sand. The constant erosion has created obstacles, especially where the road diverts off the railbed, and it's these areas that require an experienced off-road driver. This straight-through road provides a connection to at least five other trails to explore including Red Cloud Mine Road with a final connection at the Bradshaw Trail. Dispersed camping is available anywhere along the trail, and several rock fire rings from previous campsites are visible from the road.