The Bradshaw Trail

4.1/5 (17 reviews)
Blythe, California (Riverside County)
Last Updated: 01/11/2023

Trail Information


Ghost Town
The Bradshaw Trail or the Gold Road to La Paz is a popular overland trail in the southeast corner of California in Riverside County. This once-popular overland stage route used to haul miners and other people looking for the wealth of California. Along the route, you will see many unique features to the area including old mining encampments, abandon train tracks, abandon train tussle, and many unique natural wonders. Because of all these amazing scenic stops, this route has become very popular with the overland community and off-roaders that are looking for a great way to escape the hassles of work. One of the amazing opportunities of this scenic trip is you can make it a day trip or multiple days to get to enjoy all the unique locations along the route. Thus, if you are looking for a unique offroad adventure near Palm Springs and Blythe, California, that could be done in 1 to 3 days and is easy enough for a new driver, look no further than the enjoyable 4x4 adventure of the Bradshaw Trail.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

The Bradshaw Trail is a popular overland route that takes you from the Colorado River to the Salton Sea. Along the route, you follow many unique features from abandon train tracks to old mining areas. The trail is a lightly maintained road meaning it could be in good condition or poor condition based on if there was any weather recently. 4wd is recommended since the soft sands could easily cause problems for 2wd vehicles. The trail on the east end is usually maintained while the trail on the west end is a wash-boarded wash.
The area can get over 100-Degrees easily in the summer. Never travel alone on this trail and always bring extra water. Also, be careful for flash floods during the rainy season, the trail crosses many washes that could swell in seconds.

Trail Reviews

4.1/5 (17)
Rated 4/5
Visited: 02/04/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The trial is easy to pass with 4x4 and a small lift. The washboard as you exit on the West side is pretty annoying to drive but overall it worth the view you get at sunset by the old bridge.
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/11/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Just ran the trail as part of a 2-day overland trip. The trail was pretty smooth and was able to get through it pretty easily.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/09/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We run a fantastic 2 night trip on this quintessential overland trail. Unbelievable history spanning 1850 through WWII to the modern day. Our group started in Ripley, running the Bradshaw Trail from East to West. Camping at Roosevelt Mine made for some epic sunsets over endless landscapes. On night 2, we camped deep within Red Canyon, and offshoot to the north of this trail. We visited the Eagle Mountain Train Trestle and then backtracked to take Red Canyon Trail to the North, ending in Chiriaco Summit - making sure to visit the General George S. Patton Memorial Museum - well worth the $13 bucks to get in. Overall - the Bradshaw Trail was extremely easy. Any 4x4 vehicle will make easy work of it. The views are excellent and there is plenty to see and explore.
Rated 3/5
Visited: 11/23/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Over the course of this weekend and last I did about 70% of this “trail”. It’s a dirt road. Very easy. I went 40 at one point. Very easy. Quite scenic.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/14/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The trail is a maintained gravel road a majority of it's length. The wash on the west side towards the train bridge has spots with very deep sand.

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