The Bradshaw Trail

4/5 (15 reviews)
Blythe, California (Riverside County)
Last Updated: 01/11/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

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

4/5 (15 reviews)
Josh Noesser
Official Crew
99850
Status: Open
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.
Ryan
4700
Status: Open
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.
Trail Review: The Bradshaw Trail - Ryan
Trail Review: The Bradshaw Trail - Ryan
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Status: Open
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.
Status: Open
Visited: 12/23/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We did a very small portion of the trail (Red Canyon to the Bridge) and wanted to comment on the status of the bridge. I have been here many times and for the first time the rails have been removed form the bridge. I do not know the future of the bridge but it appears to be getting ready for demolition. if you want to see this piece of History, you may want to go soon.
Trail Review: The Bradshaw Trail - Jon Houchin
Status: Open
Visited: 10/03/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The trail description is spot on. There are areas of deep sand and if you do not maintain speed you might get stuck. It was my XJ and an 2001 2wd lifted Ford F150 and we did it all in 2wd no problem. There was one point of concern though, due to rains and monsoons the road leading up to red canyon jeep trail turn point and beyond all the way to the bridge is washed out. Using Gaia gps and the track trails offroad made, we were able to make our way to the bridge while staying the good side of the danger signs and back. We continued onto the Red Canyon Jeep trail.

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