Barnwell Mountain

Gilmer, Texas (Upshur) Technical Rating: 1-10

Last Updated: 01-14-2011

Status: Open
Permit Information:
Permit Required - Click Here
Difficulty: Easy-Extreme
Length: 27.0 Miles
Category: Forest, Mine, Mud, Rock, Sand, Wash, Water
Highest Elevation: 650 '
Duration: 1 day
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Go: East
Connecting Trails:
Nearest Town:
Nearest Town w/ Service:
Nearby Trails:
Forest Service Road: #
Forest Service / Park District:
Texas Motorized Trails Coalition

Barnwell Mountain Highlights

Highlights: Barnwell Mountain - Gilmer, Texas

The Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area is an 1,850 acre park owned and operated by the non-profit organization Texas Motorized Trail Coalition and was officially opened in July 2000. Amenities include a pavilion, camping, full shower and bath facilities, several vault toilets, rental cabins, a well marked 4wd trail system of all different ratings. There's even a hard-core a rock garden, and more.

Technical rating: (1-10) Easy-Extreme

Severe conditions. Extreme caution recommended. Impassable by stock vehicles. Winching required. Trail building necessary. May be impassable. Impassable under anything but ideal conditions. Vehicle damage probable. Personal injury possible. Extreme caution necessary.

Read more about our rating system


Directions to Trailhead

From Gilmer, TX (about 120 mile East of Dallas and 225 miles north of Houston) from Highway 271, turn onto Highway 155 heading North. After about six miles the entrance to the park will be on the right, just past Camp Gilmont.


Trailhead GPS Coordinates:

32° 48' 2.79"N
94° 52' 33.42"W

Topo Maps:

Trails Map

GPS Exchange File:


Route Description

This park offers a wide variety of off-road trails and recreational options from dirt roads, to four-wheel drive trails, to an extreme rock crawling area. For a map of trails, click on the Topo Map / Trails Map link above. It is open most weekends from 8:00AM Friday to 6:00PM Sunday (dusk). The office is open Friday and Saturday until midnight. Entry into the park after midnight is not allowed until 8:00AM the following morning. The way-points below provide views of some interesting parts of the park. Entrance to the park varies from $15 for TMTC members to $30.00 + $5 per person for non-members. You will also be required to have an annual Texas OHV decal which costs $16.

1: Rock Garden

Barnwell Mountain - Waypoint 1: Rock Garden

2: Main Road

Barnwell Mountain - Waypoint 2: Main Road

Main Road near the Pavilion

3: On The Trails

Barnwell Mountain - Waypoint 3: On The Trails

4: Camping

Barnwell Mountain - Waypoint 4: Camping

5: Mud Pit

Barnwell Mountain - Waypoint 5: Mud Pit

6: Muddy Trail

Barnwell Mountain - Waypoint 6: Muddy Trail

7: Pavilion

Barnwell Mountain - Waypoint 7: Pavilion

Camping and Lodging

The park has a number of camp sights for $10 a night, and even a couple of cabins available for rent for upwards of $80 a night. There are also shower and bath facilities, several vault toilets. Just seven miles away on the south end of the city of Gilmer, TX are a couple of hotel choices.

Fj trailersummer2016

S.J. Hollist

I've been writing for TrailsOffroad since August 2015. Before that, I had been off-road in places like central and northern Utah, east and west Texas, and...

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Questions & Answers

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Trip Reports

Fj trailersummer2016

S.J. Hollist
Official Crew

Offroaded on 01-14-2011

Status: Partially Open

Conditions: Icy

Low Temperature: 20° F

High Temperature: 59° F

Camping GPS Coordinates:
32° 47' 21.25"N
94° 50' 53.61"W

Trip Report: Barnwell Mountain - Gilmer, Texas Trip Report: Barnwell Mountain - Gilmer, Texas Trip Report: Barnwell Mountain - Gilmer, Texas Trip Report: Barnwell Mountain - Gilmer, Texas Trip Report: Barnwell Mountain - Gilmer, Texas Trip Report: Barnwell Mountain - Gilmer, Texas

This was the every year from 2008 to 2011 for the annual Lone Star Toyota Jamboree at Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area. Each year they closed the park to participants only, and each event was better and better than the last with trails for all skill levels and vehicles, good BBQ, and a charity raffle that just seemed to get more elaborate every year!

The first few times I went, it was in my 2007 FJ Cruiser TRD SE. The last two time was in my 2000 Tacoma SR5 4x4 that I had basically rebuilt from the ground up (not as cheaply as I thought it would be).

Being in January or February each year I went, the weather was often cold, and even a bit wet and ice one year. A couple of the years were actually very nice during the day, but still on the colder side. More recently (2016) they have moved it to be in late spring for hopefully improved weather conditions, but being in east Texas it can still be quite wet and humid any time of year.

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