Pinkham Canyon

5/5 (18 reviews)
Desert Center, California (Riverside County)
Last Updated: 09/15/2020
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Trail Information

Highlights

To some, Joshua Tree National Park is only a desert. It is actually two deserts, the higher elevation Mojave and the lower elevation Colorado. The result is amazing desert flora, rock formations and those wacky namesake trees (actually a type of yucca). Joshua Tree’s beauty shines around the clock, with vibrant sunsets melting into nights filled with uncountable stars. Joshua Tree National Park encompasses almost 800,000 acres, larger than Rhode Island. The Park offers hiking, photography, horseback riding, rock climbing, and camping, to name a few activities. Most 4x4 off-roaders love the Park for its trails. Almost all of the trails have a Gold or Silver Mine associated with them. Pinkham Canyons attraction is the Snow Cloud Mine, watch for Waypoint 4 for the trailhead to the north. So enjoy, and explore with safety.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

5/5 (18 reviews)
Status: Open
Visited: 11/20/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

I did this trail in a stock 2021 F150 FX4 with only upgraded tires (285/70R17 Nitto Terra Grappler G2). The trail is very narrow and I would not recommend for a full size truck or long wheelbase vehicle. I ended up rubbing against a lot of brush. The difficult waterfall section also becomes more difficult with a long wheelbase vehicle. With a good spotter and smart rock placement, you can get through. It was a nice experience but there was really no pay off with views or destinations and I would warn that the payoff may not be worth the damage to your vehicle.
Status: Open
Visited: 11/20/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Ran this trail from south to north, east trail with no issues
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/12/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We ran this south to north from the Aqueduct road. The trail is remote and beautiful with plenty of solitude. You will find this an easy ride without much technical driving, even if you are in an unmodified rig. The areas with sand and deep gravel do not have the washboarded surface that other popular trails in the area suffer from. We did the side trip to the Snow Cloud mine remnants which is short, but well worth the effort as this is a nicely preserved piece of the area's history. Seems like nobody goes there either, so you would likely have it to yourself. The only issue to be aware of is the area where this trail connects to the Aqueduct road. There is a marked sign for the trail which we ignored in favor of the GPS tracks here, which turned out to be a mistake. No doubt late summer rains change the topo significantly over time and that appeared to be the case. We ended up route-finding in heavy brush and wash debris in a section that is likely a wilderness designation. Since we prefer to tread lightly whenever possible, it was not a happy moment. But this lasted for only about the first mile. We started the day on Fargo Canyon (also a fun trek), made our way over on the Aqueduct Road and had a lunch stop at the Cactus City Rest Area on I-10 before heading out on this trail. All in all, a very solid and scenic day.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/18/2021

Have not been on this trail in over 25 years. And now I have never felt older... Hoping to see wild flowers but we missed the bloom. We did see birds, squirrels and a few Big Horn Sheep. Only saw one other person on the trail. 4wheel drive and high clearance highly recommended as there are two areas towards the end (west end) of the trail where you will need both. Also the sand in the washs gets soft. Otherwise this is a very easy and fun trail! Enjoy and please pack your trash.
Trail Review: Pinkham Canyon - Derek Fox
Trail Review: Pinkham Canyon - Derek Fox
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Drew
2650
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/03/2021

This is a great trail!!! I'm sorry I didn't do it sooner. It's very secluded and really quite beautiful. I actually prefer this trail over Berdoo Canyon. The trail is truly a mix and depending on some of the lines you take through the wash, it can be either easy or push into four/five rating range if you choose the wrong set of tracks to follow.

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