Odessa Canyon

Barstow, California (SanBernardino) Technical Rating: 7-10

Last Updated: 12-09-2017

20151024 162106
Status: Open
Difficulty: Moderate-Extreme
Length: 1.3 Miles
Category: Altitude, Desert, Ghost Town, Iconic, Mine, Mud, Overland, Rock, Sand
Highest Elevation: 3,200 '
Duration: about 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Go: North
Nearest Town:
Barstow
Nearest Town w/ Service:
Barstow
Forest Service Road: #
Forest Service / Park District:

Odessa Canyon Highlights

Highlights: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California

Odessa Canyon is the flagship trail for Calico. Comprised of many hard obstacles with no bypasses, this trail will make you earn your trip to the top. On top of the difficulty, Odessa provides the best views in the area. Many people leave this trail only wanting to do it again. But be ready, this trail has a 7 foot waterfall, an extremely narrow rollover spot that you just have to see to believe, and a super tight off-camber canyon. With everything this trail offers, don't be surprised if the trail wreaks havoc on your vehicle.

Please note Odessa Canyon is very tight, and it is highly recommended that only a short narrow wheel base attempt this trail.

BLM has plans to close most of the trails in the area, please call Matt Toedli at 760-252-6026 and voice your opinion

Technical rating: (7-10) Moderate-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

Video

Directions to Trailhead

From Highway 15 in Barstow, exit the second Ghost Town Road off-ramp. Take Ghost Town Road north roughly 2.5 miles passing Mule Canyon on the right. Turn right onto the dirt road (Odessa Canyon), and you will see a sign just off the road with a map (34.939767, -116.858813). Enter Odessa / Doran Canyon and stay on the dirt road for roughly 3/4 of a mile until you reach the trail head. Please note, the canyon splits to the left. This is where you will find Doran Canyon's Gate Keeper.

 

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:

34° 56' 53.44"N
116° 51' 5.59"W

Topo Maps:

Odessa Canyon

GPS Exchange File:

Download

Route Description

Odessa Canyon is a trail for the experienced drivers with built rigs. This overland / rock crawling trail offers a 7 foot waterfall, a narrow off-camber canyon just wider than your Jeep, and the scariest obstacle in the area... a washout over a small cliff.

1: Trailhead (0.0mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 1: Trailhead Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 1: Trailhead Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 1: Trailhead

Odessa starts out in a narrow red rock canyon just wide enough for your vehicle. The colors of this canyon are jaw-dropping and many people will just hang out here because of the view.

Prior to arriving at this trail head, there are 3 mud arches on the left side of the trail. 1 has collapsed, but 2 remain. These mud arches are large enough for a Jeep to drive through.

2: First Hard Spot (0.1mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 2: First Hard Spot Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 2: First Hard Spot Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 2: First Hard Spot

The first hard spot of Odessa is probably the easiest of all the hard areas of the canyon. Even though I say easiest, there is nothing easy about his one area. The area is full of 36+ inch boulders and narrow spots that a JK will struggle with. Make sure you have rocker protection and don't mind scratching your rims.

3: 2 1/2 Foot Waterfall (0.5mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 3: 2 1/2 Foot Waterfall Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 3: 2 1/2 Foot Waterfall Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 3: 2 1/2 Foot Waterfall

This little waterfall is the first in a series of waterfalls. It is fun to drive up and easy in comparison to those that follow.

4: 7 Foot Waterfall (0.6mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 4: 7 Foot Waterfall Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 4: 7 Foot Waterfall Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 4: 7 Foot Waterfall

If you haven't turned around yet, you might now. This 7 foot waterfall is not just a spectacle to view but also hard to get up. The problem is that if you fail, you can either roll back into a cliff destroying your passenger quarter panel or roll over your right rear tire. Make sure you use a spotter or know this obstacle well before attempting.

5: Narrow Canyon (0.8mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 5: Narrow Canyon Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 5: Narrow Canyon Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 5: Narrow Canyon

Many people call this one spot Wall Street. Even though it isn't, this is one of the coolest sections of the trail. At just 8 feet wide, a 35 degree side angle, and 100 foot plus sheer cliffs, this one part of the trail will give you some thrills and maybe some heartache. Be warned this is a roll over spot, and there is also a great chance of doing body damage.

6: 3 Foot Waterfall (0.9mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 6: 3 Foot Waterfall Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 6: 3 Foot Waterfall Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 6: 3 Foot Waterfall

Another little waterfall that is fun to go up.

7: Washout (1.0mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 7: Washout Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 7: Washout Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 7: Washout

This might sound funny, but many people will not try this last obstacle. They would rather turn around and go down the trail at the risk of doing all that body damage than face this one spot. Why you ask? It is simple...the trail is elevated roughly 20 feet off the canyon floor where the wash out happened. The washout itself is about 7 feet wide which is wider then most vehicles on the road. But what you don't realize is that it is in a corner and when attempting this one obstacle, there is a very high risk of your rear tires sliding off the cliff possibly resulting in you and your vehicle plunging over the drivers side of the cliff and landing not so comfortably on the roll cage. If your cage is strong, you might be okay. If not, well...you can only hope for the best.

8: Phillips Climb (1.1mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 8: Phillips Climb Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 8: Phillips Climb Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 8: Phillips Climb

The exit to Philips Canyon, this hill climb might stain your pants. In the middle of it are several medium sized waterfalls (2-4 feet) that can easily cause things to go wrong. If you are uncomfortable with this climb, continue up to Tin Can Alley and back track that way.

For more information on Phillips Canyon West, please visit: http://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1046-phillips-canyon-west For more information on Phillips Canyon East, please visit: http://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1718-phillips-canyon-east

9: Hard Option (1.1mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 9: Hard Option Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 9: Hard Option Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 9: Hard Option

This narrow but fun canyon is a short but difficult obstacle. You run the risk of doing body damage in this tight little area.

10: Easy Climb up to Phillips Canyon (1.2mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 10: Easy Climb up to Phillips Canyon Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 10: Easy Climb up to Phillips Canyon Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 10: Easy Climb up to Phillips Canyon

This is the alternate route to Phillips Canyon

11: Doran Canyon Cut-off (1.2mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 11: Doran Canyon Cut-off Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 11: Doran Canyon Cut-off Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 11: Doran Canyon Cut-off

Doran Canyon Cut-off is to the left.

For more information on Doran Canyon, please visit: http://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1468-doran-canyon

12: End of Trail - Tin Can Alley (1.3mi)

Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 12: End of Trail - Tin Can Alley Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 12: End of Trail - Tin Can Alley Odessa Canyon - Waypoint 12: End of Trail - Tin Can Alley

This is the end of the trail, to the right is Tin Can Alley. If you continue straight it takes you to a locked gate.

For More Information on Tin Can Alley, please visit: http://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1723-tin-can-alley

Access Issues

BLM has plans to close most of the trails in the area, please call Matt Toedli at 760-252-6026 and voice your opinion

Camping and Lodging

Camping & Lodging: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California

Calico offers several types of camping.

The area around Calico Ghost Town is BLM land. This allows you to tent camp anywhere you like with wood camp fires. Please keep in mind that there are lots of trails out there and try not to camp on a trail. Also, remember to pack up all of your trash and take it with you. For those who enjoy something a little more comfortable, you can easily drive RV's & 5th Wheels into the canyons Odessa, Doran, and Mule. If roughing it isn't your thing, Calico also offers a campground with hookups and cabin rentals. You can find more information about the campground and cabins at http://cms.sbcounty.gov/parks/Parks/CalicoGhostTown.aspx

Me in jeeps

Josh Noesser

Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to...

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Questions & Answers

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Trip Reports

Me in jeeps

Josh Noesser
Official Crew

Offroaded on 12-09-2017

Status: Open

Conditions: Sunny

Trip Report: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California Trip Report: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California Trip Report: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California Trip Report: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California Trip Report: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California Trip Report: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California

Went out to record some of the trails in 4k, had a blast playing on the trails. Was able to run Doran and Odessa in a couple hours doing all the hard obstacles. Thus a great day.

Me in jeeps

Josh Noesser
Official Crew

Offroaded on 11-06-2016

Status: Open

Conditions: Sunny

Low Temperature: 66° F

High Temperature: 84° F

Dave

David Firebaugh

Offroaded on 11-06-2016

Status: Open

Conditions: Sunny

Low Temperature: 48° F

High Temperature: 80° F

Trip Report: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California Trip Report: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California Trip Report: Odessa Canyon - Barstow, California

Even though this was my first run on Odessa it did not fail to meet up to the challenge. This is a difficult trail for a vehicle that is not lifted and at least 33" tires. I would recommend at least 1 locker, skid plates, a winch, and experience. The trail conditions can change with the weather and the current conditions provide loose rock, sand, small to large boulders, a difficult waterfall that may require stacking depending on your vehicle. This trail has a steep off-camber narrow canyon that if you don't pick the right line can cause damage to the driver's side of your vehicle, hug the right side if you can. The last obstacle is a washout that is rock but has some loose stuff on top that if not cautious can lead to slipping off the trail and rolling into the wash below; narrow vehicles will make it. 1 picture provided shows the front of a Jeep that tried to climb up from the wash in the washed out area and can show how narrow the trail is between him and the wall.

Me in jeeps

Josh Noesser
Official Crew

Offroaded on 11-03-2015

Status: Open

Conditions: Dry

Low Temperature: 46° F

High Temperature: 77° F

Some of the Videos from exploring the area.

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