|Typically Open:||Year Round|
(MODERATE - EXTREME)
|Highest Elevation:||3200 feet|
|Duration:||About 3 hours|
|Shape of Trail:||Connector|
|Best Direction to Travel:||North|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Barstow|
|Official Road Name:|
|Management Agency:||BLM Barstow Field Office & San Bernardino National Forest|
Doran Canyon of the Odessa / Doran Loop of the Mojave Desert is one of the most difficult rock crawling off-road trails near Barstow California next to the Calico Ghost Town. When traveling this area, you will notice that the mostly desert landscape is very different than its counterpart Odessa Canyon. Even though these two offroad trails are near the same in difficulty throughout the main body of the trail. Doran has one big difference when it comes to the trail drive, that is "Doran Gate Keeper". Doran's GateKeeper is an insanely difficult off-road obstacle with rocks larger than your vehicle. The holes between the rocks are so large that it is common for people to put their vehicle on its side between the rocks. It's a spectacle to watch extreme off-road enthusiasts try this legendary obstacle as the rocks look like they are swallowing the vehicle whole. It is common for a Jeep Wrangler or Toyota to disappear in the gap only to receive massive body damage when trying to recover the vehicle out of the holes. But the rest of the trail is no walk in the park, with several large waterfalls and many off-camber tight areas, Doran Canyon will test your driving skills and vehicle to its limits.
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
|Spring:||Early spring can be mild while late spring is Hot|
|Summer:||Easily over 100 in the days|
|Fall:||Early fall can be extremely hot cooling off to warm days in late fall|
|Winter:||It can be very cold with snow at times|
If the Gate Keeper isn't for you, then there is an alternate route to Doran Canyon that is much easier. It is easy to miss but can be found right before the Mud Arches on the west hill. The bypass around Doran Canyons Gate Keeper can be found here at Doran Gate Keeper Bypass Trail.
Doran's Gate Keeper is easily in the top 5 list of the hardest obstacles that a vehicle can do under its own power in the United States. With rocks and holes larger then Jeeps, it is easy to see why the only way up is to put the vehicle on its side a few times. If you have a built rig, a strong roll cage, and don't care about a repair bill, then this obstacle is for you. ***DO NOT MOVE OR STACK ROCKS IN THIS OBSTACLE, IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO MAKE THIS OPTIONAL OBSTACLE UNDER YOUR OWN POWER, TAKE THE BYPASS. DO NOT RUIN THIS SPOT FOR THE NEXT PERSON.*** The bypass around Doran Canyons GateKeeper can be found here at Doran Gate Keeper Bypass Trail.
Once you drop into Doran, you are introduced to your first obstacle right away. This narrow but off-camber and articulated area is a lot of fun but can also be costly on the repairs.
This one section can either be easy or a nightmare. Since there is only enough space for one line, you have to hope there isn't anything you can't clear on the path. Make sure you have good under armor because there is a good chance you will use it here.
Probably the second hardest obstacle on the trail, this 5 foot waterfall is a doozy. Since the wall is a near 90 degrees with sand on top, some rock stacking may be required for even the most built rigs.
The trail that keeps on giving. This is the 3rd waterfall from the bottom. This obstacle offers two lines - the easy route and the hard route. The hard line requires you to navigate a vertical V notch and then make a hard left over another V notch. Be ready for the body damage because it is on its way.
The trail that keeps on giving. This is the 3rd waterfall from the bottom. This obstacle offers two lines - the easy route and the hard route. The easy line (if you want to call it that) has many large 36 inch plus boulders in the path and a 4 foot waterfall that is off-camber. If you take your time and have a little help form a spotter, most vehicles can make it through without body damage.
One of the larger mines in the area, the Bismarck Mine was closed (dynamited) to prevent any incidents inside. Even though it was closed, there are still plenty of areas to explore. As always with mines, travel in pairs, make sure people know where you are, and have a flashlight.
On top of the hills above Doran, this spot provides a great 360 degree view of the area.
The trail connects to Odessa Canyon.