Odessa Doran Scenic Loop Lower

Barstow, California (SanBernardino County)
Last Updated: 10/18/2017
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 1-2
Length: 0.8 miles
Highest Elevation: 2400 feet
Duration: About 15 minutes
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Barstow
Nearest Town w/ Services: Barstow
Official Road Name: Doran Scenic Route
Management Agency: BLM Barstow Field Office & San Bernardino National Forest
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Highlight: Odessa Doran Scenic Loop Lower

This popular hangout area is a great place to camp and have fun. Nestled in the hills of Calico, the lower part of Odessa and Doran Scenic Loop is perfect for taking the family out camping, doing some exploring, and shooting. The area is friendly to RV's and 5th-Wheels, making it a great place to camp off the grid while being close to town. In the area are lots of natural wonders including natural arches, red rock canyons, and slot canyons. The area also hosts lots of off-road trails that have everything from an overland adventure to the most extreme 4x4 rock crawling in America.


Route Information

Technical Rating: (1-2)

Dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Some ruts. Slight grades, up to 10 degrees. 2WD under most conditions. Rain or snow may make 4WD necessary. Usually one and a half to two vehicles wide.

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The lower part of Odessa Canyon is completely different from what most people think when they hear the name Odessa. The lower part consists of a wide wash that has tall cliffs on both sides. The area is suitable for RV's towing, making it a popular area for people to rough it. Please note: It is not recommended for long vehicles or vehicles towing to go past the Doran cutoff. The area past this gets narrow and is overgrown, making it hard to turnaround.

Seasonal Information

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


1. Trailhead

The trail begins north of the road, heading into the hills of Calico. This is a popular area for people to camp outside of the ghost town. It is also popular for people to shoot in this area when not exploring or off-roading.

2. Doran Canyon Bypass around Gate Keeper (0.2 mi)

This is a very popular route that takes you around Doran Gate Keeper. The trail itself can be as hard as moderate in some spots but is friendly to most 4x4 vehicles. More information can be found at Doran Canyon Gate Keeper Bypass.

3. Mud Arches (0.4 mi)

The Mud Arches is one of the most popular attractions in the area. There was once three, but now there are only 2 arches. Please do not try to destroy or damage the arches. They are only made of dirt, and others would like to enjoy them too.

4. Mud Hills Center Route (0.6 mi)

The area is full of exploring, and this one is no different. The Mud Hills Center Route is a popular place for people to take their 4x4's and bikes. The area is completely different than its surroundings which are comprised of soft dirt, causing the hills to be a view worth seeing. Be warned: If this area gets wet, it could be difficult to get out.

5. Doran Canyon Gate Keeper Trailhead (0.7 mi)

From here, the trail splits off to one of Calico's hardest trails, Doran Canyon. This trial is only for the most extreme off-roaders with built rigs. Note: It is not recommend that vehicles towing or having extremely long wheelbases, like RV's, travel past this point without first scouting out a spot.

6. Odessa Canyon Hard Trailhead (0.8 mi)

From here, the trail continues up one of Calico's hardest trails, Odessa Canyon. This trial is only for the most extreme off-roaders with built rigs. The trail itself is rather short and can be easily hiked.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 34.939774, -116.858791
From Calico Ghost Town, head west on Ghost Town Road roughly 1/4 mile. The trail is on the left.


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 Click Here for Calico Ghost Town Camping
Camping: Odessa Doran Scenic Loop Lower

Land Use 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***

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California
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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 four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it. Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company based in Orange County, California. Nybble isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you." Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information. If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.


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