Scenic Canyon - Red Rock State Park - California

Cantil, California (Kern County)

Last Updated: 12/07/2018
5 / 5 ( 7 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 3.51 miles
Highest Elevation: 2546 feet
Duration: About 17 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: South
Nearest Town: Cantil
Nearest Town w/ Services: Inyokern
Official Road Name: Scenic Canyon
Management Agency: California State Parks
District: Red Rock State Park


Highlight: Scenic Canyon - Red Rock State Park - California
With only a 2-hour drive north of Los Angeles, spectacular canyons can be observed in the El Paso Mountains. Black Rock Canyon in the Red Rock State Park is one such canyon. Previously home to the Kawaiisu Indians, the El Paso Mountains contain much of their heritage to this day. Later on, mining became the mainstay. Many mining camps of different minerals are spread across this mountain range. The Dutch Cleanser Mines, Bickel Camp, Cudahy Camp, Burro Schmidt Tunnel, Holland Camp, and Holly Ash Mine are just a few of the attractions. This is a perfect trail if you love history, scenery, and are new to offroading.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Black Rock Canyon, Scenic Canyon and Nightmare Gulch Staging Area (0 mi)
The staging area for Black Rock Canyon, Scenic Canyon and Nightmare Gulch is difficult to find. It is approximately .9 miles north of Ricardo Campground entrance.

Directions to Trailhead

From Mojave: Travel north on Highway 14 for 24 miles. When you see the Ricardo Campground entrance, continue for .8 miles and start looking closely to the right while slowing down and signaling to enter the staging area. From Inyokern: Travel south on Highway 14 for 19 miles. Since you will not be able to make a legal left turn to enter from the south bound side of the highway, it is recommended to continue on and make a right at the Ricardo Campground entrance. From there, you can turn around and make a left onto the north bound lanes of the highway. At .8 miles, start looking closely to the right while slowing down and signaling to enter the staging area.



Land Use Issues

This trail is currently slated to be closed in the Red Rock Canyon State Park General Plan being developed at this time. Please help us keep OHV Access open in the state park by sending comments to: Email Mail Katie Metraux Project Manager California State Parks 1725 23rd Street, Suite 200 Sacramento, CA 95816 Additional information can be found at the following links: Also, a Facebook Page that keeps up to date on the subject And

Trail Reviews (8)

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Chuck Nielsen

Mapping Crew - California

Chuck just flat-out loves off-roading. He caught the bug at the age of 15 when his family moved to the Antelope Valley (located in the Mojave Desert) from Long Beach, California. In grade school, he was fascinated of learning about the 20-Mule Teams that would haul Borax from the mines in the Mojave Desert. He was so excited to actually move to a place that bore so much pioneering history. When he received his license to drive, exploring became a daily pastime. Then, he was exposed to the pitfalls of wheeling in the desert. Not having access to 4-wheel drive, he was forced to respect traction and gravity. Now that he’s had experience with just about every kind of vehicle in the desert, he relates well with anyone wanting to experience the Great Outdoors. Ultimately, he loves to see the smile these experiences will put on your face.
For individual use only, not to be shared.