SOS - Johnson Valley

Yucca Valley, California (San Bernardino County)

Last Updated: 11/29/2021
5 / 5 ( 4 reviews )
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Highlight: SOS - Johnson Valley
SOS is an insane and extreme rock crawling trail that will put any 4x4 or buggy to its test. Whether you are a Toyota, a 2 door Jeep Wrangler, a 4 Door JKU person, or a tube buggy. SOS will make even the most extreme hardcore off-road enthusiast think twice in the first few feet of the trail. Body damage, driveline failure, bad days, but great memories are all likely to be found on this trail. The next time you decide to have an adventure in the home of The King Of The Hammers in Johnson Valley, California, take a trip to the southwest of Means Dry Lake and check out one of the most insane but epic 4x4 trails in Southern California. If you are interested in taking over this trail review, please sign up to be a contributor at and become part of the team.

Route Information

Technical Rating


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1. Trailhead SOS (0 mi)
You can either run up Turkey Claw and continue straight up the canyon or join the trail from Lazy Days and turn left (Instead of Right like in the photos)

Directions to Trailhead

SOS is at the end of Turkey Claw which is off Morongo Basin Desert Run Road between Mommas Sand Hill and Boone Road. ***To get to Boone Road from Lucerne Valley*** Take 247 east roughly 24 miles. You will see a Johnson Valley sign on the right side of the road and the white lines will be broken on the left side of the road where the dirt road starts. ***To get to Boone Road from Yucca Valley*** From Highway 62 and 247, take the 247 north / west for roughly 20 miles. The turnoff for Boone Road is on the right just after the highway curves to the left.



Land Use Issues

The US Government has come to an agreement with the Off-Roaders that use the area, and we will be sharing areas of the land in Johnson Valley with the US Military. During these times which are unknown, civilians will not be allowed in the area. There is no set schedule yet of when it will be closing and reopening. This is a growing concern for many people that enjoy the area for the fear that they will permanently close this area after the first time they use this area for Military training.

Trail Reviews (8)

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: Im about to seek out sos this weekend. So I need to take a left right after turkey claw at that hill climb to the right that exits the canyon? I'll take some pictures to update this info in a trail review if I make it out.
–Juan Velasquez (03/05/2020)
–Josh Noesser (03/06/2020)
Q: This is not the sos trail..... this is just the extreme beginning..... about where waypoint 2 is marked there are 2 options exit up and out to the hard right. Or you can continue to where the trail really begins. In front of you there are two canyons. Choose the one on the left and squeeze by on the right side of the huge 15ft boulders. At this point there is only one way to go.... that is where the sos trail really begins. The gps tracking on this write up is the end of turkey claw really. Kind of an extended turkey claw. But by no means is this sos.....
–Stephen Howard (08/31/2019)
–Josh Noesser (11/30/2020)
–Stephen Howard (09/04/2019)
–Josh Noesser (09/03/2019)

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California

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.
For individual use only, not to be shared.