SOS - Johnson Valley

Yucca Valley, California (SanBernardino County)
Last Updated: 11/06/2017
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 9-10
(DIFFICULT - EXTREME)
Length: 0.3 miles
Highest Elevation: 3400 feet
Duration: About 4 hours
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Yucca Valley
Nearest Town w/ Services: Yucca Valley
Official Road Name:
Management Agency: BLM - Johnson Valley OHV Area
District:
Distance:
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Highlights

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 TrailsOffroad.com and become part of the team.

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Route Information

Technical Rating: (9-10)
(DIFFICULT - 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.

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Description

If you love insane Rock Crawling, off-camber rollover spots, SOS is the place for you. Common for lots of rollovers and major breakage, there is a good reason why the trail name is SOS. 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.

Seasonal Information

Spring:Warm to hot days are common, maybe even too hot to enjoy the area.
Summer:It is common to be over 100 degrees in the Summer months
Fall:Warm to hot days are common, maybe even too hot to enjoy the area.
Winter:Since in the high desert, it is common for it to be very cold in this area.

Waypoints

1. Trailhead SOS

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)

2. Stay Right (0.1 mi)

The trails splits off to the right and heads back out of the mountains.

3. End of SOS (0.3 mi)

Trail connects back with Morongo Basin Desert Run Road at the end of the trail.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 34.400691, -116.538436
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.

Camping

You are allowed to camp anywhere in the area. Many people camp on Means Dry Lake but this area isn't conducive to tent camping because of the high winds, dust, and traffic that frequent the area. The popular area to camp is against the hills off of Morongo Basin Desert Run. This is also a popular area because it is a lot less windy than the lake bed below and has substantially less traffic. Everything from RV's, to trailers, to tents are welcome in Johnson Valley. Please note, this is dispersed camping and the nearest form of food, water, or help is 30 miles away.
Camping: SOS - Johnson Valley

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.

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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