2N17X - Pilot Fuelbreak aka The Old Pilot Rock Trail

Apple Valley, California (San Bernardino County)

Last Updated: 05/29/2020
4.9 / 5 ( 9 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 4-7
Length: 3.39 miles
Highest Elevation: 4993 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Apple Valley
Nearest Town w/ Services: Apple Valley
Official Road Name: 2N17X
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Barstow Field Office


Highlight: 2N17X - Pilot Fuelbreak aka The Old Pilot Rock Trail
On the north side of Canyon Pass near Apple Valley, California is a fun and exciting trail that can challenge even the most experienced of drivers. 2N17X Pilot Fuelbreak, or the old Pilot Rock Trail, is a short but extreme off-road trail that winds up the hills near Lake Arrowhead and Silverwood Lake. Full of steep hills and amazing views, there is no wonder why Southern Californians come from far to wheel this epic offroad trail. But don't be worried if you are not in some built rock buggy, the trail is perfect even for people in stock vehicles. That is because it has bypasses around the very hard lines, but still, some fun stuff for the more stock vehicles to struggle on. So jump in your 4x4, and check out this ultimate Jeep trail in SoCal.


Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Stock SUV with High Clearance and 4 Low
The trail is comprised of many large hill climbs that are around 45 degrees climbs for a long distance. On the optional harder hill climbs are large rock ledges up to 3 feet tall.

Technical Rating

Typically, more rock or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 18" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 18" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 36" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.
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Community Consensus

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The trail is full of loose dirt hill climbs with angles over 50 degrees. Many of the hill climbs are longer than 100 feet. Around the area is mostly an old burnt forest with a few trees here and there. Not much shade is on the trail making it hard to escape the heat of the sun. Airing down will be required to run this trail, as well as an SUV with 4 low.


1. Trailhead 2N17X at 2N33 and Hill Climb - Go East (0 mi)
The trail splits off of 2N33 - Pilot Rock Truck Trail and heads west. It is easy to see the trailhead as it is a large hill climb with an optional hard line on the right that has a two-foot ledge at the base.
2. Hill Climb (Required) (0.11 mi)
The first of many hill climbs, this one is steep and has several holes in it from people spinning tires.
3. Hill Climb - Easy on South Side/Hard on North (0.89 mi)
The next hill climb is probably the hardest optional obstacle. With three different lines, there is a path for everyone. The far right is the easiest line while the far left is the intermediate line. If you go straight up the center, there are several large holes that will eat up a 37-inch tire making it very hard to get up without a little Moab bump. Be careful as the far left line is loose and your vehicle can easily get into an awkward position if you don't pay close attention to your tire placement.
4. Hill Climb with Rocks (2.35 mi)
The next hill climb s-turns up the hill and has a few large rocks sticking up near the top. This is the hardest required spot of the trail. A good line will be required for vehicles with no lockers.
5. Final Hill Climb - Easy on West (2.57 mi)
The final hill climb is nothing to take lightly, just like the other hard hill climbs this path has its fair share of challenge and risk. There are roughly 3 lines up the trail and it is normally changing with the weather. Often the far right is the easiest while the middle is hardest leaving the far left the intermediate line. Be careful about using speed because it can get hairy quickly.
6. Southern Trailhead at 2N33 - Go North (3.28 mi)
The trail quickly ends at the top of the final hill climb at 2N33 - Pilot Rock Truck Trail. You can go west to take you back to the other trailhead or east to take you to Pilot Rock or Lake Arrowhead.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Cajon Junction, California

From I15 and Highway 138, take 138 northeast 8 miles. Turn left onto 173 and take for 2.4 miles and turn right just after the damn. Take the little road .8 miles to the trailhead of 2N33 - Pilot Rock Truck Trail. From there take 2N33 0.5 miles to 2N17X.


The trail doesn't have any large enough flat areas to camp at. So if you want to camp, head over to 2N33 - Pilot Rock Truck Trail and pick some of the open areas as you get to the eastern part of the trail.
Camping: 2N17X - Pilot Fuelbreak aka The Old Pilot Rock Trail

Trail Reviews (10)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Could a 2021 cherokee trailhawk make it? Thinking of joining a run.
–Zacharie Wright (10/22/2021)
A: Could you, yes. But, you are going to have to earn it. It won't be easy and spotting, rock stacking, and maybe a tug might be required. It would be best to be patient, air down low, and take it slow with a spotter. And don't forget to have fun.
–Josh Noesser (10/23/2021)

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.