Upper Rattlesnake Canyon

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5/5 (5 reviews)
Landers, California (San Bernardino County)
Last Updated: 10/21/2022

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  • 7 waypoints
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  • 9 trail concerns
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Upper Rattlesnake Canyon seemed destined to be lost to time, reduced to just a story that you might hear when hanging out with the older offroaders. Now resurrected and open again, this trail is handily the hardest trail in the Big Bear Mountain Range with its legendary obstacles. The obstacles are so intense that many of the legendary Johnson Valley Trails pale in comparison and often brave drivers choose to simply turn around. Over the years the trail has been called many names from Pops Canyon, Grandparents Canyon, to even Garden of Eden as the different groups think they found something new and exciting. But understand, this trail has been here a long time and the original trail is still rather easy to follow. The history of this epic trail is this was once part of the original Rattlesnake Canyon. The upper part of the canyon made Rattlesnake Canyon get it's intermediate to hard rating. The 2 to 4-foot waterfall of bygone days is now a monster 25-foot waterfall and growing. Thus as the canyon gets harder and harder. Because of this, Rattlesnake Canyon trail has moved out of the canyon and now parallels this canyon in the Joshua Tree Forest leaving this trail to be forgotten over time. But Upper Rattlesnake Canyon is reborn. With lush green plants and trees and year-round flowing springs, it is easy to see why people think they found some kind of Garden of Eden. But understand, there is a lot of history to this uniquely intense rock crawling trail. There is no room for mistakes on this trail without severe consequences. All mistakes will result in vehicle damage ranging from body damage to breaking components or even worse. Thus the only people that should run a legendary trail like this are those who can respect such an insanely difficult 4x4 trail that only could exist from the histories of what once was. Are you that person?
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