Pinyon Mountain Road

Borrego Springs, California (San Diego County)

Last Updated: 03/04/2019
5 / 5 ( 6 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 8.06 miles
Highest Elevation: 3500 feet
Duration: About 4 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Borrego Springs
Nearest Town w/ Services: Borrego Springs
Official Road Name: Pinyon Mountain Trail
Management Agency: Anza-Borrego State Park
District: Anza-Borrego State Park


Highlight: Pinyon Mountain Road
This secret of the desert has been a popular off-road trail for the extreme 4x4 enthusiasts who have known about it throughout the years. Comprised of a very narrow rock squeeze and probably the most insane downhill of all times, this trail is something to brag about once completed. Just so you are aware, the squeeze is about the exact width of JK, which means most JK's will not make it through without some scratches. If you don't think that is bad enough, the downhill aka Heart Attack Hill, is a hundred foot long downhill that reaches angles in excess of 70 degrees. Thus a simple mistake or over braking can easily cause a rollover in a horrific manner. But if you are up for it, and you complete this secret of the desert. You will go home talking about this trail for weeks, if not months.


Route Information

Technical Rating


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1. Exit Highway S2 (0 mi)
Exit highway S2 before going over small hill. The trail is on the south side of the road and you can see it working its way over the horizon (Pinyon Mountain).

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Julian, CA

From where Highway 78 and Highway S2 meet. Take S2 South roughly 4.5 miles South and exit left at a dirt road. Once on the dirt road, take the trail that goes to the right and heads east.



Trail Reviews (8)

Questions & Answers (4)

Q: Looking at the trail from Google Earth it appears there is bypass to the South of both the Squeeze and Heart Attack Hill. Maybe more of a separate trail than a bypass. I am heading out there Dec 26 for a few days so planning ahead. Thanks.
–randy talsma (12/12/2018)
–Josh Noesser (12/12/2018)
Q: Will a full size K5 Blazer fit through the squeeze?
–randy talsma (12/12/2018)
–Josh Noesser (12/12/2018)
Q: Are there bypasses at the squeeze and heart attack hill?
–Matt Gardner (08/10/2018)
–Josh Noesser (08/13/2018)
Q: Can you do this trail in the opposite direction? Coming from Fish Creek?
–Josh Farol (07/10/2018)
–Josh Noesser (07/10/2018)

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.