2N33 - Pilot Rock Truck Trail

Hesperia, California (SanBernardino County)

Last Updated: 09/23/2021
4.9 / 5 ( 22 reviews )
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Status:
Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 1-4
( EASY - MODERATE )
Length: 11.88 miles
Highest Elevation: 5271 feet
Duration: About 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Hesperia
Nearest Town w/ Services: Hesperia
Official Road Name: 2N33
Management Agency: San Bernardino Forest Service
District: Mountaintop Ranger District

Highlights

Highlight: 2N33 - Pilot Rock Truck Trail
The Pilot Rock Truck Trail starts at the east side of Silverwood Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains in the San Bernardino National Forest. Possibly the most scenic trail in San Bernardino county, Pilot Rock Truck Trail runs between Silver-wood Lake and the small mountain community of Lake Arrowhead. This long mountain trail serves up one amazing view after another starting with Waypoint 6 which overlooks Silverwood Lake from a steep ledge. From Pilot Rock ( the actual rock ) at Waypoint 18, you will look out to see a panoramic view of the distant desert fading into the forest covered mountains.

Video

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
2WD Vehicle with High Clearance
Concerns:
Summary:
The main trail is a simple dirt road. The high end rating comes from the optional alternate routes.

Technical Rating

MANDATORY
1
EASY
OPTIONAL
4
MODERATE
Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 5" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 5" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 6" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep, but with good traction.
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Community Consensus

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Description

Pilot Rock Truck Trail is a long off-road mountain trail that runs from Silverwood Lake to Lake Arrowhead. This is an easy dirt road, though there are multiple opportunities to jump on the harder, alternate route that parallels the trail and intersects the main Pilot Rock Truck Trail. For the most part, the main trail is a wide dirt road, but there is a narrow section of shelf road between Waypoints 18 and 19. If Pilot Rock is not long enough for you, combine it with any or all of Cleghorn Trail, Willow Creek Jeep Trail , and even Dishpan Springs and Holcomb Valley. Under normal conditions, 2WD, high ground clearance vehicles can make it through Pilot Rock, but 4WD is recomended for any of the alternate routes.

Waypoints

1. Pilot Rock OHV Staging Area (2N33) (0 mi)
The Pilot Rock OHV Staging Area is a great place to air down and check out the view from the Cedar Spring Dam. The Trailhead is about 75 yards east of this location.
2. Pilot Rock Trailhead (0.05 mi)
The Pilot Rock Trailhead is on the south side of the road and marked as Forest Road 2N33.
3. 2N17X North Intersection (0.54 mi)
Continue to the right to stay on Pilot Rock. 2N17X is a more difficult trail with steep climbs and narrow saddles. 2N17X intersects with Pilot Rock again at Waypoint 13.
4. Turnout (2.53 mi)
Continue straight to stay on Pilot Rock. The turnout here leads to a few other trails, but these are marked as restricted.
5. Water Tank (2.9 mi)
Continue straight to stay on Pilot Rock. A watering system sits on the east of the side trail here.
6. Overlook (3.67 mi)
Be careful around this turn.The trail loops around the edge of the ridge at this point. There is a serious cliff and an amazing view of the lake here.
7. Alternate Route Intersection 1 (3.81 mi)
This is the first intersection with the more difficult, parallel route. Continue left ( the northern trail ) to stay on Pilot Rock. If you need some more action, go right ( the southern trail ), up the harder router.
8. Alternate Route Intersection 2 (4.15 mi)
This is the second intersection with the more difficult, parallel route. Continue straight to stay on Pilot Rock.
9. Alternate Route Intersection 3 (4.9 mi)
Here is another intersection with the more difficult, parallel route. Continue left ( the northern trail ) to stay on Pilot Rock.
10. Alternate Route Intersection 4 (5.61 mi)
Here is another intersection with the more difficult, parallel route. Continue left ( the northern trail ) to stay on Pilot Rock.
11. 2N36 Intersection (6.05 mi)
Continue straight to stay on Pilot Rock. A right / south will take you on 2N36 which leads down the hill.
12. Alternate Route Intersection 5 (6.35 mi)
Here is another intersection with the more difficult, parallel route. Continue straight to stay on Pilot Rock.
13. 2N17X South Intersection (7.27 mi)
Continue straight to stay on Pilot Rock. 2N17X connects to Pilot Rock again on the left / north.
14. Alternate Route Intersection 6 (7.37 mi)
Here is another intersection with the more difficult, parallel route. Continue left ( the northern trail ) to stay on Pilot Rock.
15. Rocks / Alternate Route Intersection 7 (7.88 mi)
Here is another intersection with the more difficult, parallel route. Continue left ( the northern trail ) to stay on Pilot Rock. The rock path shown here is easily bypassed.
16. Path to the Pilot Rock (8.46 mi)
If you're running the easy route as mapped here, this short detour on the more difficult route is a must to get to Pilot Rock ( the actual rock ). Turn right / west on the alternate route. If you want to skip the path to Pilot rock, Continue to the left and skip to Waypoint 19.
17. Pilot Rock Turn (8.56 mi)
Turn right / north here to reach the rock.
18. Pilot Rock (8.62 mi)
This is it. The rock that is big enough, high enough and noticeable enough to claim the name of this entire trail. This is a good spot to stop for lunch or just take in the view. Back track to Waypoint 17, then 16 to get back on the main trail and continue east. You will pass through a narrow shelf road before the next waypoint.
19. 2N34 Tunnell Road / Sawmill Road (10.07 mi)
Continue straight to stay on Pilot Rock. 2N34 / Tunnel Road / Sawmill Road is on the right / south.
20. Grass Valley Creek (11.09 mi)
Continue straight, across Grass Valley Creek.
21. 3W14 Intersection (11.41 mi)
Continue straight to stay on Pilot Rock. 3W14 is limited to bikes and quads only. No jeeps or 4x4 vehicles.
22. Pavement (11.47 mi)
Continue straight. This is where the dirt ends / pavement begins.
23. End / Highway 173 (11.9 mi)
Pilot Rock ends here at Highway 173. If you still want more, turn left and head north for 1.2 miles to connect to Willow Creek Jeep Trail.
24. The View From Pilot Rock (8.62 mi)
Here are some more pictures to remind you of the view from Pilot Rock.

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. The Pilot Rock OHV Staging Area will be about 1 mile ahead.

Camping

Designated
Silverwood Lake Campsites in the Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area offers group site camping, RV camping and tent camping. Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area is near the west end of Pilot Rock Truck Trail and reservations can be made through Reserve America. This campground includes toilets and showers. Single sites are $35 per night. Group sites are as high as $300 per night. Dispersed camping is available off Highway 173 near the east end of this trail, in Arrowhead. The North Shore Campground is on the east side of Lake Arrowhead, but this campground is only open from late April through early October. North Shore Campground has potable water and flush toilets. Fees are $23 per 1 vehicle for the night, however fees increase and a 3 night minimum is enforced on holiday weekends.
Camping: 2N33 - Pilot Rock Truck Trail

Trail Reviews (35)

Questions & Answers (4)

Q: Do you guys have plans on reviewing 2N17X? Also, if you've previously ran the trail, what would you rate it? Thanks.
–Gonzalo Payan (04/30/2019)
A: Thanks for the replies. Ended up doing 2N17X about 3 weeks ago and I agree with both of your takes. Went up the gatekeeper with open diffs, no problem after picking the right line. Last hill definitely intimidating but nothing difficult after getting off the rig and walking the line. We were 2 JK's; one stock with Wildpeak tires and one with 2" lift and KO2's
–Gonzalo Payan (05/22/2019)
A: I did 2n17 a few weeks ago in my Cherokee (XJ) The gatekeeper is more intimidating than anything, but if you have a rear locker it's not hard. The hills are steep and occasionally narrow, the hardest part is the end hill climb back to PRTT.
–robert (05/22/2019)
A: I don’t plan on reviewing it, but another contribitor might. I would put it somewhere in the 4-5 rating range. It’s not really a hard trail, but it’s steep, rutted and can put you off camber. A few sections are narrow with long drops on one or both sides and don’t leave much room for error.
–G. Martin (05/01/2019)
Q: How do we earn achievement points?
–Joseph Chaplinski (04/28/2019)
A: Hi Joseph! Currently it’s based on doing trail reviews and answering community questions, where you can. The more trail reviews you give and questions you help answer, those points start climbing pretty fast. It will be part of a future installment we have planned.
–Todd (04/28/2019)
Q: How long does it take to run the trail from lake Arrowhead to Silverwood?
–kayvan (04/09/2019)
A: If you stick to all the easy lines, maybe 1-2 hours.
–G. Martin (04/10/2019)
Q: Are they open during weekdays and are they still open due to the fires that recently happened?
–carlos (12/30/2018)
A: Yes. This trail is open.
–G. Martin (12/31/2018)

Writer Information

G. Martin

Mapping Crew - California

G. Martin, gm4x4 on Youtube , is a California native, born and raised in northern California and now living and wheeling in southern California. He enjoys exploring new trails and setting up camp in the remote outdoors. You may come across him in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the mountains of Big Bear, in the central Sierras near Shaver Lake or any other dirty, rocky road in the southwest.
For individual use only, not to be shared.