2N02 - Burns Canyon

4.8/5 (57 reviews)
Yucca Valley, California (San Bernardino County)
Last Updated: 08/02/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

From the high desert floor flush with Joshua trees, Yucca, and crisp blue skies to the green forest of Big Bear, Burns Canyon, also known as Arrastre Creek, is an odyssey waiting for you in Southern California. Rich with history, particularly if you start at the south end and take in Pioneertown, travel through the famous Rose Mine, and find the rare Redwood trees, this trail makes for a great gateway for an epic overland trip close to home. This is the perfect get-away for a day or days when combined with the other amazing trails this area has to offer.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Burns Canyon is referred to as 2N02 Arrastre Creek once in the jurisdiction of the Forest Service. It is a straight-through 19-mile long trail connecting Big Bear and Pioneertown. The road is comprised of hard-packed dirt with patches of protruding rock. Suitable for any SUV. As written here, the trail will climb over 4,300 feet through its course. While weather can be hot in the lower elevations, it can be cold and temperamental up high, so prepare for desert and cold mountain conditions. The eastern half of the trail before the Forest Service Boundary is on private property. Please drive with respect and care through this area.

Trail Reviews

4.8/5 (57 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/24/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This trail was a nice trail to spend a few hours on and you can definitely get any 4x4 out here. The selection of trails you can take are great and leave options for most levels of drivers. I would defintely suggest spending tow full days out there to hike and explore connected trails.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/27/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Started in Pioneertown and went all the way to Lake Baldwin. While the trail still falls within the Easy category, I'd give a few spots a 3 instead of a 2. Rain has washed out a lot of dirt and has created some deep ruts and exposed a lot of rock. I was driving a Bronco Sport Badlands with 8.8 inches of clearance and there were two spots that I needed every bit of it. You will come to a few places where you'll need to pick your line carefully and there are some very long patches of exposed rock that will make for a very bumpy ride. There are also a couple of small sections of the shelf road that required a line that put my vehicle 12 degrees off camber which isn't a whole lot but could be disconcerting for someone that's afraid of heights. All that said, the vast majority of the trail is very easy and comfortable to traverse with mostly hard packed dirt and the occasional small rock poking through. Any stock AWD SUV should have no real problem driving the trail nor should any 2WD truck with a bit of clearance. If you're willing to bang up your undercarriage you could probably make it in your 2WD minivan but I highly doubt you'd enjoy the ride. When trying to decide if this trail is for you prioritize clearance over off-road capabilities. While I drove the entire trail in 4WD I never felt the need to lock the rear differential or drop it into one of the GOAT modes like Rock Crawl. As long as it isn't raining I doubt very much that you'll end up getting stuck. The trail itself is very scenic and there are a couple of spots that provide great views. There are also plenty of places to camp or just stop and take a break along the way. This trail makes for a great little day trip from the desert floor into the mountains of Big Bear.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/27/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Picked up this trail from around waypoint 6 coming out of Rattlesnake Canyon. Overall the trail is not terribly difficult or technical but I think it deserves a difficulty score of 3 not 2. There are a few sections where the trail is very rocky, rutted or washed out, requiring a little extra attention to navigate. Long stretches of the trail are quite rocky (making for a bit bouncier ride) but not requiring any special skill or equipment to navigate. I ran in 4h or 4l In a jeep with 32” tires and a small lift, this set up provided plenty of clearance and capability to easily handle what the trail threw at us. Perhaps a better equipped vehicle would cruise this trail as if it were nothing at all. While stopped for lunch (waypoint 16) we saw what looked like a dodge caravan racing along the trail so clearly those ‘difficult’ spots I mention are not THAT difficult if you pick a good line and go. There are some great views to be had and other things to see/explore so the trail is definitely worth running (you really should dip into rattlesnake canyon (at waypoint 6) a bit to see the Joshua’s and spring(s) if you aren’t in a hurry. We took our time and stopped to eat lunch and explore a few spots and it took us about 3 hours (from waypoint 6 to end).
Trail Review: 2N02 - Burns Canyon - Chris lindsay
Trail Review: 2N02 - Burns Canyon - Chris lindsay
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/14/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

I’ve done this trail 4-5 times now, and recent wash-outs from heavy rains have made fair-sized parts of it approach 3 in difficulty.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/06/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Excellent scenic route from Rimrock just outside of Yucca Valley to Baldwin Lake in Big Bear. Lots of great views. Any AWD SUV can take it, although you'll be more comfortable if you have at least some clearance and decent tires. 2WD pickups shouldn't have any trouble. There are only a few spots that might require thinking about your line. Great little day trip and a lot of camping along the way.
Trail Review: 2N02 - Burns Canyon - Zacharie Wright
Trail Review: 2N02 - Burns Canyon - Zacharie Wright
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