My Trail Reviews (27)
(within last 6 months)
I was a little disappointed that a major washout took the road out at Waypoint 3 but from there a short hike may still find the remains of the mine. I plan on visiting again and will take the time to make the hike and find out whats over that hill.
This short detour off of Brannigan Mine Road takes you to another abandoned mine, Paymaster Mine. It very desolate out there and I did not see another vehicle the entire day. When my phone had a signal, it was weak. The road is easy but gets rough as you follow the valley and get closer to the mine workings. At the end of the road, there is no sign of a mine but you can make out the remnants of a road climbing the hill. I hiked up it and when I lifted my head there was the mine shaft entrance with its support timbers marked with a handpainted "Keep Out". The shaft goes on forever it seems and mine documents state there are 2000 ft of the underground shafts. Interesting that no support was needed for the solid rock tunnels. The end of the trail is protected on 3 sides and seems a good place to camp for protection from the wind.
I had no idea what the mine was and it was shocking to be able to travel around the edge of such a massive mine pit. around the pit, it was a little concerning seeing the rocks that had come off the steep walls that line the road and I didn't feel comfortable driving under there but none-the-less it was a very impressive view down into the mine.
It was a surprise to come over a ridge and discover the road was washed away at Waypoint 3. Even hiking across the chasm created by a flash flood was difficult and when on the other side, I could see the road as it continued and was further damaged even further up. I'm going to make a point of revisiting and then I'll take the time to hike to view remnants of the Jumbo Mine.
What a wonderful destination. I did not take near enough time to explore the mine and will be planning a 2nd trip perhaps to camp at one the mine sites shown in the review. The mine's engineering interests me and perhaps a read-up of 20th-century mining techniques will provide me some insight into the function of all the structures at the site. I'm not one to explore a mine shaft but the shaft near the cabins was gated 30 ft in and it was an opportunity to see up close the reinforcement and lack there off in the solid rock of the shaft. The verticle shafts at Waypoint 16 were very deep! When dropping a stone down the shaft I could not hear its impact. The cabins have been kept up, repaired, and are available for use. Starbucks Exploring
provides several pictures of the interior of the cabin.
When I started the drive I thought Kelso Road went all the way to Kelso Depot or another 14 miles after Waypoint 8. It was only after passing Waypoint 8 did I discover the road, once passing through Jackass Canyon and across the desert to Kelso Road is closed with signs indicating that stretch of road now resides in a designated wilderness area and is without an access corridor. A short hike at this point found very little in the way of a road as the desert did a good job covering the scar.
At Waypoint 4 it's a very dramatic change in the road surface. For the 1st 7 miles, I could glide on the soft sand, often comfortably making 25 mph. Almost immediately at Waypoint 4, the road became loose rock and frequent washs across it requiring a significantly less speed.
To leave, I turned left onto Powerline Road and then onto Aiken Mine Road and after 7.5 miles arrived at Kelbaker Road.
This was a wonderful stress-free trail to drive. Allow yourself some time on this trail. There are lots of places to stop and explore the surroundings but be sure to avoid going near the many mine shafts that are in the area. When we reached the end of Cree Camp Road, we took the right onto Halloran Springs Rd and it ends right the onramp to the I15.
It was a surprise to find a trail so closely surrounded by homes and farms. It was great to see all the green in the valleys below. There is a very lightly traveled section at Waypoint 11, so lightly traveled we thought we might be off the trail but we confirmed it was the right path. It was very nice to drive on a trail so little used. The maps show the road ending at Waypoint 13 but you can keep going straight pass the gate on Voltaire Rd and it will take you out back to asphalt.
The trail is still exactly as described. Inside the tube is like being in a cathedral.
We appreciated the author stitching together Mojave Rd. It was interesting that several sections of it have been replaced with different road names or removed altogether. We thought Waypoint 41 was too tough to try and there was an easy bypass by continuing on Cedar Canyon for 1.2 miles to reconnect with the other end of this section of Mojave Road. From there you could try going up the obstacle instead of down. The timing for arrival at Mojave Camp at Waypoint 50 was just right, for us slowpokes anyway, to setup camp with an hour of daylight left. A great campsite tucked against the rocks for shelter.
An easy trail and a pleasant drive with spectacular views. We saw one dirt biker using the OHV trails and spoke with him a bit at one of our stops. He said on the weekends the area is busy with dirt bikes and ATVs. I mention this because Desert Front shares the trail at several places with the OHV trails.
Two-wheel drive only for the entire length. We saw an Audi SUV with low profile tires leaving at the end which tells you something about the low difficulty of trail.
It was a bit of a surprise the trail ends so abruptly right at Interstate 15.
Slade Canyon is more than just a short connector road up to Lower Lytle Creek Divide. It also offers some of the best views in Lytle Creek. Even after a couple of storms, the road was in great condition. The Forest Service Rangers told me they use Slade Canyon frequently as a shortcut over the ridge to get to the paved Lone Pine Canyon Road on the other side. The entrance off of Stockton Flats is not marked and hard to see as it starts in the middle of the creek bed. But following any of the light tire tracks north will quickly get you to a graded road. The creek area needs some clearance as evidence of past attempts by street vehicles, such as mufflers and other broken off parts are strewn about
Four weeks after our first visit to Stockton Flats we came to see it without snow. Quite a different trail from its soft as a marshmallow ride with snow to the teeth jarring rattle can without snow. Airing down is highly recommended. We included a short vignette of the dry trail.
The trail had not changed since we drove it 7 weeks ago. I thought the rains might have left some bigger ruts but it did not seem any different. I was surprised that the creek had less water running through it also.
We visited 2N58 2 weeks after our 1st trip this time taking along a neighbor in their 4x4 Nissan Xterra. The only difference in the trail was all the snow was gone from the prior visit. The hard spot at Waypoint 5 was still hard. Here is a video of the Xterra trying Waypoint 5 for the first time.
The trail did seem to have some deeper runoff created ruts than our trip 8 weeks ago and not a hint of snow. We still enjoyed stopping for the great views.
The trail was open but a recent storm left a lot of snow. I could not see the actual trail over the creek bed. From driving it in the past, I know over the creek bed there are large rocks marking the trail and did not want to take the risk of getting off the trail and hitting snow that wouldn't hold the jeep above the rocks and decided to try later when the trail was more clearly visible.
A storm a few days prior left about 2 ft of snow in places. From the Paiute trailhead it appears, the trail was broke only for a short distance. Its a rugged trail as described by Dennis in his review and from my own summer experience driving it, I did not want to take the risk of going off-trail and encountering an unseen obstacle.
Recent snow added to the beauty of this area and made for a very pleasant drive. The road is graded from hauled in gravel to support hikers using cars to access the hiking trailhead at the end. We were surprised when we came to the hard spot at Waypoint 5. A passenger car would have great difficulty passing over this area. Along the road, we could hear the creek below, and when there was an obvious trail, enjoyed short hikes down to the water. In the fresh snow, we could see wildlife tracks and other sign such as what we think was black bear scat.
We wanted to drive this trail before a predicted storm. We picked a perfect time. I prior storm had left a foot or two of snow a week prior and by the time we got there, the snow was packed down by the traffic. The trailhead was busy with a lot of folks visiting the snow on this sunny day, but after 1/4 mile the crowds thinned and we were left mostly on our own or with a couple of other 4x4s. Once driving over the actual Lytle Creek at Waypoint 4, a gentle climb took us higher, and the farther we went the more beautiful it was with the snow carpeting everything. We came across a snow camper at Waypoint 9 who was just trying to leave. He had a shovel breaking loose his tires that had frozen in overnight. He declined a tug and on our way back he was gone. Early in the trail, the large cobble road was very rough where the snow had melted and we decided to air down. But soon there was enough snow to allow us to glide smoothly along.
We looked for the trailhead on the south end and could not find it so we decided to enter from the north and discovered the trailhead was hidden by a home development under construction. It will be interesting to see how they maintain access to the trailhead. We took Meyers Canyon up the ridge to get to the Edison Road trailhead. The road follows power lines and being a windy day the cables would vibrate and sing loud enough to hear from the road. The road was a bit rough with the water worn ditches but that just added some driving fun to the trip.
From the trailhead and looking back south, Old CC continues across Lytle Creek. The section of the road is now closed. The Forest Service gate is barely visible from the road through the overgrown bushes and is only available to hikers. With Old CC Spur, we expected an easy mild road similar to what we have experienced elsewhere in the Lytle Creek area but were surprised at how rutted Old CC Spur was. The difficult section at Waypoint 4 put one Jeep up on 3 wheels. That said we enjoyed the change of the pace and the bit of "technical" challenge the short road provided.
At the bottom, where it is still flat, there are several unmarked trails intersecting the road. We explored some of the trails and they lead to power line towers or other support facilities but none-the-less they were fun to explore if you can live with a little stripping from the overgroth.
It's always fun to splash through a creek. Last year at that this spot a vehicle and driver had to be rescued after heavy rains swelled the creek. I've done this road twice now and both times I unknowingly turned onto the power station road as the actual Meyers Canyon Road is well hidden until you drive past. The gun range is huge when viewed from above and it would be interesting to discover how the gun club carved such a big slice of land out of the National Forest. At the top, we continued our journey along the Lower Lytle Creek Divide and had a great day of getting away.
We started from 3n31y. An easy road. Great views to the North-East. You can see and hear Interstate 15 and the long trains as they rumble through. We will sure to visit again in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.
We took Sheep Canyon to access the trailhead for Upper Lytle Creek Divide. As Sheep Canyon was only 2 miles, we did an up and back to discover the entire trail. It didn't disappoint. The scenery was great, enhanced by the seasonal color changes in the trees. It was a big surprise to realize Interstate 15 was just over the ridge only 2 miles away as the crow flies.
This was a cloudy day that slowly cleared as the day went on and the result was a beautiful azure sky filled with white wispy clouds. The views were spectacular when at the top of the ridge. We encountered several vehicles going in both directions and while this is a one-lane road, there was always enough room to squeeze over and let them by. This is an easy road with no obstacles at all, however proper all-terrain tires should be used. Near Gobbler's Knob Spur we encountered an Audi Sedan whose driver was installing a spare to replace a tire that had a 4" slash in the sidewall. After talking with the driver, he believes the slash happened on the cracked granite section around Waypoint 12.
Who could resist trying a trail named Gobblers Knob! Well, it turns out it was just not us. At the trailhead, we met a fellow in an Audi sedan with a slashed tire. A 4-inch slash of the sidewall happened when passed over the granite rubble section of Upper Lytle Creek Divide on his way up to the Gobbler. He just finished putting on one of the small temporary spares and we followed him out just to make sure he got to the pavement OK. We could see him slipping down the road so that and the slashed tire speaks to being properly equipped with all-terrain tires when traveling off-road. We plan to visit again and this time hike the 1/4 mile out to the actual Gobbler's Knob. The road was easy but can be intimidating with the shelf roads steep drop offs. The views were wonderful but all around we could see the burn results from the 2016 Blue Cut fire .