Aftershock (Rated 5)
This is a little different from the rest and a more typical trail. First, you go up a sandy wash with rock obstacles here and there. A cruise until all of a sudden there’s “Depreciation Knob,” so named by a very experienced driver with a full-size vehicle. Twisting back and forth, up, over, and through the rocks, you will wish your vehicle was hinged in the middle. 35” tires, front and rear lockers required.
The Big Easy (Rated 2+)
This trail was named in 2009 by our contest winner, Steve. This trail is a meandering soft-sand, dirt road trail around the Hartwell Hills, home of the infamous Hammer Trails. Beginning almost right outside of the Fun in the Desert campsite, this trail offers spectacular vistas of the Means Dry Lake area, as well as trailheads and exit points of many of the Hammer trails. Abandoned mine shafts offer cool places to lunch and explore at your own risk. Read Dangers at Abandoned Mines. Two or three by-passes are offered for those who want to challenge themselves and their rigs. 4 wheel drive required.
Claw Hammer (Rated 4)
This is the baby of the hammers. When you think baby, think of “Baby Huey.” It is a little shorter than the others–but very demanding. We have added an OPTIONAL 5+ canyon at the top, which is very loose and steep. 35” tires, front and rear lockers required.
Fissure Mountain (Rated 3+)
This trail is for those who are not ready for the hammers or who want to go on an easier run. Most vehicles can do it with a moderate lift and under armor. The beginning of the trail is a 3+ for about 1 mile, then it gets easier and allows for sightseeing over all the valleys in the area. We also cross the Landers fault line and can see it in both directions. Near the end, it’s a 3+ again with a 45 degree climb down the side of the mountain. 33” tires, rear locker required.
Jackhammer (Rated 4+)
This trail is rated a righteous 4+ with the only relief on top, where you go up a narrow, rocky ridge, make a hard right turn just below the top of the ridge, onto a narrow, off-camber section across the top, to the steep downhill which takes you back into a whole new set of rocks with tight turns and drop-offs. This trail has a real pucker factor and is not recommended for full-size vehicles. 35” tires, front and rear lockers required.
Outer Limits (Rated 5)
This is perhaps the most technical of the trails. You travel out around the hills to the east. Then, you work your way across the rough alluvial, following the cairns, and enter the canyon, up another twisty rocky climb. It’s not as steep as Jackhammer–but more difficult. Then, through three squeezes which will leave their mark on your short-wheelbase vehicles. Some of the squeezes require putting one of your tires on top of rocks and snaking through off camber. This trail is not for full-size vehicles. 35” tires, front and rear lockers required.
Sledgehammer (Rated 5)
This is our original trail. The canyon is part of the Fisher Mountain Trail and is broken up into three sections with a total length of about 1.2 miles. It is non-stop technical rock crawling from the bottom to the top, earning its 5 rating. On the top, the trail continues across the mountain with a couple of hill climbs and descends on the east side, down the original up-hill. The downhill is an experience all on its own. Not recommended for full-size vehicles. 35” tires, front and rear lockers required.
Sunbonnet (Rated 5)
A definite 5 here, it’s actually two canyons. You start off with the smaller one and pass through “Sunbonnet’s Gate” making a sharp right turn, and up and over the rocks as you pass through the gate. If you are lucky enough to make it to the top, you get to go down “Sunbonnet’s Slide.” Assuming you make it through the squeeze, the rest of the trail is no more difficult than say, Sledgehammer. Full-size rigs cannot make it through Sunbonnet Gate and will play heck making it through the squeeze. 35” tires, front and rear lockers required.
Wrecking Ball (Rated 5)
This trail is the tightest and most technical of all our trails. Some will regard this as a very demanding and–possibly–the toughest trail. 35” tires, front and rear lockers required.
Mottino Wash (Rated 4)
This is a rugged wash leading up from Rattlesnake Canyon to the east. There is some beautiful scenery including majestic walls and rock ledges. This is a challenging run with sand and large rocks and ledges. Possibility of tire damage, so be prepared. 35” tires, front and rear lockers required.
Fissure Mountain (Rated 3+)
This trail is for those that are not ready for the hammers and want to go on an easier run. Most vehicles can do it with a moderate lift and under armor. The beginning of the trail is a 3+ for about 1 mile then it gets easier and sight-seeing over all the valleys in the area. We also cross the Landers fault line and can see it in both directions. Near the end, it’s a 3+ again with a 45-degree climb down the side of the mountain. 33” tires, rear locker required.
Bullfrog/Cakewalk (Rated 3)
This trail begins just east of Camp Rock Road in the Cougar Buttes area of Johnson Valley. Starting out with a tight squeeze, the trail loops around through rocks, boulders, and small washouts. Known as the “Moab of California,” this rock rich run provides lots of technical maneuvering and wheel-hanging action. Approximately 18 miles west of the Fun in the Desert campsite, this run will require a 20-minute pavement run to get to the trailhead, or (if we have a group consensus), we could take an hour route through the desert. Either way, this is a very fun trail with lots of photo ops. 33” tires, 1 locker recommended.