Best Places for Off-Roading Right Near Los Angeles


They don’t come much more iconic than Los Angeles, a sprawling, mysterious city if ever there was one. There’s plenty to do there, and there are plenty of people spread across its limits, many who love to get away from the pavement and get off the road. Fortunately, a number of exciting destinations are within reach of the city of the Los Angeles Lakers and the epicenter of the film and music industries. Don’t forget your jeep mud tires when you head out to one of these State Vehicle Recreation Area hot spots in the southern California landscape:

  • Azusa Canyon SVRA, in the hills above the city, features mud pits, hill climbs and water crossings
  • Hungry Canyon SVRA covers 19,000 acres in LA and Ventura Counties and has 130 miles of easy, intermediate and extreme ATV trails
  • Oceano Dunes SVRA is for the sand-loving enthusiast who wants to tackle the 5.5. mile stretch of beach sand and dunes

More Exciting Locations

In addition to the SVRAs, there are other good options nearby. The San Bernardino National Forest, specifically the Big Bear Lake area, has designated 4WD trails to test out your skill and the mettle of your machine. This area gets a little remote so make sure the roof rack for truck supplies you bring is fully-equipped for a full day or more away from civilization.  Also, Joshua Tree National Park is criss-crossed with 4WD roads that take your over gravel, rock and sand. Some of the roads demand high-clearance 4WD vehicles, while others present a milder challenge. Riders should be equipped with the standard flares, extra water, first-aid kit and other emergency supplies. For those looking for a challenge, the 20-mile route along Smoke Tree Wash by way of Pinkham and Thermal Canyons will be one to remember and talk about for years. Nearby areas such as Anza-Borrego State Park and the Salton Sea provide a whole new topography of challenges.

A few other locations draw Jeep SUV and truck drivers who like a challenge. The Old Stagecoach Trail Road is located to the north and west of Los Angeles and in addition to some good riding offers a history lesson as well. This section was once a stagecoach route that went from LA to San Francisco. One section of the road is called the Devil’s Slide because it posed such a challenge to stagecoach drivers, but then they didn’t have the engines of today’s vehicles. The area contains a number of intersecting trails, and the signage is limited, so good navigation skills are required. One of the appeals of the Verdugo Mountains for riders is the chance on high ridges to overlook Los Angeles. The fire roads of this area offer opportunities to explore an area that seems far removed from the city, even though you can see the metropolis down below.

More Adventures

With so many adventures out there and waiting, it’s good to get lift kits for jeeps so you can add to your ride. Off road performance parts allow you to handle the toughest lines with ease.