California Desert Byways  by Tony Huegel

California Desert Byways Guide Book

by Tony Huegel (Wilderness Press)
California Desert Byways  by Tony Huegel
Whether you drive a custom 4WD rig or a factory-stock SUV, you'll find the perfect tour in this handy guide. California Desert Byways will help you discover the hidden surprises along the American West's most beautiful and historic unpaved backroads. From day trips to weekend getaways and even longer multiday treks, the 68 tours in this trail-tested adventure guide will take you from sky-scraping peaks to remote warm springs and palm-shaded oases. Many are near secluded campsites and can be jumping-off points for hiking and mountain biking. All follow established roads through some of the wildest country in the West.

© Tony Huegel/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "California Desert Byways" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 68.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 68.

This is a fun, albeit short, drive in a desert wash drive that will bring you to a palm oasis.
Borrego Springs, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 7.6
Colorful Afton Canyon’s fluted walls rise some 300 feet above the Mojave River. It is thought to have been carved over time as Pleistocene Manix Lake drained through a rift in the earth caused by an e ...
Midway, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 10
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The Alabama Hills are a jumbled expanse of huge, rounded, honey-brown granite boulders with one of the region’s most spectacular backdrops: the peaks of the Muir Crest, which culminate at 14,495-foot ...
Lone Pine, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 13
This tour starts on historic Bradshaw Trail, crosses remote Augustine Pass (at about 2,300 feet), then follows a narrow and serpentine canyon through the Chuckwalla Mountains, once a bustling gold-min ...
Desert Center, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 15.8
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Berdoo Canyon Road passes through a biological transition zone, where the high Mojave Desert and the low Colorado Desert meet, and plants and animals from both deserts coexist. Watch along the way as ...
Desert Hot Springs, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 15.2
You will travel from 10,000-foot deep Owens Valley, at the base of the Sierra, through the Inyo Mountains to Eureka Valley, in the remote, forbidding yet magnificent northern reaches of Death Valley N ...
Big Pine, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 93
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This is one of several roads in the area that were designated National Back Country Byways during the time of the BLMmanaged East Mojave Scenic Area, predecessor of today’s national preserve. Although ...
Cima, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 17
The scenery will vary with the changing life zones this tour traverses, as you climb from about 4,140 feet in the Mojave Desert to as high as 7,300 feet in the forested San Bernardino Mountains. Burns ...
Rimrock, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 27
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In the early 1900s, William H. “Burro” Schmidt arrived in Last Chance Canyon, a mining area that previously had been occupied by American Indians for thousands of years. Beginning in 1906, Schmidt spe ...
Ridgecrest, CA - Mountain Biking,Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 16 miles
This tour climbs from about -165 feet in Death Valley to almost 4,000 feet in Butte Valley, in the Panamint Range, and then to 4,326-foot Mengel Pass. There, an even higher knoll that you can drive up ...
Furnace Creek, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 55
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This drive takes you to the very foot of the eastern Sierra’s soaring escarpment, one of the West’s most dramatic sights. Particularly appealing, I think, is the contrast of the mountains’ snowy, glac ...
Bishop, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 15
This relaxing tour provides fine views of several desert mountain ranges and the broad, sloping valleys between them. You can add short side trips to craggy Cougar Buttes [N34°28.565' W116°49.035'], a ...
Daggett, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 51
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The “Canyon Without Name” deserves one that reflects the fanciful handiwork of geologic uplifting, folding, sedimentation and erosion. Those forces have produced a multihued cathedral of high walls, s ...
Ocotillo, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 11.4
This east-west road, designated a National Back Country Byway back when the BLM managed the desert here (it’s now managed by the National Park Service), goes through the geographic center of the Mojav ...
Cima, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 19.2
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Prepare for 7.7 of the most beautiful miles you will ever drive. Climbing 4,400 feet to the semioccupied and privately owned ghost town of Cerro Gordo [N36°32.271' W117°47.712'] provides grand views a ...
Keeler, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 22
From the crest of the Funeral Mountains, about 1,800 feet above the starting point, you will have a spectacular view of Death Valley, the Panamint Range and even the Sierra Nevada while visiting the s ...
Beatty, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 20
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This tour, most of which is flanked by wilderness, follows Aiken Mine Road across the Cinder Cone Lava Beds. This designated national natural landmark is a volcanic landscape with dozens of vents, lav ...
Baker, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 23.5
Although its large native California fan palms have suffered badly from a dropping water table, Corn Springs remains an important oasis surrounded by the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness, with rugged d ...
Desert Center, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 25
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You will follow sandy and rocky desert washes that snake between sheer, narrow limestone walls as the road climbs from sea level to about 3,500 feet. The Cottonwood Canyon road brings you to a flowing ...
Stovepipe Wells, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 43
The dirt roads in Covington Flats provide access to some of the park’s largest and oldest Joshua trees, as well as some of the lushest high desert in the region. The views from 5,518-foot Eureka Peak ...
Yucca Valley, CA - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 21.6
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