The Bradshaw Trail Drive

Desert Center, California 92239

The Bradshaw Trail Drive

The Bradshaw Trail Drive Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"William Bradshaw established the first road across Riverside County in 1862, linking San Bernardino with the Colorado River and the gold mines at La Paz (now Ehrenberg), Arizona. Its use virtually ended by 1877, although it is designated as one of the BLM’s National Back Country Byways. It crosses a bygone gold-mining district, provides views of the Orocopia and Chuckwalla mountains, and crosses the sloping Chuckwalla Bench, noted for a diverse Colorado Desert plant community that includes the rare 6- to 15foot-tall Munz cholla cactus. Wildlife here includes desert bighorn sheep, raptors, and the endangered desert tortoise."

The Bradshaw Trail Drive Trip Reports

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This was a very fun trail. It's a well maintained, easy trail but 4WD (or AWD) is necessary due to some very long and deep sandy stretches. I imagine it might be a bit tough to find the trail head without a good guide. It took us an entire day to travel the trail including several detours and stops to hike off of the trail. There is enough to see in this area that you could easily make this an overnight trip. Plus there are lots of cool spots to camp along the way. We used the book "The Gold Road to La Paz, an Interpretive Guide to the Bradshaw trail" which was invaluable for our first dive on this trail.

The Bradshaw Trail Drive Photos

Trail Information

Desert Center
Nearby City
Trail Type
4 hours
Best fall through spring; check local conditions
BLM’s Palms Springs-South Coast Field Office
Local Contacts
ACSC San Diego, CRRA
Local Maps

Trail Log