Jawbone Canyon Road

Sequoia National Forest, California

Distance19.0mi
Elevation Gain7,276ft
Trailhead Elevation6,234ft
Top6,234ft
Elevation Min/Max2712/6234ft
Elevation Start/End6234/6234ft

Jawbone Canyon Road

Jawbone Canyon Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Kern County, California. It is within Sequoia National Forest. It is 19.0 miles long and begins at 6,234 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 38.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 7,276 feet. The Granite King Mine (elevation 4,088 feet) and Granite King Mine (elevation 4,216 feet) quarries can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Sc123.

Jawbone Canyon Road Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Backcountry Adventures: Southern California (Adler Publishing )
Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson
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"Jawbone Canyon Road is a roughly graded dirt road that connects the desert areas of Jawbone Canyon with the pine-covered Piute Mountain region in the Sequoia National Forest. Initially the road is paved as it travels through the Jawbone Canyon OHV Area, where there are formed trails and open areas for 4WDs, ATVs, and motorbikes. At the start of the trail, the staffed Jawbone Station offers an excellent selection of maps, books, and free information. One noteworthy feature along the early stages of the trail is Blue Point—a prominent ridge of rock that gains its distinctive blue color from copper in the rock. Blue Point was considered sacred to the Native Americans who lived in Jawbone Canyon. The scenery within the canyon is spectacular in its own right, with rugged hills surrounding the open canyon. The windmills of the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm are visible on the ridge to the southwest. Special Attractions: Jawbone Canyon OHV Area-an open area with a number of trails for 4WDs, ATVs, and motorbikes; Trail travels through a variety of scenery from desert to pine forest; The historic Geringer Grade. High-clearance vehicles are preferred, but not necessary. This trail is dirt roads, but may have rocks, grades, water crossings, or ruts that make clearance a concern in a normal passenger vehicle. The trail is fairly wide, so that passing is possible at almost any point along the trail. Mud is not a concern under normal weather conditions."
Guide to Northern California Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails (FunTreks)
Charles A. Wells
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"Trail starts at 2,500 feet and climbs to above 8,000 feet. Depending on time of year, you could start in hot desert and end up in snow covered forest. Trail passes through Jawbone OHV Area, very popular with ATV and dirt bike enthusiasts. Primitive, remote camping along route. Trail ends with spectacular descent to Lake Isabella. First half of route is a wide, graded gravel road which crosses high desert terrain. Second half climbs into forest where road is steep, narrow and rutted in places. Higher elevations may not be passable because of snow in the winter. When I drove this trail in mid May, some snow still remained in the trees above 8,000 feet. Area is extremely remote and a long way from services. Route-finding is complex, so follow directions carefully. Use caution around blind curves where speeding dirt bikes appear instantly. Dirt bike riders should slow down at these points to avoid serious injury."
Guide to Northern California Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails (FunTreks)
Charles A. Wells
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"Trip provides an inside tour of popular Jawbone OHV Area and Dove Springs Open Area. Fun route is used as Poker Run by local four-wheel-drive clubs. Many challenging side roads to explore. Kids will love miles of roller-coaster whoop-ti-dos and close-up views of Los Angeles Aqueduct. This trail would be rated easy if it weren’t for one steep, rough climb near the end. Stock, high-clearance SUVs can do it, but the last part of the trail may be too much for a novice driver. Soft sand requires tires be aired down. Long wheel-base vehicles may drag bottom occasionally on undulating terrain. Many crisscrossing roads make route-finding a challenge although main roads are well marked."
"You will experience the transition from the Mojave Desert to the forests of the southern Sierra as you climb from 2,500 feet to over 8,000 feet. The descent to Kern Valley and Bodfish via a narrow shelf road is spectacular."

Jawbone Canyon Road Trip Reports

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6/14/2015
For my first introduction to off-roading, I had a blast. It was well-maintained on the dirt roads, with plenty of side roads to travel for more ambitious trips. Friendly advise from those at the entry point, and a wonderful lunch at the end of the trip in Onyx.
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11/15/2014
This was an fun day trip. The contrast between the Desert and Forest is really cool. The drive took us over 6 hours, but we stopped several times. Road is pretty good, most trucks and SUV's should have no problem.
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5/6/2008
tHIS IS THE SISSY WAY TO GO FROM JAWBONE TO ISABELLA. YOU SHOULD LOOK IN TO THE MOUNTAIN ROUTES FOR REAL TRAILS. THE BETTER ROUTE FOR SCENIC DIRT BIKE TRAILS IS THROUGH THE BRIGHT STAR WILDERNESS AREA UP THROUGH DRY MEDOW DOWN TO MT MESA.WHEN IN MT. MESA YOU CAN GET FUEL AND FOOD THEN RIDE BACK KELSO VALLY BECAUSE YOUR SO WORKED OR GO BACK THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS.THE TRIP IS APPROX 120-145 MILES DEPENDING ON WHICH WAY YOU HEAD BACK TO JAWBONE.
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6/12/2007
Beautiful high desert back country. An easy drive in a 4x4.
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