Any dirt roads for a beginner in So Cal?

LJ_3M121318

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First time Jeeper, should be getting my Rubicon 4xe this week. Bought it for a variety of reasons, and the interest to go off roading is one. Never been before, but am interested.

Don't want to do anything crazy at first, where I need a winch (don't have one), but just drive around kicking up dirt to start, just to get a feel for it. Once I inevitably get hooked, I'll meet up with other Jeepers and get a winch and all that.

I'm about 40 minutes away from Rowher flats and in a few weeks will be in OC so can be close to Windomar. Those are the OHV's that I found on Google. But not sure if I can just show up there and drive around or if I need to be with a crew or something.

I've been searching google maps satellite view looking at random streets that turn into dirt but most look like they are private property or are walking trails, so not 100% sure of those yet and don't want to drive around a 10 mil radius for four hours going from spot to spot like I was mining for gold or something.

Any place I can go between SFV and OC where I can just drive around in dirt and get a small taste of off roading?
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Sublime

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There's a bunch of cool gravel roads in Death Valley. Titus Canyon is a good fun beginner trip.
 

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Aside from the previously mentioned ones you also have Old Dale Rd, Red Canyon Jeep Trail, Phillips Loop and the list goes on.
 
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LJ_3M121318

LJ_3M121318

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Those are all good choices for when we officially start our beginner off roading and driving 2+ hours out from where we live to go try.

But was hoping to find a dirt road or so between the 405 and 5, around there to quickly take on just to get a newbie feel to driving on dirt
 

tonygiotta

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Was going to suggest Saddleback Mountain on the eastern edge of OC, but it looks like the Main Divide Truck Trail that leads to the summit is currently closed due to fire damage. Still may be able to find something worth checking out in the Ortega Highway canyon area. Holy Jim was fun too, but I’m m not sure of the status as it’s been many years since I lived/wheeled in So Cal. If you’re willing to head a little north of SFV, check out Gorman/Hungry Valley on the Tejon pass. All sorts of trails to play around on there.
 
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LJ_3M121318

LJ_3M121318

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Ok I found a mini spot about ten minutes from my place. It's not an off road area per se, but it is a little dirt patch that let me play around.

For those in LA, specifically in the SF Valley right near Roscoe and Valley View. Found it searching Google maps.

It let me go up a few bumps and in fact in the area with the blue circle was a big enough bump that when I was over the middle, the wheels started to spin a little so I tried to back up but wasn't moving so then put it back in drive and just drove down and did a three point turn to go back over it. It was probably a spot to do 4wd but didn't think I needed to. Definitely nice baby spot for a beginner that is no more than a 20 min walk to a gas station if I really messed up.

Spot in red looks like you can go thru on Google maps but in real life it's a bunch of weeds and small trees so only dirt bikes can get thru. It actually opens up past that point and is not a residential area but is probably city property so don't want to mess around too much.

Either way, was exactly what I was looking for as newbie before I try rowher flats or something else
20210527_210434.jpg
 

jadewolf

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Here's a few that are reasonably close to Los Angeles, all easy day trips.

Liebre Mountain:
Near Gorman, just a little ways north of Santa Clarita.
https://funtreks.com/off-road-trails/liebre-mountain/

Sierra Pelona:
An easy part of Rowher Flats, just east of Santa Clarita along the 14.
https://funtreks.com/off-road-trails/sierra-pelona-ridgerowher-ohv/

Willow Creek :
Near Big Bear/Lake Arrowhead, near the Pinnacles staging area.
https://funtreks.com/off-road-trails/willow-creek-road/

Gold Hill / Alamo Mountain:
An easy part of the Hungry Valley OHV area, just north along the 5 near Gorman.
https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/alamo-mountain-loop
 

ITGuy

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Plus one for Willow Creek, that’s my back yard in arrowhead, lots of fire roads and pretty much all the obstacles are optional.
 

DavidArmen

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Here's a few that are reasonably close to Los Angeles, all easy day trips.

Liebre Mountain:
Near Gorman, just a little ways north of Santa Clarita.
https://funtreks.com/off-road-trails/liebre-mountain/

Sierra Pelona:
An easy part of Rowher Flats, just east of Santa Clarita along the 14.
https://funtreks.com/off-road-trails/sierra-pelona-ridgerowher-ohv/

Willow Creek :
Near Big Bear/Lake Arrowhead, near the Pinnacles staging area.
https://funtreks.com/off-road-trails/willow-creek-road/

Gold Hill / Alamo Mountain:
An easy part of the Hungry Valley OHV area, just north along the 5 near Gorman.
https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/alamo-mountain-loop
I also live in LA, thank you for this list!
 

LazyJL

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I live at the bottom of Woolsey Canyon, all the legal dirt roads have been closed in the Canyon, the trail you found is technically off-limits, it belongs to LA's DWP and used to be posted until someone ripped the signs ripped out.
You may find my mountain bike tracks in the area, it's better suited to bikes than Jeeps..
Gorman and Rowher Flats are both good choices and the most local to us.
 
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LJ_3M121318

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I live at the bottom of Woolsey Canyon, all the legal dirt roads have been closed in the Canyon, the trail you found is technically off-limits, it belongs to LA's DWP and used to be posted until someone ripped the signs ripped out.
You may find my mountain bike tracks in the area, it's better suited to bikes than Jeeps..
Gorman and Rowher Flats are both good choices and the most local to us.
Yeah it seemed like it was city property since no house nearby. But not really a mountain bike path as I didn't see a continuation to another path.

But I will say it was good to mess around with and I may go there again. Lets you get comfortable on dirt and switching to 4 wheel. Better to do that there instead of driving an hour to an official off road spot
 
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