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So Cal: SCCX Feb - 2/24-25 Johnson Valley, Rattlesnake Cyn

4874 Views 35 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  prod39
For all you So Cal folks (and anyone else who wants to show up) here is the info on our upcoming SCCX run for February 24-25. It was great to see many new folks from this forum at our Santiago Peak run this past Sunday, looking forward to seeing all of you and more at the upcoming run.

As we are still working on getting our club website back up, I'll reprint Xtoolbox's post from the SCCX forum on XOC below, but first here is a photo from last year.

Edit 2/20/07: SCCX website is back up:

Cross-post from SCCX forum follows:
Originally posted by Xtoolbox:
[QB]For February thought we try something different, new with a two day run pushed back a week for the Calico Cleanup on 2/17.

For Saturday 2/24; explore the Johnson Valley OHV area and see what we can find, lots of open areas, dry lakes, rocks and what not so where going to cover some ground and play around on the stuff that looks fun.

Sunday 2/25 will feature the traditional planned trail run through rattlesnake canyon climbing all the way up to big Bear from the high desert floor.

2/24 9:30 - Chevron:
12659 Foothill Blvd Etiwanda, CA 91739, US
Exit the I15-E at Foothill Blvd and turn right.
We could also meet at the staging area @ Couger Buttes at 10:30 for those that live out that way.

2/25 at 9am - Means Dry Lake Staging Area in Johnson Valley
From the 247 E left at Boone Rd for ~ mile, left at Ghost Rd ~ 3 miles.
Google Maps:
At 9:30am RattleSnake Canyon Trail Head:
.7 miles east of mile marker 27 off SR 247

2/24- Johnson Valley OHV area
Start at the east end off SR 247 via Camp Rock road, check out Couger Buttes, bomb to the Anderson Dry Lake, Powerline Rd, Bessemer Mine Rd, Rock Pile, Soggy Dry Lake, etc toward Means Dry Lake.

Primitive Group Camping Saturday night at someplace that looks good :D

2/25 - Rattlesnake Canyon [Moderate: ~ 25miles & 4 hours]
Starts off in the high desert washes, passes through a fun rocky, canyon, by some yucca & Joshua trees with a mine site and optional short dry waterfall climb along the way. At the burns canyon intersection we’re going to take 2n02 up to Big Bear. If there is water in the canyon the trail can get more difficult but still passable for stock 4x4’s, while dry its easy to moderate.

This run will be diverse and offer something for everyone from easy wash running, desert fast tracks, traditional trail rides, optional rock piles, with views, mine site, landmarks, and flora to see along the way. Stock friendly, one or both days. please post up if you're interested, have some other stuff in mind, etc.

Reference / GPS:
Guide to Socal Backroads and 4-wheel Drive Trails: Charles A. Wells
RattleSnake Canyon #43

Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area info from BLM

Johnson Valley Landmarks:

FRS Channel 2, Subcode 24
CB Channel 12

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1 - 8 of 36 Posts
DanielD said:
i'm interested in going but i only have a stock 4x2. not sure if it'll be ok?
Given what I saw last year in Rattlesnake Canyon, and the snow we hit in Big Bear once we got to the top, I would not recommend this run for a 4x2.

That said, we did have a Yota 2wd truck along last year, but he spent most of the day strapped to the back of a 4x4. The beginning part of Rattlesnake is a soft sand wash, he had to be strapped 2 or 3 times. Once we got up into the wet rocky creek bed it was decided to pretty much just leave the strap on and they basically pulled him all the way up the mountain.

There was a point where the group split, with some of us taking a side trail that has a section rated difficult in the Wells guidebook. You would not have wanted to be there in 2wd. 2 of us did that section in stock 05's, (4wd) but is was somewhat stressful. I should stress, though, that this was an "optional" route, a good portion of the group stayed on a relatively easy trail. If you look at the guidebooks you can see that most of the tough spots will be down towards the bottom and heading up the creekbed, the trails up closer to Big Bear are pretty easy and, at least last year, were well graded. There was some snow, though, and coming down the hill one of the highways was actually closed.

If you really want to go, and are very confident in your driving abilities, you may want to bring this up in the club thread on XOC and see if anyone else has a different opinion. You may also want to look at last year's picture thread on XOC, I think it was started by Xtoolbox and titled "Highs and Lows". Look back around Feb or March.

Not trying to discourage you from participating, but I would not want your first run with the club to be not fun. PM me if you want to talk more about this.

We should get a 2wd friendly So Cal run going sometime soon. There are lots of places that are fun and accessible. Last weeks run to Santiago Peak was doable in 2wd, and I know Fish Creek in Anza Borrego is passable (except maybe for the recent rockslide). Blair Valley to the pictographs hiking trail may also be a good one.
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Thought I would give this a bit of bump, as the 24th is fast approaching. SCCX club website is still down (but making progress) so far now the planning is happening pretty much on XOC.

For all those who are planning to camp, you may want to bring a bundle of firewood. The campsite will likely be a primitive one, and we usually build a big fire.
Re: So Cal: SCCX Feb - 2/24-25 Johnson Valley, Rattlesnake C

prod39 said:
Hey !
For the life of me , I cannot get onto the SCCX site. It keeps telling me that I 'm not registered, then when I register, it tells me someone has used my e-mail address ??

But, here's the question, I can't make the Saturday run but, I want to hook up with the gang for Sunday ?
Where Exactly are they going to meet On Sunday ?
The google site is Greek to me,,,,,,,,It even states that Means Dry Lake did not match ?

Maybe someone in our group can assist in directions from Orange county ?

Thanks, Jim B

The Sunday meet spot would be at the Rattlesnake Canyon trailhead, which is on Hwy 247 at 0.7 miles east of mile marker 27. From Orange County find your way to I-15 Northbound. Just past Hesperia exit at Bear Valley Road and go straight east for several miles until it intersects (and I think ends) at Hwy 18. Go right (more or less east, towards Lucerne Valley) and eventually merge onto Hwy 247, again heading east. Meet spot will be on the right. There are no trees or anything to block the view out there, should be hard to miss a group of Xterra's. If you look at a map it should be pretty clear.

There are gas stations at the I-15 freeway exit, you'll want to top off there, although last year I refueled further south and still had plenty left when I got back down to I-10 from Big Bear that night.

For anyone with the California Road & Recreation Atlas (Benchmark Maps) look at pages 104-105.
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syndicate said:
Frank, what's the ETA for Big Bear from the beginning of Sunday's run? I'm trying to figure out if I can be back in San Diego by 5pm, although I'm not betting on it. Thanks.
Last we started from the trailhead a little later than what is planned for this year, we arrived in Big Bear around 4:30 or so, maybe later. Heather and I headed home after dinner, around 8:30. Because of snow related road closure we had to detour around Fawnskin on the way home, and it was slow going down the hill. Got home after midnight.

At least some of us are planning to head down Burns Canyon towards Pioneertown instead of going all the way up in to Big Bear on Sunday. You may find that a faster way home, as you won't have to deal with snow. From Yucca Valley its about 2.5 hrs back to San Diego (less for you in San Marcos).

No matter what, I don't see you making it back by 5:00PM.
Erick said:
Funny Syndicate would mention this, but my friend who was planning on riding along in my X for this trip was just talking to me and he needs to be back by 5:00pm in San Diego. Are there points of the trail, or a location that we can safely split off from the group to head home a little earlier?

According to the Wells guidebook (Guide to So Cal Backroads & 4WD Trails) the route up Rattlesnake Canyon and out Burns Canyon to Yucca Valley is just over 32 miles. They say to allow 4 hours. Last year we stopped for lunch at a great mine site, and with 16 trucks it took us most of the day to get up to Big Bear (we did not Burns Canyon last year). We may be starting earlier this year, but hard to say what the trail conditions will be like.

I looked at the book and don't see any alternate short routes out of there. If we have as big of a group as last year I don't see us making the kind of time you would need to be back in San Diego by 5:00PM. Depending on the route you take your still looking at 2.5 - 3 hours once you hit pavement, whether its Big Bear or Yucca Valley. I guess you could always skip the lunch stop and just power over the trail, but that does not sound like much fun to me.

Might want to check out the trip description in Wells' book, its number 43 and part of 42

Hope this helps.
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This was a great trip, thanks to all who showed up.

I've started a picture thread in the Great Trails section.
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