Burns Canyon Trail

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Burns Canyon Trail
Trail Information
Other Names:
Part of: San Bernadino, ca
Trail Length:
Trail Time: 18.3 miles
Terrain: 3 hrs.
Off-Road Use: Limited Access
Difficulty: Easy Easy.gif
County: San Bernadino, CA
Nearest Cities: Big Bear City, CA
Map Links: Google Map
Satellite Map: Google Satellite
Special Map: Google Earth Hybrid
GPS Start: N34 11.88 W116 32.71
GPS End: N34 16.77 W116 47.78
Google Earth: 2N02 Burns Canyon kmz
Climate: 7 Day Forecast


UPDATE 7-13-11: road not fully recommended for 2WD trucks, although you can make it through. pretty rocky in some points (due to road being mostly dry lake bed) and high chances of finding yourself in a situation you dont want to be in. leave for high clearence or 4WD vehicles, although you are welcome to take it on with a 2WD basic truck if u desire.


If you are heading east along Interstate 10, make an exit and turn into Highway 38 when you reach Redlands. Follow the 38 into the mountains until you reach Big Bear City. Continue westward and take a right north on Green Way Drive. Follow Highway 18 and continue north towards Lucerne from the town of Baldwin Lake. About two miles north of Baldwin Lake you will turn off to the right when you see the sign marking the Cactus Flats OHV area. Follow this road to the exit for the staging area. You will travel several miles along a well-graded dirt road to the staging zone.

Remember that you are in the San Bernardino National Forest and will thus need to purchase a pass to park anywhere. Display the sticker on your dash or rearview mirror.

From the staging area there are local trails which you will have to enter to get to the main trail. The Joshua Trail is moderate, while the Vista Trail is for more experienced riders. The Pinyon Trail is the one you will want to take to enter NF 3N03, or Smarts Ranch Road. At road's entry there is a sign stating that OHVs are not allowed to the left. Stay to the right. The road is easy in spots but quite rugged in others. It is also open to street legal vehicles so watch out for oncoming (and sometimes oblivious) traffic on the narrow road.

About seven miles east of Cactus Flats the rocky trail softens and flattens out as you enter a large meadow bordered with a mixed forest of Joshua Tree, pinyon, and oak. There are trails here that make a short stay for localised hiking or riding worthwhile. Smarts Ranch Road (NF 3N03) continues its steady descent eastward for about another seven miles and, as the National Forest land ends, you will see small settlements along the road.It is in this area that the trail becomes Burns Canyon Road, or NF 2N02. To the north, Viscera Springs Road will connect you to the New Dixie Mine Trail.

Much of this final stretch is charred as the result of the fires that swept this region in August 2006. Continue through the burn zone until you reach the pavement. There are signs asking that you stay on the road and not venture into sensitive areas struggling to regrow vegetation.

If you choose to enter the trail from the direction of Yucca Valley, leave 29 Palms Highway from the center of Yucca Valley and head north on Pioneertown Road. Pioneertown was build from old movie sets established here in the 1940s. If you want to stop for a drink or meal, try Pappy and Harriet's. From Pioneertown make a turn on Rimrock Road and follow it until you reach Burns Canyon Road. Turn left. The trail begins where the pavement ends. Any OHV traffic beyond this point is illegal.

If you are coming to the area through Lucerne Valley to the north, take Highway 18 from Lucerne and head south towards Big Bear Lake.

The quickest way to get to Cactus Flats from Yucca Valley is north to Lucerne Valley on the 247, then south on the 18.

Photo Gallery[edit]

More Images: [1] [2]

Video Gallery[edit]


Maps and GPS Coordinates[edit]

Burns Canyon Trail Coordinates: 34.207777° -117.553055° Coordinates: 34.207777° -117.553055°

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