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Easy Bay Area Trails

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by Jojee117, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Jan 18, 2019 at 12:59 PM
    #1
    Jojee117

    Jojee117 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've had my tacoma for a little while now and I'm getting the itch to try some more off road style driving. I tried checking websites like trails.com or alltrails.com with offroad tags, but for the most part it just spits out outdated info/atv trails. Most of the trails it has are 4+ hours away from where I am in the bay area, I just wanted to see if any of you guys know some easy 4x2 friendly roads or trails to learn on around the north bay area in CA.
     
  2. Jan 18, 2019 at 1:03 PM
    #2
    eon_blue

    eon_blue 8" third member

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    I'm in SoCal but from what I've seen and heard of the Bay area, there isn't much close by...have to drive at least a couple hours in any direction.

    There's Hollister Hills near Santa Cruz/San Jose, big offroad park with tons of trails out there.
     
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  3. Jan 18, 2019 at 1:08 PM
    #3
    Jojee117

    Jojee117 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It's a shame, we have fantastic coast driving, but and off highway stuff seems nonexistent. I'm sure theres somewhere to drive on beaches and what not, but I'm kinda hesitant with 2wd.
     
  4. Jan 18, 2019 at 1:09 PM
    #4
    Rujack

    Rujack Stop Global Whining

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    Hollister hills
     
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  5. Jan 18, 2019 at 1:18 PM
    #5
    eon_blue

    eon_blue 8" third member

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    Only beach you can offroad/drive on in CA is Pismo beach, think it's a few hours from the bay area. Fun place though, 2WD friendly in some parts..just don't go too far back in the dunes. Gets stupid crazy packed on holidays and summer weekends, during the week is the best time to go or during the winter on weekends.

    There's the Old Coast Road in Big Sur south of Carmel, it's a few miles of dirt which is also 2WD friendly as long as it isn't raining. It's a really pretty stretch of road
     
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  6. Jan 19, 2019 at 9:08 AM
    #6
    Anderson

    Anderson Move along, nothing to see here...

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    If you are in the north Bay Area, then you aren’t too far from Knoxville OHV. Knoxville is very 4x2 friendly. Just watch out for pinstriping.
     
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  7. Jan 19, 2019 at 11:43 AM
    #7
    Jojee117

    Jojee117 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Awesome, it's less than 2 hours away and looks pretty great too. Keep the suggestions coming!
     
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  8. Jan 21, 2019 at 12:02 AM
    #8
    Jojee117

    Jojee117 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I had a free day to check out knoxville, despite it raining quite a bit recently. I only made it from the south entrance to the "hunting creek" area because it was starting to flood. I then proceeded to turn around to see if I could go the other direction at that initial fork, but it was such a mud hole I wasn't gonna risk it so I just left. Overall, I can see that being a great place when it's all dried out, but 4x2 and street tires don't play well with mud
     
  9. Jan 31, 2019 at 1:05 PM
    #9
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't advise driving for 2 hours to the west, though... :D

    @Jojee117 honestly, though, those (mentioned already) are really your only decent options. There's also Prairie City OHV in Sacramento. It's a decent place, but I only go there cause I live 10 minutes away. For you, it's probably not worth it to drive out just for that.

    There might be a dirt road or two some of the locals might know about nearby, but I highly doubt it would be worth the drive unless you happen to be passing through that area.

    Your best bet is to plan a weekend in the Sierras. Wait for the snow to melt and go up and camp somewhere - anywhere. There are thousands of miles of forest service roads; endless possibilities. Get yourself some Forest Service MVUMs (motor vehicle use maps) and throw some darts to see where to go. If a road/trail gets too technical, you can always just turn around and find a different route. There are a ton of trails near Placerville/Auburn that are fun, scenic, and not too technical.

    I have a bunch of the National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps, and those are great. high quality water resistant paper. I also have a few apps on my phone, Backcountry Navigator (with USGS and FS maps), and the Avenza app (more clunky to use, but you can load the FREE MVUMs or any other geoPDF on it).

    Another good resource is this book:
    https://www.amazon.com/Backcountry-...&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=northern+CA+SUV+trails

    It's got a ton of trails, some hard(ish), but most are geared towards relatively stock SUVs/Trucks, and can be done with 2wd. Mostly anything that's a 1-3, maybe some 4's should be passable by a 2wd. The book has tons of GPS lat/lon waypoints and trail descriptions. Very helpful. I've converted several of them to GPX and Google Earth KML files and loaded them on my backcountry Nav app.
     
    Adrian.mendez0 and Jojee117 [OP] like this.
  10. Jan 31, 2019 at 1:42 PM
    #10
    dman100

    dman100 Well-Known Member

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    There are a few miles of legal public dirt roads in San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties. All are residential, in a sense, and the residents don’t really like people using them for recreation, so go slow and avoid dust or making ruts in the mud if it’s wet. There’s a few more miles of dirt in San Benito and Monterey Counties, including BLM and National Forest roads that are a bit more recreational in nature, as well as Knoxville further north. Finally, as others have mentioned, Hollister Hills and Prairie City State OHV Parks, plus Frank Raines County Park (Stanislaus County?) east of San Jose are even more recreational options. That’s about it ... the Bay Area is awesome for hiking and mountain biking, less so for motorized recreation.
     
  11. Jan 31, 2019 at 10:34 PM
    #11
    Jojee117

    Jojee117 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    If I have a day off I'm willing to check out anything, but I've rode passenger on fire trails and those can be pretty fun. I'll definately have to try those out, but as for heading west I just need Chuck Norris' signature on my fender. Thanks for the suggestions. Now if only it wasnt going to rain all weekend...
     
  12. Feb 3, 2019 at 6:36 AM
    #12
    BigEd

    BigEd Active Member

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    I’m in the East Bay as well. If you’re looking for a partner, hit me up. I’m not familiar with any “Local” trails either but am happy to check something out.
     
  13. Feb 3, 2019 at 2:09 PM
    #13
    Jojee117

    Jojee117 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have no real experience and aren't equipped for much more than a solid dirt road as I have a 4x2 with street tires, but I'm down to meet up and head out somewhere once it stops raining here and dries out.
     
  14. Mar 7, 2019 at 9:56 PM
    #14
    c3nriqu3z

    c3nriqu3z Well-Known Member

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    I’m in the East Bay and would be down to meet up and do a day trip when the weather gets better.
     
  15. Mar 8, 2019 at 10:47 AM
    #15
    Jojee117

    Jojee117 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully it gets a little drier here soon. I'd love to do a little meetup with you guys.
     
  16. Apr 10, 2019 at 2:50 PM
    #16
    clopez

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    Im in San Jose, I recommend this book . I've used it for most of my trips as the rating of trails is pretty spot on. If your close to mendocino national forest that win hands down. It has miles of trails with a graded road in the middle running from 5 to 101. If you and others want to meet up we can plan a weekend to head out there.
    Also check out funtreks.com its the site for the book i linked
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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  17. Apr 10, 2019 at 2:53 PM
    #17
    Jojee117

    Jojee117 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That sounds great, if we could set a date at least a week in advance I can get the day off no problem, just not the weekend of the 26th.
     
  18. Apr 14, 2019 at 8:44 PM
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    sd1uh8as

    sd1uh8as Well-Known Member

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    You guys have a trail run planned? Im down to join depending on the date.
     
  19. Apr 14, 2019 at 11:32 PM
    #19
    Jojee117

    Jojee117 [OP] Well-Known Member

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  20. Apr 16, 2019 at 7:35 PM
    #20
    Skymaster

    Skymaster Well-Known Member

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    Just throwing this out there. I am the Fresno area and there are a few large 4x4 clubs out here that put on runs that are very well organized and vary in degree of difficulty. There is the Blue Canyon Poker run in May put on by the Fresno 4x4 club, then my favorite and challenging to the core, moonlight madness in June put on by Clovis Independent 4x4. If interested in more info let me know. I guess I should post these up but I am not affiliated with the clubs directly so I will ask. You can google them for now.

    The Sierra’s are a hidden gem. 2 runs that are a must are shut eye peak and Bald mountain. Both are a great time and have a ton to offer! Recommend good tires and a skid plate at a minimum. Sliders are great insurance, lifts are not “required”.
     
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