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Pinkham Canyon Road, CA

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Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Inland
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Multi-Loop 30 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,252 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2-3 hours
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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23  2016-03-19 cw50must
Author cw50must
author avatar Guides 11
Routes 2
Photos 3,132
Trips 244 map ( 1,237 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:27am - 5:50pm
0 Alternative
A Back Country Road in JT
by cw50must

Pinkham Canyon Road in Joshua Tree national Park, is an excellent way of seeing the park's southern landscape without the crowds. The NPS lists this trail as challenging and 4wd required. However, I think the majority of the trail could be done in 2wd as long as you have enough clearance. The first section of the road is double track then once you make it into Pinkham Canyon you will be in a sandy wash with some rocky areas. At places the sand can be somewhat deep.

The road begins directly across from the Cottonwood visitors center near the south entrance of the park off I-10. Its a dirt road marked by a "4wd required" yellow sign. There is also an information sign explaining the history and sites along with a map. The first section is 7 miles until you enter Pinkham Canyon, its 20 miles total from the start to I-10, you can also choose to take the BLM road that parallels I-10 back to the park entrance. I chose this route as it keeps you on all dirt for a nice 30 mile loop. If you bring the BLM road back you can also scope out some of the campsites available outside the park. While in Pinkham canyon you have the option to include Thermal canyon as well, this would add extra miles and could also be a way to do a lollipop loop and come back the way you came. Lots of options.

We saw two other vehicles while out there, and while not a hard trail, you should always go prepared. It may be a while before someone else comes along. This could also be used as an alternative entrance or exit to the park. Also since biking is only allowed on designated roads inside the park, this could also be explored on a Mountain Bike.

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2016-03-27 cw50must
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Pinkham Canyon Road
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This was our first journey into Joshua Tree National Park. I always enjoy a national park that has some back country roads to explore. We first checked in at the Cottonwood Visitors Center and then Journey out on Pinkham Canyon Rd. Very scenic, not too difficult as far as a 4x4 trail goes. Spring is a good time as there are lots of wildflowers to see. We only ran across 2 others out there, a couple and there dog in a Jeep (YJ) and a group of springbreakers in a Subaru Crosstrek. We completed pinkham canyon and decided on the BLM road back to the park, makes a nice loop. Next time I would like to check out Thermal Canyon too. I did not need to air down for this, but have trouble in the sandy areas, it may not be a bad idea. ... uFr0


    quite a few in areas

    Permit $$

    Joshua Tree National Park
    7-Day Vehicle Permit: $25 View Fees

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To 4x4 trip
    From Phoenix take I-10 West towards California. Once in California take exit 168 marked for Joshua Tree national Park. Once you have entered the park look for the dirt road across from the Cottonwood Springs visitor's center.
    page created by cw50must on Mar 27 2016 5:01 pm
    3 pack - loud whistle
    go prepared
    help comment issue

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