Between businesses, shopping centers, and countless beige condos, Orange County has become a highly-developed area. That being said, you may not think about Orange County as a place where you can do some off-roading. While there are some good places outside of Orange County, you don’t even need to leave the county limits to find some of the best places to take your four-wheel-drive vehicle out and get it dirty. Try one of these locations for some great off-roading. And, for other great places, visit our original list of the Best Places For Off-Roading Near Orange County.
Main Divide Road
Lake Elsinore, CA
Nor far from Orange County in the Cleveland National Forest, you’ll find this road that runs along the top ridges of the Santa Ana Mountains. You can pick up this road from Ortega Highway and follow it past the Blue Jay Campground. Part of the charm of this trail is its length. The change in elevation isn’t drastic, but steady. Be ready for a bumpy ride and know that high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicles work best.
Holy Jim Falls Trail
Holy Jim Falls Trail is located in the Cleveland National Forest, and it provides a great – if short – off-road trip. It becomes clear pretty quickly that navigating this trail in a sedan is pretty tricky. You’ll definitely need a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle for this one. If you get the chance to take this trail after a rain, it definitely becomes a more adventurous ride. To reach this trail, pass O’Neill Park and then take Trabuco Creek Road. You’ll definitely find the charm in this trail.
Maple Springs Road
Silverado Canyon, CA
When you get to the end of Silverado Canyon Road, you’ll find Maple Springs Road, which is a great place for some off-roading. This graded dirt road reaches an elevation of of 3,000 feet and ends at the gate to Cleveland National Forest, where it meets with Main Divide Trail. Depending on weather or fire danger, the road may be closed. Make sure you have your National Forest Adventure Pass, which is required to park in the surrounding area.Related: Best Mountain Biking Trails In Orange County
Anderson Truck Trail
Anderson Truck Trail is a good stretch from Anderson Road to Peutz Valley Road. The beginning of the trail on the Anderson Road end may trick you into thinking its a pretty easy ride. But it doesn’t take long on the trail to realize that you definitely need a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle for this ride. The ruts on this trail can be a bit tough to navigate, so make sure you’re fully prepared when you tackle this trail. Part of this trail leads to private property, so make sure you map out your route before you leave.
Glamis Sand Dunes
El Centro, CA
Glamis is a mecca for off-roaders in Southern California. It is a place where people come from all over with not only their trucks, but also their dirt bikes and dune buggies. When you see the size of the sand dunes (some 40 miles long), you’ll understand why this is such a popular destination. It’s basically a giant outdoor playground where people can tear it up on their vehicle of choice. It can get pretty crowded here on holiday weekends, but that shouldn’t detract you from your enjoyment.Related: Best Hiking Trails In Orange County