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Old 10-03-2011, 05:03 PM   #1
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Question Lawrence Welk (aka Merriam Mountains) Trails?

Does anyone have information about these trails? The only information I have found is from 2004 - 2007. I am trying to find ways into the trails. I only know of one way, go through an unlocked gate at the end of Lawrence Welk Ct. But the trail is washed out before you can get to the main area. (Meaning I don't have enough money invested in my Jeep to go through it.) This is the nearest area to Oceanside that I have been told about to go play.

Any information is greatly valued!!

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:45 PM   #2
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That's not an area I think of as a great area to wheel in, just too much 'other' activities going on once you get back in there very far. One time I turned a corner and found myself where several beer drinkers were wildly shooting their shotguns and other areas looked suspect for possibly being meth labs. To me, it's just a junky remote area filled with some undesirables in some spots that, frankly, scared me.

I'll recommend you drive a little further to get into better more open wheeling. Heck, come out to my club's charitable fund-raising Offroad For Fun at Truckhaven in two weeks. We'll have trails for anything from stock SUVs and people new to the 4x4 scene all the way up to some crazy fun stuff at the new 4x4 training area also located there. This event raises $$$ for disabled paraplegic and quadraplegic US military veterans.

Here's the information, I hope you can make it. I'll be out there, it's a fun event. Not to mention the cool raffle Saturday night with cool offroad stuff for our Jeeps that you can win in the big drawing/raffle!

California Association of 4WD Clubs, Inc. :: Operation Desert Fun

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Old 05-05-2013, 12:34 AM   #3
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Late Reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgreenal View Post
Does anyone have information about these trails? The only information I have found is from 2004 - 2007. I am trying to find ways into the trails. I only know of one way, go through an unlocked gate at the end of Lawrence Welk Ct. But the trail is washed out before you can get to the main area. (Meaning I don't have enough money invested in my Jeep to go through it.) This is the nearest area to Oceanside that I have been told about to go play.

Any information is greatly valued!!
Pilgreenal -- I just noticed your post and I have to say that I have spent about 5-6 afternoons exploring the very area you ask about (north of Deer Springs, west of I-15, east of Twin Oaks), and just about have it completely mapped. I can provide lots of info.

As for the previous fellow's reply to your post, I'll tell you that by and large that spot is a lot of fun and it's a treat because it's so close (I live in Encinitas). Sure it has its share of abandoned cars, mattresses, and spent shotgun shells but I see nary a soul up there.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:34 AM   #4
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Here is a few photos of that area. I access it at the end of the coldesack behind AMPM off of Deer Springs and the 15 frwy.

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Old 05-06-2013, 01:00 AM   #5
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Yeah shortly after I made that post, back in 2011, I went door to door to all the surrounding houses. I finally found a man who had access to the southwest corner of the airport and he gave me permission to use his land to access the area. I just didn't want to keep driving past the no trespassing signs.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:01 AM   #6
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I don't go out there anymore because no one ever seems to want to go.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:26 AM   #7
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I didn't realize how long ago the original post was. I have only been back there a couple times and have always had fun especially since it's local.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:48 AM   #8
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I have fun every time I go out there. It's just that since nobody wants to go when I go by myself I can't push my Jeep to have as much fun as I want to.

When I go by myself I feel like I'm on the bunny slopes, just playing it safe.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:07 AM   #9
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Lawrence Welk

[QUOTE=87octane;3721057]Here is a few photos of that area. I access it at the end of the coldesack behind AMPM off of Deer Springs and the 15 frwy.

How's the trail at that end? There appears to be two ways to go, a higher road starting west and a lower road starting north. Do you know if they're both drivable? Where are your pics from?

I've been exploring the area (mostly alone) for a few weeks in preparation for a run with a buddy of mine. There are some trails I'm not skilled enough -- and my vehicle isn't tough enough -- to touch, like that approach to Merriam Mountain.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:09 AM   #10
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Lawrence Welk

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgreenal View Post
Yeah shortly after I made that post, back in 2011, I went door to door to all the surrounding houses. I finally found a man who had access to the southwest corner of the airport and he gave me permission to use his land to access the area. I just didn't want to keep driving past the no trespassing signs.
Wow, you have cojones! I approach from Twin Oaks as well, trying to not be conspicuous. So you knocked on the door of the house at the bottom of that paved road (called Camino Mayer from the sat maps)? And he gave you permission?
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:25 AM   #11
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I did, the road isn't really paved though. The driveway is paved but it turns toward the house and the rest is loose stuff.

Luckily I knocked on the right door because the people who rent the garage section aren't the most cordial. Also I should note that they don't actually own the access land, they oversee it as the owner lives in Mexico (I believe that is where they said).
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:33 AM   #12
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Also I'm pretty sure the only entrance to the area that a stock 4x4 would have issues with would be the Lawrence Welk Ct way. That entrance also has the craziest trail in the area in my opinion. The trail to the right once you get to the first split almost goes straight up in some places, and it's a long way down... D:
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:29 AM   #13
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The last I heard (I live close by), the Sheriff was on orders to bust any wheelers that get into that area. I believe the ASTREA helicopter is on orders to call for ground units if it sees wheelers in there. So just be wary of wheeling there, especially after seeing some of the shady-looking characters hanging around the last time I wheeled there. I swear there are meth labs & similar levels of illegal activity going on back in there that make me not want to wheel there.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:32 AM   #14
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Welk

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Originally Posted by pilgreenal View Post
Also I'm pretty sure the only entrance to the area that a stock 4x4 would have issues with would be the Lawrence Welk Ct way. That entrance also has the craziest trail in the area in my opinion. The trail to the right once you get to the first split almost goes straight up in some places, and it's a long way down... D:
Curiously, I've been a bit obsessed with the area for the past few months. Fascinated by all the trails. Try to cut out on Friday at 2 PM and spend a couple hours wheeling alone. Like for you, it's the closest area to where I live, about 20 minutes away.

I've actually drawn up a map of the trails I'm most interested in and starting giving the routes names. I'm hoping to do the entire thing with a buddy who has a very aggressive rig. It's attached to this message in case you're interested. Check out the other two wicked spots.



I've seen that gnarly trail you mention at the Welk entrance, and I'm going to dare my buddy to try it.

You should check out the short trail to the top of Merriam. The forums called it the "axle breaker," and I believe it. Youtube has some vids under "Welk jeep."

My rig is stock as well; all I've done is a 2" lift and 33" BFG Mud Tires (see photo).



You could do most of the trails at Welk with a stock vehicle. See the map, all the spots in white you can do on your own .. except perhaps the El Farra loop, which is rutted and has heavily overhanging brush. I haven't taken that one to the top yet.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:25 PM   #15
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I have only done Axle Breaker going down the last part is kinda nerve breaking because it feels like you may flop. I think the big ruts on the other end of the Merriam Mtn trail are pretty bad too.

Lets see... Stonehenge Mtn literally has a squeeze area that cuts over the top, fullsize axles need not even try. And as far as El Farrar Loop, I have gone down the Stonehenge Mtn side but stopped at the U-turn above the word loop on your map (not really a u-turn just odd map angle). The trail had washed out multiple places and it seemed to get worse the further down I walked so I didn't even try.

The last time I went out there was over 6 months ago so things could have drastically changed. I haven't been on trails 6, 7, or 8 so now im curious about going back out there.

If you want to go out there let me know im in the College Blvd/76 area so its not too far away for me send me a pm.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:04 PM   #16
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If you go on a weekend I would like to join in , I'm located close to the back gate.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:53 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=tom h;3724305]
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Originally Posted by 87octane View Post
Here is a few photos of that area. I access it at the end of the coldesack behind AMPM off of Deer Springs and the 15 frwy.

How's the trail at that end? There appears to be two ways to go, a higher road starting west and a lower road starting north. Do you know if they're both drivable? Where are your pics from?

I've been exploring the area (mostly alone) for a few weeks in preparation for a run with a buddy of mine. There are some trails I'm not skilled enough -- and my vehicle isn't tough enough -- to touch, like that approach to Merriam Mountain.
The higher road starting west is the only choice as the other one fills in with bushes.

Looking at the cool map you provided I think I have explored most of it. The photo with the big rocks and black tire marks is axle breaker.

When I was there on 4/14 I seen a street legal sand rail, xj, quads and 2 guys on horses sharing the trails.
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:11 AM   #18
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I have only done Axle Breaker going down the last part is kinda nerve breaking because it feels like you may flop. I think the big ruts on the other end of the Merriam Mtn trail are pretty bad too.

Lets see... Stonehenge Mtn literally has a squeeze area that cuts over the top, fullsize axles need not even try. And as far as El Farrar Loop, I have gone down the Stonehenge Mtn side but stopped at the U-turn above the word loop on your map (not really a u-turn just odd map angle). The trail had washed out multiple places and it seemed to get worse the further down I walked so I didn't even try.

The last time I went out there was over 6 months ago so things could have drastically changed. I haven't been on trails 6, 7, or 8 so now im curious about going back out there.

If you want to go out there let me know im in the College Blvd/76 area so its not too far away for me send me a pm.
[QUOTE=Bsc;3727611]If you go on a weekend I would like to join in , I'm located close to the back gate.[/QUOT

I'm down for another day of local wheeling.

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