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-   -   Mojave - Jawbone to Lake Isabella (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f55/mojave-jawbone-to-lake-isabella-149610.html)

jeanshack 03-28-2012 01:51 PM

Mojave - Jawbone to Lake Isabella
 
Hello Folks,

We were planning on doing the trail running from Jawbone to Lake Isabella this weekend, the idea is to drive from San Jose and spend night at some place then do the 54 mile trail in a day.

Any recommendations or suggestions would be really helpful. My off road driving experience is limited to two trails, one the easy Old Coast Road at Big Sur and the other one a moderately difficult Garcia Ridge Trail. Was looking to do a trail which is rated somewhere in between these two :)

It would be also great if any of you guys want to join us!

BeantownR6 03-28-2012 02:55 PM

i don't have any info, but sounds like fun

jeanshack 03-28-2012 03:11 PM

Yes, guess it should be fun!

Was wondering whether we might have to air down the tyres at any point in the trail to go through the desert sand!

BeantownR6 03-28-2012 04:40 PM

yeah if you lower your tires the ride will be smooth if your on a dirt road ~ around 15psi or so. sand can be different but i don't have any experience in sand, but ive heard going lower around 10 psi....

Cons_Table 03-28-2012 06:24 PM

If it were me, Id drop the pressure when you hit the trail. If you are going to be off road the whole time, it wont hurt anything...just makes for a smoother ride and better traction where its needed. I typically run about about 9-10psi no matter the terrain. Low PSI in the washes (which is probably the extent of loose sand you will be in thru jawbone) helps you float across the sand a little better rather than spinning tires thru it.

jeanshack 03-28-2012 10:52 PM

Thanks, are you guys aware of anyone who has done this trail? This time around we would prefer to avoid surprises :)

Cons_Table 03-28-2012 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanshack
Thanks, are you guys aware of anyone who has done this trail? This time around we would prefer to avoid surprises :)

With as close as I live to it, I havent heard anything about it :confused:

jeanshack 03-28-2012 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cons_Table (Post 2194677)
With as close as I live to it, I havent heard anything about it :confused:

There are close to 9 trails at Mojave and I think except Freeway Ridge everything else could be managed on a stock Wrangler.

Cons_Table 03-28-2012 11:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanshack

There are close to 9 trails at Mojave and I think except Freeway Ridge everything else could be managed on a stock Wrangler.

That is one trail that I have actually ran...freeway ridge...that is down passed Isabella. It's a decent little run

On the jawbone side, there is last chance canyon, nightmare gulch, goler gulch, and a few others that are a good time as well.

jeanshack 03-29-2012 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cons_Table (Post 2194887)
That is one trail that I have actually ran...freeway ridge...that is down passed Isabella. It's a decent little run

On the jawbone side, there is last chance canyon, nightmare gulch, goler gulch, and a few others that are a good time as well.

Amazing, do you think Freeway Ridge is passable for a 2012 Stock Wrangler? Also what about the other trails you had mentioned? Are they open throughout the year? Mojave is quite far from San Jose, i was thinking that if I could do one more trail along with this trip then it would be really great!

DaK 03-29-2012 06:49 AM

The only trail that I am aware of that goes from Mojave, through Jawbone, up to Lake Isabella is Jawbone Canyon Rd. This is road is next to the ranger station that is located next to the Jawbone Canyon store. It is a paved road, you take this road to the end, it becomes dirt, there is a slight right hand turn and you can miss it because there is a gate and the only way you can go besides back, is right.

On the maps this road becomes County Rd 589. You will go up a very nice grade that you may have to engage the 4wd depending on how much the road has erroded. They only grade in the summer. This road will take you up into the Piute National Forest. Eventually you will reach and intersection in a "town" called Claraville, you make a left at the stop sign. Yep, a stop sign. Follow that road till you hit pavement and make a right and you will end up in Bodfish, stay on that road and you will get to Lake Isabella.

This is the only way through at this time. The forest service has blocked off Piute Mtn road which dumps you off at the top of the hill just to the west of Isabella.

These are fire roads, but with the rain and snow we have been getting up there can be mud and ravine filled. THere will probably be mud and snow on the north facing hillsides which makes those roads a little slick at times.

Another way, but leads to the same place is this:

Jawbone canyon rd to Budderbredt to Kelso Valley rd
Rt on Kelso valley rd
Lft on Piute Mountain rd (great place to stop and look over the valley's from up there)
Piute Mtn rd will take you to 589 and you are back on the same route as stated above.

Don't worry about getting lost, once you are in the pines all alternate routes that don't have homes are blocked by barricades.

Cons_Table 03-29-2012 07:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanshack

Amazing, do you think Freeway Ridge is passable for a 2012 Stock Wrangler? Also what about the other trails you had mentioned? Are they open throughout the year? Mojave is quite far from San Jose, i was thinking that if I could do one more trail along with this trip then it would be really great!

Freeway ridge may be a little tough for a stocker. Its possible that without the ground clearance, u may end up high centered or gather some body damage.

Last chance canyon, goler gulch and all other trails in that area are open year round. However nightmare gulch is closed about 6 months out of the year for raptor nesting. It is currently closed right now. All of these trails are definitely possible in a stocker tho. Some sections may require a spotter, but it's possible

jeanshack 03-29-2012 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaK (Post 2195491)
The only trail that I am aware of that goes from Mojave, through Jawbone, up to Lake Isabella is Jawbone Canyon Rd. This is road is next to the ranger station that is located next to the Jawbone Canyon store. It is a paved road, you take this road to the end, it becomes dirt, there is a slight right hand turn and you can miss it because there is a gate and the only way you can go besides back, is right.

On the maps this road becomes County Rd 589. You will go up a very nice grade that you may have to engage the 4wd depending on how much the road has erroded. They only grade in the summer. This road will take you up into the Piute National Forest. Eventually you will reach and intersection in a "town" called Claraville, you make a left at the stop sign. Yep, a stop sign. Follow that road till you hit pavement and make a right and you will end up in Bodfish, stay on that road and you will get to Lake Isabella.

This is the only way through at this time. The forest service has blocked off Piute Mtn road which dumps you off at the top of the hill just to the west of Isabella.

These are fire roads, but with the rain and snow we have been getting up there can be mud and ravine filled. THere will probably be mud and snow on the north facing hillsides which makes those roads a little slick at times.

Another way, but leads to the same place is this:

Jawbone canyon rd to Budderbredt to Kelso Valley rd
Rt on Kelso valley rd
Lft on Piute Mountain rd (great place to stop and look over the valley's from up there)
Piute Mtn rd will take you to 589 and you are back on the same route as stated above.

Don't worry about getting lost, once you are in the pines all alternate routes that don't have homes are blocked by barricades.

Thank you, i might just take a print out of this :thumb:

jeanshack 03-29-2012 03:25 PM

Thank you, I have actually not heard about most of the trails which you had mentioned! Should try and look them up sometime!

Cons_Table 03-29-2012 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanshack (Post 2197114)
Thank you, I have actually not heard about most of the trails which you had mentioned! Should try and look them up sometime!

They are pretty popular offroad trails...especially Last Chance Canyon and Nightmare Gulch.

Last Chance Canyon is popular for the V-Notch (there is an easier route if you do not want to conquer it) and the Hill climb.
An overview of the V-notch
http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot..._7101234_n.jpg
Me in the V-Notch
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._5688059_n.jpg
http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot..._5814256_n.jpg

And Nightmare Gulch is a fun run and very scenic.
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-...6_117479_n.jpg
http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot..._5239865_n.jpg
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._7555077_n.jpg

jeanshack 03-29-2012 04:28 PM

Man! That is pretty narrow, Jeep barely fits in there. Pretty well taken snaps too, looks like that V notch stretch may not be passable for my Wrangler. I just landed in the US four months back, buying the Jeep itself has taken its toll on my bank account, need to wait for some time before I can start working on it and get through that steep narrow V

Cons_Table 03-29-2012 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanshack (Post 2197296)
Man! That is pretty narrow, Jeep barely fits in there. Pretty well taken snaps too, looks like that V notch stretch may not be passable for my Wrangler. I just landed in the US four months back, buying the Jeep itself has taken its toll on my bank account, need to wait for some time before I can start working on it and get through that steep narrow V

The notch is narrow, but since you drive on the walls of it the whole time its not as small as youd think. Ive seen guys go through with full width axles, no issue. I am aware of one stock guy that we spotted through the notch, and it took a bit of time but they got through. If you do ever want to head out to do last chance canyon, dont let the v-notch discourage you away from making the trip. If you arent feeling up to it, there is a simple bypass around it that stock guys will typically take. Many of the semi difficult obstacles in last chance canyon have an easier bypass around it. Last chance canyon is only as hard as you want to make it.

jeanshack 03-29-2012 04:43 PM

>>Last chance canyon is only as hard as you want to make it.

That is good to know, If you think a stock can make it then I should probably try as well. But the trail looks very very enticing, thanks for sharing the pics.

Cons_Table 03-29-2012 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanshack (Post 2197333)
>>Last chance canyon is only as hard as you want to make it.

That is good to know, If you think a stock can make it then I should probably try as well. But the trail looks very very enticing, thanks for sharing the pics.

Ya as long as you are ok with some small rocks/ledges in the new jeep, its definitely worth checking out sometime. Good luck. Make sure to take pics or at least post up what you ended up doing on your trip. :wavey:

jgmann 03-29-2012 04:51 PM

Jawbone Off-Highway Vehicle Open Area


Jawbone Open Area, Ridgecrest Field Office, BLM California

Map:

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial..._trail_map.pdf

I've never been on this trail, but I work near there. Several of my co-workers ride their dirt bikes at Jawbone.

jeanshack 03-29-2012 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cons_Table (Post 2197355)
Ya as long as you are ok with some small rocks/ledges in the new jeep, its definitely worth checking out sometime. Good luck. Make sure to take pics or at least post up what you ended up doing on your trip. :wavey:

Guess I can live with the rocks, Garcia Ridge trail has already inflicted a lot of brushes on the sides. Jeep is anyway made for this :punk:

jeanshack 03-29-2012 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jgmann (Post 2197359)
Jawbone Off-Highway Vehicle Open Area


Jawbone Open Area, Ridgecrest Field Office, BLM California

Map:

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial..._trail_map.pdf

I've never been on this trail, but I work near there. Several of my co-workers ride their dirt bikes at Jawbone.

I did read about ATVs and dirt bikes in this area, that is one thing we might have to watchout for. During one of the previous trails we almost ran into one!

DaK 03-30-2012 06:35 AM

In the El-Paso mountains:

Nightmare is closed right now for Raptor Nesting. Won't open until it is too how to wheel out there.

Last chance is open and is a good challenge. Would advise you stay out of the V-notch till your wheeling skills are up or, you don't mind potential damage to your rig. Have seen people on their side in that thing. There is a bypass.

There is a little known trail called Black Rock that leads from the 14 into Last Chance. No big challenges but is, IMO, scenic as you go through this awesome lava field with off shoots to explore on foot. This bypasses Nightmare but you end up in the same spot where nightmare exits from the 14.

For either Last Chance or Nightmare I would highly recommend rock rails and some belly armor, especially if you are stock. We have a guy that wheels a stock rubicon through there and does a fantastic job. He is always belly scrapin.

jeanshack 03-30-2012 10:15 AM

"Eventually you will reach and intersection in a "town" called Claraville, you make a left at the stop sign. Yep, a stop sign. Follow that road till you hit pavement and make a right and you will end up in Bodfish, stay on that road and you will get to Lake Isabella"

If I understood correctly, you are talking about what I see as Walker basin road on the map right?

jeanshack 03-30-2012 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaK (Post 2199433)
In the El-Paso mountains:

Nightmare is closed right now for Raptor Nesting. Won't open until it is too how to wheel out there.

Last chance is open and is a good challenge. Would advise you stay out of the V-notch till your wheeling skills are up or, you don't mind potential damage to your rig. Have seen people on their side in that thing. There is a bypass.

There is a little known trail called Black Rock that leads from the 14 into Last Chance. No big challenges but is, IMO, scenic as you go through this awesome lava field with off shoots to explore on foot. This bypasses Nightmare but you end up in the same spot where nightmare exits from the 14.

For either Last Chance or Nightmare I would highly recommend rock rails and some belly armor, especially if you are stock. We have a guy that wheels a stock rubicon through there and does a fantastic job. He is always belly scrapin.

I do have rock rails but no belly armor, just skid plates. Also i am finding it tough to locate the Black Rock trail running from 14 to Last chance, can you please give some more info?

jeanshack 03-30-2012 02:33 PM

Below I have the pics which shows the plates, can you tell how much more protection can a belly armor give?


http://i39.tinypic.com/iycw9h.jpg
http://i40.tinypic.com/2djnjaw.jpg
http://i42.tinypic.com/33oo5tc.jpg

DaK 03-31-2012 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanshack (Post 2200024)
"Eventually you will reach and intersection in a "town" called Claraville, you make a left at the stop sign. Yep, a stop sign. Follow that road till you hit pavement and make a right and you will end up in Bodfish, stay on that road and you will get to Lake Isabella"

If I understood correctly, you are talking about what I see as Walker basin road on the map right?

You are correct.

Right on this road takes you to Lake Isabella.

DaK 03-31-2012 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanshack (Post 2200120)
I do have rock rails but no belly armor, just skid plates. Also i am finding it tough to locate the Black Rock trail running from 14 to Last chance, can you please give some more info?

Red Rock Canyon State Park, Kern, CA - Google Maps

Where the "T" is you will make a left.

Follow this path to the only legal right you can make, you will be going UPHILL, this road will take you over to last chance. You will know you are there as it is marked with a road sign and there are trees & a mine after going down a very long but not hard downhill.

DaK 03-31-2012 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanshack (Post 2200768)
Below I have the pics which shows the plates, can you tell how much more protection can a belly armor give?


http://i39.tinypic.com/iycw9h.jpg
http://i40.tinypic.com/2djnjaw.jpg
http://i42.tinypic.com/33oo5tc.jpg


That is standard protection by Jeep. Will post ya up some ROCKHARD skids. in a bit. We went through last chance and night with standard skids but had rock rails. Rock rails run along the bottom of your doors and go from wheel well to wheel well. The black rails on a stock rubicon.

Until you get some rock rails I'd stay out of last chance. There is a rock garden in there that can get pretty nasty.

DaK 03-31-2012 07:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
These are rockhard skids:


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