The 15 Best Dirt Bike Trails in California 2023:
The 15 best dirt bike trails in California are some of the most beautiful and enjoyable places to ride. A lot of people even travel from other countries to come to California to enjoy the off road riding experience and adventure that comes along with riding these amazing trails and tracks.This article is going to give you a guide on the best tracks and trails to ride in California. From parks to trails to forests, this guide will show you the pictures and locations to help you in deciding the best dirt bike riding trails in California.
In this large state of California, almost every season offers great conditions for riding a dirt bike. On these tracks and trails, locals and tourists, amateurs and professionals, and everyone else can pick up new skills. Whatever your riding level, you’ll either find yourself wanting to disappear into nature or finding new friends to ride with.
A dirt bike, appropriate attire, enthusiasm, and, if required, licenses are all you’ll need for these tracks and trails. Additionally, since this is an intensive activity, getting health insurance is not a bad idea.
Here are a few of California’s best dirt riding trails and tracks details without further ado:
Fort Sage OHV Area:
The first one on our list of best dirt bike trails in California is The Fort Sage Special Recreation Management Area is situated about 45 miles north of Reno, Nevada, in the high desert region of northeastern California. About 22,000 acres of public land in the recreation area are largely managed for off-road vehicle use and winter deer range. To ensure that the two main uses continue to be compatible in the future, only specified roads and paths are allowed for vehicles inside the recreation area.
The Bureau of Land Management has approved a total of 90 miles of routes inside the recreation area for motorcycle, ATV, and 4wd use, depending on the width of the track. The pathways travel through a variety of landscapes, including rocky, steep gorges and gulches as well as flat, sandy, high desert sagebrush areas.
A 100-mile OHV trail network suitable for motorcycles and ATVs with a width of under 50 inches may be found in Foresthill. There is very little to no four-wheel-drive terrain in the District. The majority of the trail network is easy to moderate, with a few kilometers of difficult terrain thrown in for good measure. Both motocross and flat track are absent. Dirt bike trails riding in the woods is done using this technique.
The trails intersect paved highways occasionally and have two-way traffic. Please be aware that riding on the pavement is prohibited unless you have a State driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement and your motorcycle is street legal and insured (with the exception of crossing straight through at the “official” crossings listed above).
Indian Springs is more of a 4×4 trail, but riding a motorcycle through it will challenge your rock climbing abilities. There are many quiet, undeveloped campsites right on the river if you always bear left. Although the landscape and camping are equally beautiful at higher elevations (bear right at all times), the terrain becomes more difficult as you ascend.
While camping is permitted throughout the forest, the main staging area is only open for daytime use. There is no direct trail access to the Indian Springs Campground, which is approximately 0.5 miles from the staging area, therefore non-street legal vehicles must be hauled there and back.
Nearly 500 miles of black diamond single track that has been certified are located in the Sequoia National Forest, the french meadow trails lead you through a range of height changes and are clearly marked. Most of the terrain is firm pack, with a little loose chunk rock and barely perceptible elevation changes.
One of the best dirt bike trails in California, free primitive camping with easy access to trails is available at Landers Camp and Piaute Springs, respectively. Due to the ample shade and convenient parking, Landers Camp is a preferred spot for people with campsites or trailers. Bring your own supplies, as there is no running water or other amenities. Access to the Pacific Crest Trail is also available in Landers Camp (for hiking only).
Mount Pinos East OHV Trails
Around 200 miles of difficult trails may be found in this large area, and numerous campgrounds provide easy access to them. There are tiny forest service roads that are accessible to all sorts of vehicles, but the most of the region is made up of single-track motorbike routes intended for experienced riders.
There are many campgrounds with easy access to trails, but the sites are undeveloped and lack water, so you must carry your own. All campgrounds, with the exception of Chuchupate Campground, demand an Adventure Pass, which can be bought online or at the Mt. Pinos Ranger Station.
This region also includes the CDS Riding Diamonds, a double black diamond goat route with sharp switchbacks, challenging climbs, and loose chunk rock, as well as Ventura County’s renowned Snowy Path.
Millwood OHV Area:
Around 25 miles of motorized trails wind through some of the tallest trees in the region in this region of the Sequoia National Forest. The trails offer a fantastic range of terrain, from swift and easy hard pack to steep and rocky with a few creek crossings.
The trail system offers a variety of trailheads and campgrounds; those looking for mainly easy to moderate routes with few campground amenities may choose to stay at Millwood Staging Area. For access to the more challenging walks, set up at Abbott Creek Campground or Cherry Gap Campground. Large trailers are not recommended because parking is limited at all trailheads.
Miles of easy to moderately tough trails, as well as a tiny sand pit, may be found in this area of the Sequoia National Forest. The Buck Rock Jeep Trail takes visitors to a fire lookout with sweeping views of the mountains nearby, the Kings River, the Monarch and Jennie Lakes Wilderness, as well as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Camping possibilities include the sand pit and the Big Meadows and Buck Rock campgrounds. A unique camping experience is provided by The Big Meadows Cabin.
A 4 mile blue single track path called Penny Pines Path 25 is reasonably well-liked in the area of Ukiah, California. This popular mountain riding route is reachable from both ends. The average time to finish this trail is 36 minutes.
Spangler Hills OHV Area
Over 57,000 acres of free dirt bike trails in California can only be found at Spangler Hills. For those who want to cruise in triple digits, it’s a true utopia! For riders competing in the Baja and Dakar, this is the ideal training location because it lacks the crowds of other riding areas. Since the area is mostly flat, you can ride and camp pretty much everywhere. Dove Springs and Jawbone Canyon are two nearby sights that merit a trip.
Spangler Hills OHV Area
Frank Raines OHV Park:
All OHVs are welcome to use this off-road park, which offers a variety of terrain including challenging hill climbs, washouts, rocky creek beds, and rutted 4×4 paths. The majority of the time, the trails are dry and crusty, with only the rare shrub or patch of grass to be found in the sparsely vegetated area. Please be aware that the paths are blocked during the fire season from mid-June to the end of October.
Hungry Valley SVRA:
There are numerous campsites and staging spaces at Hungry Valley SVRA in addition to approximately 130 miles of ATV routes. Most of the paths are broad and smooth, with a big amount of dry hard pack and few pebbles. There are a lot of sand washes and small inclines as well. The park has ten campgrounds with more than 200 campsites, some of which have a pavilion with shade, a fire ring, a picnic table, and a vault toilet.
The Smith Forks campground is next to a small motocross and ATV track, while the Aliklik campground is close to a 10 acre 4WD practice area with eight artificial obstacles. The Pronghorn Trail may be used to access the southeast-located Quail Canvon MX Track, which is available for practice every day. In close proximity to this site is Mt. Pinos, a mountain with more than 200 miles of challenging forest trails on Forest Service land.
Ballinger Canyon OHV Day Use Riding Area:
This well-known off-road area offers over 68 miles of designated and approved AT routes on public land.
The terrain varies from hard paved 4%4 roads to narrow motorcycling single track, challenging and steep black diamond hill climbs, and twisting sand washes. If you are able to ascend the hills and leave the valley floor, don’t forget your camera—the views are amazing!
While most of the trails are intended for advanced riders, there are several big forest service roads, impromptu motocross tracks, and play areas that are great for kids on small motorcycles or beginners. Overall, this is a great spot for a long weekend of riding and camping with a big group of people.
Elkins Flat OHV Routes:
A network of mostly motorcycle-only forested routes with varied degrees of intricacy may be found in this area of the Eldorado National Forest. The trails are littered with tree roots and whoops, switchback climbs, stream crossings, and rock beds. Although summer might be dusty, these routes are great when the conditions are right!
The main staging area is simple, but shady, with a few tents, restrooms, and a map kiosk. The cost of camping and riding was waived. Just down the road is PiPi Campground, which has 51 campsites with stream views. Since there is no direct offroad access from the PiPi campground, you will need to trailer your bikes out every day if they aren’t street legal.
Jawbone Canyon OHV Area:
The Jawbone Canyon and Dove Springs is one of the most entertaining dirt bike trails in California and the location offers some of the best riding in the state. There is a lot of scenery in these mountains, and the trails are well maintained its a perfect place for the off-road riding adventures.
A variety of riding activities, including cross-country riding, trail riding, and challenging technical hill climbing, are available in the Jawbone Canyon Off-Highway Vehicle Area. The area outside of the OHV Open Area, which offers hundreds of miles of trail riding, can also be explored from Jawbone.
Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area:
Although the terrain is gorgeous but its considered as one of the most difficult dirt bike trails in California, the paths may be regarded as dry and difficult. Although some are barely wide enough for ATVS and dirt motorcycles, the rest of the routes are broad jeep roads. The route network features multiple brook crossings, challenging hill climbs and descents, and both little and huge loose chunks of rock.
The most well-known staging location in the region is the Chappie-Shasta Staging Area, which has some great modern amenities and is nestled right beneath a sizable dam. A campsite that has numerous lovely paved and shaded sites for a reasonable price is about a quarter mile past this staging area and has direct trail access.