San Bernardino

The Ring Trail is a short fun little hike in the Mojave National Preserve, San Bernardino Couty.
The Ring Trail is a short fun little hike in the Mojave National Preserve.

San Bernardino Couty, CA is one of the largest counties in the county and home to a wealth of history and places to explore. The County offers a lot of diversity in biomes and geography which range from the high peaks of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio, which reaches heights of 11,499 feet in elevation, down to the low desert elevations. The county is huge at 20,105 square miles and with a low population of just over 2 million people, offers a lot of abilty to explore and get away from it all. The bulk of this population is centered around the San Bernardino Mountains.

San Bernardino County hosts a variety of national protected areas, and also includes the Mojave Nations Preserve, Joshua Tree National Park and part of Death Valley National Park.

The vaste deserts

Kelso Depot, Mojave CA
Kelso Depot, Mojave CA

Areas of Interest

Big Bear, CA

Big Bear Lake covered in snow.
Big Bear Lake covered in snow.

Big Bear, CA is a mountain year round resort community in the San Bernardino Mountains. The cute little town is a which offers skiing in the cold winter months and lots of fishing, boating and 4×4 opportunities the rest of the year. They also have a pretty nice little Oktoberfest for those so inclined.

Mojave National Preserve

Goffs Schoolhouse, Mojave, CA
Goffs Schoolhouse, Mojave, CA

4×4 Trails

Achy-Breaky

Achy-Breaky is a very difficult, trail which circumnavigates Watkins Peak.  The trail requires a well built 4x4 and a GPS to even stay on the…
Bear Bear Lake, California

Clarks Grade – 1N54

A steep and scenic descent from the top of Skyline drive and Snow Summit down to Angeles Oaks.  This road is steep enough, that low…
Cleghorn located outside of Big Bear, CA

Cleghorn Ridge

Cleghorn located outside of Big Bear, CA Cleghorn Ridge is a 4x4 trail which leads from the I-15 at the Cleghorn exit to Silverlake State…
Dishpan Springs, Big Bear, CA

Dish Pan Springs – 3N34

Also known as the Deep Creek Trail, Dish Pan Springs offers a short but hardcore trail in Big Bear. Dishpan springs trail contains large boulders…
Bear Bear Lake, California

Gold Mountain 3N69

The Gold Mountain 3N69 Trail can be found in the San Bernardino National Forest near Big Bear Lake. The favored direction of travel is from…
Bear Bear Lake, California

Holcomb Valley Road – 3N14

Holcomb Valley Road, is a main artery in the road system above and behind Big Bear and with Holcomb Valley. This Route offers access to…
Bear Bear Lake, California

Jacoby Canyon

Jacoby Canyon Trail can be found in the San Bernardino National Forest near Big Bear Lake. The favored direction of travel is from North to…
Bear Bear Lake, California

John Bull Trail – 3N61

The John Bull Trail has the solid reputation as one of the toughest and most challenging trails in the Big Bear mountains of San Bernardino County.…
These mine cart rails are a little small to pull the amount of gold claimed to be here.

Kokoweef Mine

The Kokoweef Mine and in fact all of the trails and mines located in the Ivanpah / Mountain Pass area represent exactly why I started…
A horizontal shaft in the Ivanpah Mountains.

Morning Star Mine

Located in the Ivanpah Mountains, the Morning Star Mine is a gold / silver mine located near to California / Nevada border near Mountain Pass.…
Government Holes in the central section of the Old Mojave Road.

Old Mojave Road

The Old Mojave Road (Government Road) is an east-west route that enters the Mojave National Preserve off the highway 95 in Nevada, and Afton Canyon…
Bear Bear Lake, California

Skyline Drive – 2N10

This little adventure is a vehicle off road safari through one of the most beautiful parts of our mountains. You don't need a four wheel…
Bear Bear Lake, California

Snow Slide Trail – 2N13

Snow Slide Trail (2N13) connects Green Valley Lake to Fawnskin, CA. The Green Valley Lake trail head is located by the campground, while the Fawnskin…
Bear Bear Lake, California

Sugarpine Mountain

Sugarpine Mountain trail is moderately difficult and starts at the edge of San Bernardino and finishes is the Silverlake State Park.  The trail is designated…
Bear Bear Lake, California

Willow Creek Road – 3N34

Willow Creek road is an easy gentle ride which runs from Hooks Creek Road to Highway 173. Willow creek can get rather full after heavy…

Points of Interest

Bert Smith’s Cabin

Bert Smith's Cabin overlooks Camp Rock Springs Located deep in the Mojave National Reserve exists a small stone building, known as Bert Smith's Cabin, which…

Camp Rock Springs

A small oasis and valuable water supply along the Old Mojave Road, Camp Rock Springs was the site of a military outpost established on December…
Evening Star Mine, Mojave, California - 2015 Photo by James L Rathbun

Evening Star Mine, Mojave National Preserve

The Evening Star Mine first came to our attention in the winter of 2014, while researching the mining history of the Mountain Pass located in…
Frank "Shorty" Harris

Frank “Shorty” Harris

Frank Harris was a prospector, desert rat and perhaps the best known character in western mining history. He looked the part, often travelling the desert…
Goffs, CA

Goffs California

Originally known as Blake, Goffs, California is a small unincorporated community located off of Route 66 in the Mojave desert near the Piute Mountains.  Originally…

Goldome Mill

The heavily vandalized Goldome Mill outside of Ivanpah, California The Goldome Mill is an abandoned modern mill site in the New York mountains of San…
Government Holes in the central section of the Old Mojave Road.

Government Holes

The tale of the the Old Mojave Road is the story of water, the more important resource in the desert.  Along the Old Mojave Road…

Kelso Depot

The story of the westward expansion is the story of the railroads.  Beginning in 1862, the Union Pacific Railroad sought expansion opportunities along the western…
These mine cart rails are a little small to pull the amount of gold claimed to be here.

Kokoweef Mine

The Kokoweef Mine and in fact all of the trails and mines located in the Ivanpah / Mountain Pass area represent exactly why I started…
A live stock watering trough in the Mojave Desert.. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Mojave Goldfish

Over Presidents day weekend, my wife and I were travelling back from Big Bear, CA to our house after a visit with family towards our…
A horizontal shaft in the Ivanpah Mountains.

Morning Star Mine

Located in the Ivanpah Mountains, the Morning Star Mine is a gold / silver mine located near to California / Nevada border near Mountain Pass.…
The Arargosa Opera House is located in Death Valley Junction, California.

The Amargosa Opera House

Recently, on a whim, my wife and I loaded up the jeep and opt to just explore the desert West of our home town of…
My son Ryan showing the proper technique for climbing the rings, on the Ring Trail, Mojave National Preserve.

The Hole in the Wall Ring Trail

The Hole in the Wall Ring Trail is a short is a 1.5 miles loop trail around a hill top and through a slot canyon…
Ryan climbed to the top of Travelers Monument

Travelers Monument

When travelling the Old Mojave Road, there is a tradition to pick and carry a rock, and carry the rock to the Travelers Monument.  The…
A metal headframe marks a vertical shaft in the mining district outside of Vanderbilt California.

Vanderbilt California

A metal headframe marks a vertical shaft in the mining district outside of Vanderbilt California. Located in the New York Mountains, Vanderbilt California was an…
ake Tuendae, an Oasis in the Mojave Desert is found at the end of Zzyzx Road off the I-15. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Zzyzx Road – Soda springs

Located south of Baker, CA on the edge of a large soda dry lake bed in the Mojave, Zzyzx Road is a short road which…

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