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Jawbone Canyon

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Other Names

East Kern County, Grass Valley Wilderness, Mojave Desert, Red Rock, Cantil, Jawbone OHV Area, Jawbone To Lake Isabella, Jawbone Station / Randsburg, Rand Mountain, Isabella Lake, Jawbone Canyon OHV

Last Known StatusOpen

This canyon is littered with steep and challenging hill climbs that require a big four-stroke or 500cc two-stroke to make it to the top consistently. The valley floor has some deep sandy washes and trails that form long loops but the most interesting routes require a few good hill climbs.

There are plenty of spots to park and camp but there are no RV hookups or shade in the area. Sometimes during the evening, violent canyon winds may kick up and can do a pretty good job of shaking RV's and trailers.

The visitor center at the entrance has maps and guide books for all of the surrounding area. A quarter mile to the south is the Jawbone Canyon Store which carries basic groceries, firewood, ice, propane and gasoline. Live bands usually play here during holiday weekends, and ATV rentals are located next door.

Trail Map... Nearby ATV Trails...


Permit RequiredYesCA OHMVR stickers required
Dates OpenYear-RoundCA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted from 9/1 to 5/31
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedYesResidents of any state not listed must purchase a Nonresident OHV Use Permit. (AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, IA, ID, IN, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY)
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting exhaust silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (96 dB)CA OHMVR noise limits apply (1985/older limit 101 dB, 1986/newer limit 96 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthNo Restriction
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & SXSPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs & Jeeps (registered)Permitted
Dune Buggy & Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
PermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
2 Stroke EnginesCertain TimesCA OHMVR restrictions apply
MX Helmet RequiredYeshelmets required by state law
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingNo Restriction(camp anywhere)
Campfire Restrictions CampfiresNo Restrictionburn season laws apply - conditions can get very windy
Night RidingUnknown
Trail BlazingProhibitedkeep on designated trails
AlcoholNo Restriction
Rule Enforcement


Approx Size8,500 acres (13 sq mi)
Miles Of Trail100
Climate TypeDesert
Elevation2100 to 4500 ft.
Trail MaintenanceNot Marked, Not Rated, Not Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has little loose dirt.Little
Hard PackThe trail has some hard pack terrain.Some
SandThis trail has mostly sandy areas.Mostly
MudThe trail has no mud after it rains.None
DustThe trail has mostly dust on typical days.Mostly
RocksThis trail has mostly rocks.Mostly
TreesThe trail has few trees.Few
Steep HillsThis trail has many steep hills.Manyvery steep hill climbs - experts only
Water CrossingsThe trail has few water crossings.Fewsome dry creek crossings
Small JumpsThis trail has few small jumps.Few
Large JumpsThis trail has few large jumps.Few
BermsThe trail has few berms.Few
Sand/Gravel PitsThis BLM land has few sand or gravel pits.Fewsome mining mounds that are quite large
Single TrackThis BLM land has some single track trails.Some
RoadsThis BLM land has some roads.Some
IntersectionsThis trail has many intersections.Many
Rider TrafficThe BLM land has some rider traffic on typical days.Some
ShadeThis BLM land has no shaded areas.None
Ranges/GunfireThis BLM land has some shooting ranges or gunfire.Some
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards not marked)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has little beginner terrain.Little
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has some intermediate level terrain.Some
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has mostly expert terrain.Mostly
CommentMain canyon consists of mostly extremely steep hill climbs - experts only. Novice riders can stick to valley floor - deep sand.


AreaMotorized Trails, Gravel Pit, some gravel mounds created by mining


Gasoline GasolineOn SiteJawbone Canyon Store (866) 346-6274
Diesel Diesel5-20 Miles (S)Faststop Food Store (760) 373-1212
Potable Water WaterOn SiteJawbone Canyon Store (866) 346-6274
RV Hookups RV Hookup5-20 Miles (S)Sierra Trails RV Park (877) 994-7999
RV Dump Station RV Disposal5-20 Miles (N)Redrock Canyon Ricardo Campground (661) 942-0662 ($20 to dump, payable by debit or credit card only)
Primitive Camping CampgroundOn Siteprimitve camping permitted
Convenience Store Conv StoreOn SiteJawbone Canyon Store (866) 346-6274




Proschallenging hill climbs, good variety, lots of trails organized, good services at entrance including gas, food, parts, repair, etc
Conswindy, dry & hot desert!
Our RatingRatingExcellent
Recommended Stay3-5 Days
Comments(Scroll Down For Rider Reviews & Comments)


Nearest CityCantil, CA
AddressJawbone Canyon Road, Cantil, CA 93519
Go Back To California List
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Los Angeles, CA
1) Take Hwy 14 North about 70 miles to Cantil
2) Turn left (west) onto Jawbone Canyon Road, continue about 4 miles
3) Stage anywhere.


Contact InfoBLM - Ridgecrest Field Office
300 S. Richmond Road
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
(760) 384-5400
Contact InfoFriends of Jawbone Canyon
P.O. Box 1902
Cantil, CA 93519
(760) 373-1146
Contact InfoJawbone Canyon Store
32629 Highway 14
Cantil, CA 93519
(760) 373-2773
(866) 346-6274
Contact InfoFun Time ATV Rentals
63249 Hwy 14
Cantil, CA 93519
(323) 707-3478
Contact InfoHigh Desert Cycle
8209 California City Blvd # 2
California City, CA 93505
(760) 373-4495
CommentParts and repair shop for ATVs, UTVs and dirt bikes.


Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

Jawbone Canyon Trail

This is a good example of what you will find here. Rugged desert mountains and wide sandy trails with a little hard pack.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

Photo of staging area with some side trails.

A view of one of the staging areas from a nearby hill. There are numerous spots like this as you head west on Jawbone Canyon Road.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

Suzuki RM100 dirt bike on sandy trail in the desert.

Some of the valley trails are wide and beginner friendly.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

A close up photo of a sandy ATV trail winding around some creosote bushes and a shade tree.

Most of the trails are sandy but some wind through interesting desert vegetation.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

Scenic photo of sandy ATV trail winding near a large rock boulder.

Some of the trails wind through and up some cool rock formations.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

A section of a wide and sandy trail surrounded by rock ledges and creosote bushes.

Most of the valley floor trails look like this and go on for miles. CamelBak and IMS fuel tank are a must.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

A far away photo of a steep and sandy hill climb.

The photos just don't give these hill climbs justice. Only a big four-stroke or 500cc two-stroke (and a little skill) can get you to the top.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

A photo taken at the base of a steep and sandy hill climb.

Another good view of the steep hill climbs. Some lines are smoother than others but either way, only the big toys can really make it to the top.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

A scenic portion of a hard packed desert trail surrounded by barren rolling hills.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

Suzuki RM100 two-stroke going through concrete drainage tunnel.

One of the sandy washes will take you through a drainage tunnel, which is a lot of fun.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

Photo of visitor center taken from intersection of Hwy 14 and Jawbone Canyon Road.

The Jawbone Canyon Visitor Center is stocked with maps, guide books and knowledgeable staff.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

Kawasaki 500cc two-stroke coming down a steep and sandy hill climb.

Only big four-stokes or 500cc two-strokes should attempt these huge hillclimbs!


Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

A photo taken far away of a steep and sandy hill climb.

As you can see, only the big four-stokes or 500cc two-strokes should even attempt these massive hillclimbs!

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

Two ATVs riding on desert trail near the Los Angeles Aqueduct pipeline.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

Man on Suzuki RM-250 popping a wheelie while riding underneath one of the Los Angeles Aqueduct pipelines.

Having a little fun underneath in the desert.

Jawbone Canyon Trail Photo

Photo of Los Angeles Aqueduct pipeline.

A view of the Los Angeles Aqueduct pipeline. Built in 1913, this pipeline stretches over 233 miles long and supplies the city with almost half of its drinking water.

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