This is a nice little trail, and a welcome break from the long drive on I10 to California. It is also a good trail to test the stock SUV, or “car” based AWD SUV’s with reasonable ground clearance.
It is worth visiting the General George S. Patton Memorial Museum located at Chiriaco Summit. It is open daily with the exception of major holidays.
After exiting I10, you proceed south of the freeway, making a right (west) on Pinto Road. You will travel just over a mile west before coming to the Red Canyon Trail indicated as SR2013. There are several signs and information boards at the start of the trail.
This trail is very well marked, with a Red Canyon marker at every major turn. The trail continues south, in the Maniobra Valley.
The trail passes through the Orocopia Mountains Wilderness Area. Driving is restricted to a 60′ corridor for 6.5 miles.
Yucca and Ocotillo make up a majority of the flora in this area, along with the striking contrasts of the soil colors.
The most diofficult portion of the trail is when you drive through a series of washes about 4.5 miles in. There are some small rocks to negotiate and a few loose climbs. The most challenging climb is after entering the wash again at (N33 36.662 W115 39.026 NAD83), and climbing a steep exit. Still within the capability of most 4WD vehicles.
One of the narrow washes in the wilderness corridor.
Video of narrow canyon Video of small climbs
There were a few species of colorful locust that hitched a ride in our truck.
End of the trail for us, but the track continues along Red Canyon, all the way to the Salt Creek Wash.
- Date: 5/17/2004
- Trail Time: 2 Hours
- Location: East of Indio, off of the Chiriaco Summit exit
- Mapping / GPS / Waypoint File: .gif Map Image (main) / .MPS (Mapsource) Track File / .TXT Waypoint and Track
- Trail Rating (1-5 scale): 2.5
- Major Obstacle: This trail is quite easy, and within the capabilities of most 4wd SUV ‘s
- Brush (minor, moderate, severe): Minor
- Scenic Value (1-5 scale): 2: The majority of the scenic value comes from the open landscape and distant views.
- Scott Brady and Julie Paris – 2004 Toyota Tacoma TRD Double Cab