In this adventure, we head north to the Calico Mountain to tackle the Odessa-Doran Loop Trail. This is a difficult rated trail and one we have been looking forward to tackling. This trail did not disappoint, with it amazing tight canyons, step and narrow rocky obstacles and spectacular desert scenery around every turn.
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Special thanks to my trail friends, Q, Dirks, Kassen, Amy and Joe
The Odessa-Doran Canyon Loop Trail is located East of Barstow, CA just off the Interstate 15 in the Calico Mountains.
The trail entrance is well marked and easy to find and is just east of the Calico Ghost Town. There are over 500 silver mines in this area and you will see many along the trail. This place was booming in the late 1800’s.
This trail is rated as difficult and after just a short drive from the trail head you will enter the spectacular narrow canyon section. We quickly began hitting some fun obstacles and this was just a taste of things to come.
There were 6 of us in the group today, and while this trail is rated as difficult, most of the jeeps in our group are just lightly modified daily drivers.
There are some pretty solid obstacles on this trail, but sometimes it’s the small ones that can get you. You really have to select your tire placement carefully and use your lockers when appropriate along this trail.
Are friend got a little high centered, but we quickly whipped out a winch and pulled him off. This section was one of the very few areas on the trail, that actually had a bypass… most of them don’t
My buddy Joe was even struggle a little though this area, and he decided to do a little landscaping and move a bunch of boulders around with his Jeep to make it easier… this is a great example of why under armor and strong parts are so important. Unfortunately, he broke off one of his rims center caps in the process.
This next section of trail looks very intimidating. You go up a steep rocky climb and you are leaning to the drivers side the whole way up. You have to take your time and go slow as you approach the top where you have to turn because if you are running a 4 door hard top you are going to get within inches of the rock face.
First time on the beadlocks
This next section is known as Pucker Pass. It may not look like much, but it gets very narrow and there is a steep drop to the drivers side that you start leaning towards. There is one dip on the trail that your rear tire has to sink down into. You really need to get your line perfect here. I let my son drive and put faith in the spotter….. I’m pretty sure I was more nervous that my son!
We finally reached the end of the Odessa portion of the trail. This whole loop is only 6 miles long, but it is slow going. The trail opened up to a large mine area and this is where you will begin your decent back down the mountain on the Doran side of the trail. We decided to take a break, eat some lunch and check out some of the mines. What a spectacular day so far!
We had tackled ever obstacle we encounter today, but this last section, well we all walk it for a while, talked it through, probably dared each other more than once and decided this section is best left for the hard core rock crawler rigs. We took the bypass on this one and venture off into the caves which was pretty cool. I think this how Jeeps are born?