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Doran/Odessa Loop 4x4 Trail, California

Very difficult narrow canyon loop route

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Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 10.5 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Perhaps the most popular route in the Calico Mountains. Famous for an extreme obstacle that we describe going downhill on the return... more »

Tips:  This is a very remote and desolate area. Carry plenty of water and supplies in case you get stranded. Don’t travel alone.

Trail... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start Here

Head north on a wide gravel road. It enters a canyon and splits in various directions. Stay right for the most part. This is a very popular camping area because it is flat with lots of room. It's a great place for staging unlicensed vehicles. As you head north, look for unique arches used as a play area for ATV and dirt bikes. Caution: Tunnels... More

2. Canyon Splits

The main canyon splits here. This decription takes you up the right side, then comes back down the left side. We go this way because of an extreme obstacle in the left canyon. We recommend you take the time now and drive 0.2 miles up the left canyon to see the obstacle from the bottom. It might help you decide to use the available bypass when you ... More

3. Major Extreme Obstacle

This obstacle is located 0.2 miles up the left canyon. We know not many can get up it. It has a bypass coming down from the top. During the annual "High Desert Round-Up," crowds gather here to watch the most aggressive vehicles attempt the obstacle. A good spotter is essential to be successful.

4. First Challenge

As you head up the right canyon, you'll soon encounter the first challenge when the canyon narrows. If you can get through here, you should be OK the rest of the way, although it reallly gets tight in places. Oversized vehicles may not be able to get through.

5. Road Crosses

A road crosses here on a diagonal. You may not see lesser road which joins on left. Stay left, continuing north in the canyon. Right here goes uphill and connects to Phillips Loop. (Available as eGuide from FunTreks on EveryTrail.)

6. Important Left Turn

Turn left here uphill. You are now joining our Wall Street Canyon Overlook Route (available as eGuide from FunTreks on EveryTrail). You'll soon pass a parking area for Sweetwater Spring Hiking Trail.

7. Bismarck Mine

After climbing over a high saddle, you'll drop down to the spralling Bismarck Mine, which you can see on the right. Massive catacombs from old mining days are exposed in the side of the hill. Catacombs lead to a network of mining tunnels. During the High Desert Roundup, guides take you through the tunnels, but it is still extremely dangerous. You ... More

8. Bypass on Right

Unless you want to go down the extreme obstacle we mentioned at the beginning of this trip, turn right here out of the canyon. This bypass route runs along a high ridge and drops back down into the canyon where you started. At one point, you might be able to look west and see Calico Ghost Town.