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Bradshaw Trail

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Quick Facts
Designation: BLM Back Country Byway
Length, One-Way: 70 Miles (116.67 Kilometers)
Time: Varies according to weather and vehicle.

General Information

Bradshaw Trail was used extensively between 1862 and 1877 to haul miners and other passengers to the gold fields at La Paz
Copyright: - US Bureau of Land Management
Bradshaw Trail was used extensively between 1862 and 1877 to haul miners and other passengers to the gold fields at La Paz
Description - The first road across Riverside County to the Colorado River was blazed by William Bradshaw in 1862 as an overland stage route. Beginning in San Bernardino, Bradshaw Trail was used extensively between 1862 and 1877 to haul miners and other passengers to the gold fields at La Paz, Arizona (now Ehrenberg).

Attractions - The Bradshaw Trail is now a 70-mile dirt road periodically graded by the Riverside County Transportation Department. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended due to stretches of soft sand.

The trail traverses mostly public land and offers spectacular views of the Chuckwalla Bench and the Orocopia, Chuckwalla and Mule Mountains.

All commercial activities require a land use or special recreation permit from the BLM. Primitive vehicular camping is allowed within 300 feet of the trail except in designated wilderness areas - several of those are nearby. Wilderness areas are closed to all motorized and mechanical vehicles, including bicycles. Fourteen-day camping limits apply on public lands.

Wiley's Well Campground, a BLM facility, is located just north of the Bradshaw Trail at its intersection with Wiley's Well Road. The campground has individual campsites with picnic tables, shade ramadas and grills, but potable water is not supplied. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available in the campground. A fee is charged for overnight use. Coon Hollow Campground, also a BLM facility, is located about three miles south of the Bradshaw Trail on Wiley's Well Road. A fee is required for overnight use. Facilities at this campground are the same as those at Wiley's Well. Campgrounds can also be found at Lake Cahuilla (City of La Quinta), Joshua Tree National Park and Corn Springs (near Desert Center).

The Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range borders a part of the Bradshaw Trail to the south. This is a live bombing range and posted as closed to public entry. DO NOT ENTER THE BOMBING RANGE. Summers can be extremely hot. Carry plenty of water and extra food. If you are stranded, stay with your vehicle. Always tell someone your plans, and stick to your itinerary. Food, supplies, and gasoline are available at Indio, Chiriaco Summit, Desert Center and Blythe. The cities of Indio and Blythe offer complete accommodations.

Recreation - Bradshaw Trail is known for its historic and scenic attractions.

Climate - The desert region experiences typically clear days with with low precipitation and humidity.
Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 degrees respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 60 degrees, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at the higher elevations. Summers are very hot, over 100 degrees during the day and not cooling much below 75 degrees until the early hours of the morning.

Location - The Bradshaw Trail is located in the Desert Region of southeast California.

From Blythe, California take Interstate 10 west for about 17 miles to the Wiley's Well exit. Go south (left) on Wiley's Well Road for about 9 miles to its intersection with the Bradshaw Trail, just past Wiley's Well Campground. Turn right and proceed west towards Indio.

From Indio, California take State Highway 111 east about 23 miles to the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. Across from Park Headquarters is Parkview Drive. Turn left on Parkview Drive for about 1.7 miles, then left on Desert Aire for about half a mile to the canal road. Follow the canal road for about 10 miles to Drop 24 and the beginning of the Bradshaw Trail.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Ed DeCarbo (Diamond Bar, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: I plan to travel the Brdshaw Trail from from the North Shore to Wiley's Well from 12/03/04 to 12/05/04. Please advise me as to weather and road conditions and availability of gas and vehicle repair stops along this route. I will report to you after this trip is completed. Thank you, Ed

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Bradshaw Trail
ICON Scenic Driving Bradshaw Trail
ICON Viewing Scenery Bradshaw Trail

More Information

Additional Information:
California Scenic Byways - California offers one All American Road, two National Scenic Byways, and well over 50 state and National Forest designated scenic byways.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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