Rides The Hammer Trails.
Editor: Eric Bewley
Johnson Valley, CA - For those of
you who are not familiar with Johnson Valley area you might have heard of
the infamous Hammer’s trails. Johnson Valley hosts not only these super
aggressive trails created by the off road club the Tin Benders but an
array of other terrain. It’s pretty amazing how different the rock is in
Johnson Valley. On the left (west) side of Bessemer road is sharp nasty
volcanic rock. On the right side is sand stone type rock all the way to
the granite like Hammers Trails. There is quite a bit to see and do in
this valley and a small group from Zukiworld decided to go check out what
this was all about.
There are a lot of ways into the
Johnson Valley area but we chose to tag along with a group that was
heading out to the area for a Desert MC race. We camped off of Bessemer
Mine Rd area near what is commonly referred to as the “Rock Pile” The
Rock Pile is a staging event area for the Desert MC Hare and Hound Desert
Race. We heard rumors of big party’s and bands playing at the Desert MC
event so this surely would offer plenty of night time entertainment.
|We found a great camp spot right
behind Rock Pile.
|Saturday morning we had a turn
out of 4 samurai’s and 2 trackers. Darren “Wildgoody”
decided to try the rocks out right behind camp.
We headed across the desert 15 or
so miles to the Means Dry lake which is they typical staging area for
those interested in camping and exploring the Hammers Trails area. Once
we headed across the means dry lake we discovered sand dunes on the back
side of the first ridge.
Straight passed the dunes and into
the mtns off of means dry lake we found our first hammer trail. Although
none of us know which trail we were on it was pretty fun until we hit the
first waterfall. None of our rigs made it up the waterfall so we decided
to go look for an “easier” Hammer trail, if one actually existed.
Our Second trail was
around the mountain to the right if your pointing at Means Dry
Lake and up a sandy wash and was quite fun. We were making great
progress but the day wore on and we all decided since we weren’t
sure which trail we were on, were it was going or if there was
going to be another impassable waterfall for out little rigs.
||A winch comes in handy on
the Hammers trails
The only major breakage of
the day was a broken frame on Darren’s sidekick.
A quick trail repair with a Toyota birfield that we found on
the trail and Darren was running well enough to head off the trail
to get the frame welded.
The rest of us decided
to turn and head for camp before it got dark. We had a great time and the
Hammers are very challenging to say the least. If
your heading to the hammers here are some GPS locations of the trail heads
these were posted by Lrp-wicky
(Russ) so if they are wrong PM
Aftershock Trailhead - Hammers
N 34.42280º W 116.43548º
N 34º 25.368' W 116º 26.1288'
N 34º 25' 22.1" W 116º 26' 7.7"
Claw Hammer Trail Head - Hammers
N 34.43722º W 116.47455º
N 34º 26.2332' W 116º 28.473'
N 34º 26' 14" W 116º 28' 28.4"
Jack/Sledge Hammer - Hammers
Trailheads for the Jack Hammer and Sledge Hammer trails.
N 34.41453º W 116.47440º
N 34º 24.8718' W 116º 28.464'
N 34º 24' 52.3" W 116º 28' 27.8"
Outer Limits Trail Head- Hammers
N 34.45438º W 116.45183º
N 34º 27.2628' W 116º 27.1098'
N 34º 27' 15.8" W 116º 27' 6.6"
Sun Bonnet Trail - Hammers
N 34.40317ºW 116.43345º
N 34º 24.1902' W 116º 26.007'
N 34º 24' 11.4" W 116º 26' 0.4"
Wrecking Ball - Hammers
N 34.42258º W 116.47213º
N 34º 25.3548'W 116º 28.3278'
N 34º 25' 21.3" W 116º 28' 19.7"
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