Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cleghorn Ridge

 For the last couple of weeks I have bored you with articles about all the aftermarket parts that I have been installing on the Jeep in preparation for the Easter Jeep Safari coming up in a few weeks. Well, as it stands, I still have a few items left to install but we are put together enough that we decided to go out and stretch our legs. We were looking for something as close to the house as possible for a couple of reasons. I tend to play it safe when I make major modifications until I'm confident in the parts. Since I just changed the tie rod, drag link and had an alignment, I wasn't looking to get stranded in the middle of nowhere because someone forgot to tighten a bolt. The other reason is we just wanted to get out into the desert and back to the house before the sun went down. After a week of research I decided to take us to the Cleghorn Ridge trail.
 The Cleghorn Ridge Trail, also known as OHV road 2N47, is located in the San Bernardino mountains. The trail head is super easy to access because to get to it you exit I-15 at the Cleghorn off ramp and turn east into the canyon. You're on the dirt in less than a quarter mile off of the freeway. Talk about convenient. This exit is just south of Cajon Pass for those familiar with that section of I-15. Once on the trail it is little more than fifteen miles before your tires will hit pavement again and for the most part is a basic two track road that most vehicles could traverse in dry conditions. 
 As we climbed we got some incredible valley views and despite being in the mountains you never really got the sense of being alone because you could see the traffic traveling the freeway for most of the day. 
 I thought we would run into more people out on the trail considering it was a holiday weekend but I think we only saw six or seven vehicles and four ATV/UTV's all day. For California, that's a ghost town. Everyone we talked to was very friendly, however, which is always nice to see.
 I didn't just want to drive all the way out to the desert without finding a little difficulty and I chose Cleghorn Ridge because there are a few off shoots that parallel the main route that are more challenging for those that choose to try them. These routes are meant for vehicles with more ground clearance and larger tires but are really only as difficult as you choose them to be depending on the lines you choose to take. They were challenging enough to be fun but not hard enough that we were concerned about breaking parts, which was exactly what I set out to find.
 The payoff at the end of this trail is the overlook of the Silverwood Lake just a mile or so south of the end of the trail. This is just off of highway 138 which would take us back to Santa Clarita. This route took us past The Devil's Punch Bowl and our favorite little road side attraction, Charlie Brown's Farm but we chose to pass by on this trip. Overall, I feel pretty good about the improvements that we've made on the Jeep and it was a great relief to get out and explore more of Southern California's desert and if you are looking for a nice day trip to get out of the big city, the Cleghorn Ridge trail is worth a look.

Brandan

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