The Bradshaw Trail is a 70-mile stretch of graded dirt road that starts just east of the Salton Sea south of Joshua Tree National Park. It's popular for a wide range of uses, including as a bicycling, horseback riding, and off-road vehicle trail. Hikers often focus on a 10-mile stretch starting from the trailhead where Bradshaw Trail meets Summit Road. The Red Canyon Jeep Trail, Orocopia Mountains Wilderness Area, and northern border of the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range are all nearby.
Native fauna you might spot include several species of lizards,
jackrabbits, and native and migratory birds. Rattlesnakes have also been found on the trail at times, so be sure to keep your dog on a
leash and close to you for both of your safety. Creosote and sage, as
well as many other hardy desert plants, grow along the way, and if
you've never seen desert wildflowers bloom in the spring, this is a
great place to view this amazing natural phenomenon.
This historic road preserves part of what was once called the "Gold Road," a late-1800s stagecoach route used by gold miners to get to the gold fields in La Paz in the Arizona Territory. As you hike along this trail, note historic sights like old railroad trestles, wells, and mines. You'll also enjoy gorgeous views of the Orocopia, Chuckwalla and Mule Mountains. Interesting rock formations abound, including giant boulders and towering pinnacles. Parts of the trail pass through tall slot canyons that offer rare and welcome shade.
Hiking the entire length of the Bradshaw Trail should be attempted by only the hardiest canine and human adventurers. The lack of shade and water along the trail, which is very hot in the summer, requires a lot of preparation. However, if you're experienced with desert camping and trekking, there are places to camp along the way, including the Corn Springs, Wiley Well, and Coon Hollow campgrounds.
Whether you take on the full adventure or just come here for a day, you're sure to feel like you and your pup are pioneers who've found your own Gold Road.