Canyon Roads in California

California Scenic Drives – Canyon Roads CA

Canyon roads are plentiful in California. From the lush coastal hillsides w/ mansions to the lunar like box canyons & slot canyons of the desert. We dig the back roads as much as you do, so get ready to explore this weekend. (GPS data is later dude!)

SoCal Backroads

What is the difference between a canyon & a valley?

I can recall that canyons are tighter, smaller cracks in the terrain, most likely in lower elevations & rugged hillsides. Steeper walls, lots of rocks, some vegetation. A major desert wash, a creek or seasonal stream usually runs parallel to the paved road.

Many canyon roads in California have been paved for urban development or for a major through-route access. These provide great quick “day trips” from the city.

Valleys are larger open areas surrounded by mountains. Since the majority of Southern Cal is desert climate, you won’t be seeing many fern canyons or big open alpine meadows. Manzanita & sage brush meadows are the norm, for elevated valleys & mountains, such as the National Forest.

Los Angeles County is a popular place to explore canyons for a “mind-unwind drive” or the half day picnic trip, away from work.

California Scenic Drives listed below….

PAVED Canyon Roads –

  • Big Tujunga Canyon (LA)
  • Bouquet Canyon, Palmdale
  • Brainard Canyon, Palmdale
  • Carbon Canyon (142) Chino CA
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Highway 33 N of Ojai CA
  • Hwy 39 – San Gabriel Canyon
  • Highway 76 (Ortega)
  • Lockwood Valley Rd, Frazier Park CA
  • Lone Pine Canyon Rd, Wrightwood CA
  • Malibu Canyon Rd, Malibu CA
  • San Antonio Canyon, Mt Baldy CA
  • Santa Anita Canyon (LA)
  • Santiago Canyon (S18), Orange CA
  • Soledad Canyon, Palmdale
  • Topanga Canyon Rd, Malibu CA
  • Wildcat Canyon, El Cajon CA

UNPAVED Canyon Roads –

desert canyons

Goler Wash (aka Goler Canyon) in Panamint Valley. Barker Ranch is up that way.