T&T Rail Road Adventure

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Johnson Valley

On this weekend we begin our exploration with at Cougar Buttes on the far western end of Johnson Valley OHV near the small town of Lucerne Valley, CA. We might actually be in Lucerne Valley at that point. Johnson Valley is a section of the Mojave Desert about 90 miles east of Los Angles.
Our goal is to cross through Johnson Valley, enjoying what it has to offer, and making our way North along the old Tonopah & Tidewater (T&T) Rail Road bed to the Rasor OHV, Afton Canyon and the western edge of the Mojave Preserve. On the way we will skirt the Rodman Mountain Wilderness and cross I-40.

Check out "Deep-in-the-Mojave" a blog by Doug Moore

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

This adventure is 2 days of scenic, historical, light wheeling and a night of primitive camping under the stars. We will have a large grill on the fire so you can barbeque your favorite meal.

T&T Rail Road

T&T RailRoad

The Tonopah and Tidewater Rail Road was the brain child of Francis Smith. It was commonly call the T&T. Francis Smith who was known as the Borax King, built the rail road to transport his borax from mines near Death Valley. It was built in 1906-1907 and completely abandoned by 1941. The track started at Ludlow, CA and ended just short of Beatty, NV. We will follow only a short stretch of the old rail road bed.

Johnson Valley


Expect the terrain to range from sandy washes to rock gardens, flat desert, to hills. Johnson Valley OHV is 189,000 acres and has a varied landscape. The area is interspersed with steep red rocky, mountains, rolling hills, open valleys, dry lake beds and sandy washes. Elevations range from about 1,300 feet to elevation of about 4,600 feet. Vegetation consists of Creosote bush, Yucca, Cholla, Cats Claw, and Joshua trees. Rasor OHV is 22,500 acres of rolling hills and sand dunes. It is right at the start of the Devel's play ground which was formed by sand blowing off the Mojave River basin.



On this trip we will set up camp were we are at the end of the day. You can tent camp or sleep in your vehicle. Due to the soft sand a trailer is not recommended but if you have an off-road Adventure type trailers you are welcome to see what it will do on aired down tires. This is the desert. It can get cold and night and we have no control over the wind or heat. A high wind can hamper our cookout.

T&T Rail Road


The trip can be tailored from mild scenic desert trails to difficult rock crawling,running sand dunes and anything in between. We will see what the group wants as we work our way north out of Johnson Valley and find BLM routes towards I-40. Once we hit I-40 we will follow the old route 66 to Ludlow, CA. We can gas up and buy supplies at Ludlow. From Ludlow we will follow the remains of the old Tonopah & Tidewater Rail Road (T&T) bed north to Crusero. This will drop us into the Rasor OHV with 22,500 acres of desert, sand dunes, and trails. A portion of the Old Mojave road crosses the Rasor OHV on its way to Afton Canyon. The T&T railroad bed continues to cut north east towards ZZYZX. We will find a nice sandy camp in the shade of a Tamarisk Tree. The next day we can play on the Sand dunes. The 4-wheel drive challenge is rated as moderate 3-4 (of 10) but may feel more challenging for those who are less experienced. Your guide will assist with instruction, coaching and spotting to help you through.


Daytime temperatures usually average about 68 but can sometimes drop lower. Evening temperatures typically drop into the 35F range but can drop into the single digits during exceptional years.

Medical Self-Assessment

There is inherent risk associated with all the activities involved with off-road driving including the risk of illness in remote areas without medical facilities. Badlands Off-Road Adventures does not conduct a medical screening, examination, or review of the health and fitness of clients & customers to participate in our training programs and adventures trips. It is incumbent on each person to assess their medical capability to participate. By enrolling in our events, you are certifying you are medically fully capable of participating in the activity.

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