Long Cayon 4wd Trail Forest Service Road off Silver Fork Road in Kyburz, CA 95720
What started out as a weekend to install a suspension ended up being a weekend to explore. A 4th Gen friend (Brian – Folsom4rnr) from T4R.org invited us along a day trip to Long Canyon 4wd Trail in El Dorado National Forest. The invite came about a month back but we already had plans to install a Bilstein 6112/5100 kit on my girls 4Runner.
Those plans ended up falling through, so at 11:30 the night before, I figured why not go see more of my local forest. I made a bomb sandwich, packed two swell bottles of water, fresh beef jerky from Swingles Meat Company and some extra goodies for the road.
The Long Canyon 4WD Trail is up Highway 50 in Kyburz, CA off Silver Fork road. Take Silver Fork Road towards China Flat campground and there is a slight turn off for the Long Canyon 4WD Trail. This is a moderately trekked trail with multiple spots to set-up camp, amazing views, and side roads to get excited about. We visited the trail in spring (late May) with a few patches of snow here and there, although no one expected snow.
There are many rutted out sections, whips, dips, small rocky patches as well as a few technical sections. Depending on the season, you can expect to drive through multiple small creeks and streams. Regardless of the season, you should come prepared with 4wd for this trail.
Will a stock 4Runner make it? Possibly, but you may leave with some scratches, especially if you have factory running boards. Rock sliders are highly recommended as I slammed mine a couple times, but one in particular. There is one section about mid-way through the trail and another at the peak that proved to be the most “technical” but with a spotter, you will find a way.
As long as you have decent sized tires, rock sliders, and some type of aftermarket suspension, you will be fine.
Just after the Trailhead
Just after the trailhead, everything is pretty mellow. Standard forest service road with the occasional whip, dip and a deep puddle here and there. There are a few turn-offs as you start going up the hill. Stay straight for the first few miles of the trail.
A few rocky sections
Nothing major, it’s just always nice seeing shots of the trail. As you start to make it a bit further up the trail, you will hit a few rocky stretches and even deeper whips, and dips. Everything is still pretty mellow at this point before you really start approaching the top of the ridge.
Mid-way up the Trail
As you start to climb up the trail, there will be steeper inclines with water running through the trail. Depending on the season, this may cause some pretty muddy sections. If you pick a bad line, you may end up shoveling yourself out.
It’s always hard to resist smashing through a few puddles. When in Rome right? Again, depending on the time of year, you may have a few puddles to smash through and clean up the next day. Mud is always a love-hate relationship for me, mostly hate but god damn, those puddles are pretty tempting.
The Ridge – Long Canyon 4WD Trail
Along the ridge of Long Canyon 4WD Trail, there are plenty of rocks to test your truck on. From mild to wild, there is really something for everyone on this trail. As long as your truck is not 100% stock, this will be a fun trail for your crew.
Views of Pyramid Peak and Mount Price
There are awesome 360-degree views. Looking towards the North East, you will see Pyramid Peak and Mount Price. At this point, you are just east of Bald Mountain which is even further east of Eagle Rock.
Technical Spot towards the peak of the ridge
Pictures never do it justice as you know. This section can be avoided by going around. If you are not in the mood to push your limits, there is another route where you can bypass this section. The 4Runners made it through fine, however, the Tacoma with a longer wheelbase took a few more tries. What’s with the heart? Josh just got married. Congrats bro.
Great Views, Great Times, and few scratches to remember it by
Great day trip trail with options to camp at the end of the day if you want to. There are plenty of turn-offs if you want to get creative and go explore something else as well. As always, make sure you have downloaded the area to your device as the service is less than great on this trail.
What are the specs on the 4Runner? Lift? Tires 285/70/17? Doing a build and was curious. Also did you do a BMC?
When was this trip
March or sometime before that. Maybe Feb. By the looks of it, probably March.
but i also need to get new shoes for my rig mine are just about done getting some more aggressive tread this time around i know it will drop my gas mileage but what the hell the tires i got on now get me stuck way more than i like too much digging ha.
hey brenan i was wondering when and where you guys and girls are going out again i would love to tag along
That is if you go at the end of summer like September if you go at the beginning of the season it is very crowded they also have a shooting range. I like taking my handgun with me and getting in some target practice and I always take trash bags with me because a lot of people like to leave there garbage behind so I will spend a couple hours cleaning up the area. I don’t mind doing this, the area is so beautiful. It just pisses me off that people have the nerve to f—-k up such a nice place they have no conscience or morals all they do is screw it up for people like me who enjoy the area so much. larry b
Seriously Larry, I agree with you on the trash front. There will always be “those people” that trash the area but then again, you will always people like us to care for the land. It’s a must to bring trash bags out and clean up the area, whatever area it may be.
has anyone been up to lake pillsbury in upper lake it a pretty cool ride to the campground lot of hills it in a real high elevation 7 and 9 percent grades the camp grounds are beautiful lots of trees and wildlife.it is way back in the hills but definitely worth the trip not a lot of people go up there never crowded if you haven’t been there you should do yourself a favor and check it out you won’t be sorry. larry b
Excellent! I am very much looking forward to punching into the Sierras for some camping in early July 🙂
Max, me too. There is a pretty cool little lake up there, Cody Lake, that would make for a pretty cool little spot to camp.
Got any good recommended places to go up the 80 corridor? I have a 2018 4runner limited thinking of a trip out to some water with the kids tomorrow, something that fewer people will go to. I also have a 2013 tundra with 7” fox bds lift on 37” Toyos so I could take that instead since the 4Runner is stock.
Cory, there are plenty options to choose from. As you head up Highway 80, there are trails at Rollins Reservoir and Lake Spaulding. From Lake Spaulding, you can take Grouse Ridge Road up to Grouse Ridge. You can also explore the lakes past Lake Spaulding; Fordyce Lake, Meadow Lake, and French Lake. One of the most well-known trails around here is Signal Peak (you can take the easy front side or the moderate back side). Eagle Lakes is also a pretty cool spot to check out which is just below Signal Peak. If you are short on time, a quick trail would be Castle Peak/ Castle Pass. Depending on the time of year will dictate how far you get. There is also another pretty cool trail on the other side of Donner Lake which takes you to the top of Schallenberger Ridge which has some pretty badass views. Past Truckee you can hit the Prosser Pits and Verdi Peak. It really just depends what you are in the mood for. Check out those links and just hop on Google Maps to research which area you want to check out. Those are just a few 4×4 trails up Highway 80 but there are hundreds of Forest Service roads and trails to explore.
Thank you very much!
Solid recommendations Brenan! I will add also there are trails in the foresthill and sugarpine area as well.
That trail looks awesome. I assume there is some good car camping in the area?
Plenty of car camping. As long as you have a civic and heart, you can find a way. lol
Going to have to make up there!
Yeah, it was fun for sure. More patches of snow would make this spot pretty interesting.