Trail of the Month: Cleghorn

Off-roading area in San Bernardino County, California

Let's get 2022 started with something a little crazy. @ThatDamnTaco_ is our Trail Leader this month and he's here to tell us about Cleghorn. His real name is Jerod, and he's a talented photographer and avid off-roader looking for adventure.

From the United States Department of Agriculture website on Cleghorn Ridge:
15.2 mile Green Sticker Route open to all OHV vehicles. This route runs from the Cleghorn off-ramp on Interstate 15 in Cajon Pass over Cleghorn ridge to end at State Highway 138. Expansive views of the desert are on the way up Cleghorn Ridge, then views of Lake Silverwood appear after cresting to the top.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Jarod, owner of the Instagram account @ThatDamnTaco_, and I am a 22-year-old photographer, aspiring real estate agent, and avid off-roader. I have grown up around cars my entire life and love getting my hands dirty, which might explain why I live the fun life of breaking my truck, fixing it, off-roading it, and then repeating that process. My Tacoma was the first truck I have ever personally owned and I could not be happier with my decision as I always struggled to decide between a project car or project truck. I definitely chose the right route, and should anyone choose the same route, make sure you are willing to spend some cash!

What other hobbies do you have besides offroading?

My other hobbies besides off-roading have to be spending time at the river, Lake Havasu, and Parker Arizona specifically, wakeboarding and wake surfing. I enjoy dirt bike riding, playing sports, and most of all taking photos of people, cars, and anything I can get my hands on.

How long have you been in the offroading scene?

I have been in the off-road scene since 2016. I am by no means a pro, but I’m not your casual off-roader. I try to get out at least 2 times a month should my truck stay together, and I am constantly learning new things every day. I am looking forward to the years to come.

How many different offshoots are there on this trail?

There are several different offshoots at Cleghorn, some harder than others! Some require 4x4 and others are daring to do in a 2x4.

When is the most difficult time of the year to adventure on this trail and why?

I wouldn’t say there is particularly a most difficult time of year unless you consider the rainy season a time of year. Here in California, it might be sunny one day and rainy the next. I’ve never dared do it in the rain or the day after if rained but I bet it would be an adventure!

Are there any modifications or accessories that you deem necessary?

Cleghorn is not the hardest trail, but it is also not the easiest. I never recommend off-roading without at the very least a leveling kit and some off-road spec tires. Most 4x4’s could more than definitely complete it but you might struggle if you attempted with a bone stock rig and/or are a casual off-roader

It is in the LA/OC area, How crowded is this spot on the weekends?

During the summer it is not too crowded. Now, crowded vs not crowded might be two very different things depending on where you are from as the Southern California off-road culture is booming and growing faster than others. Cleghorn definitely has its days when you will pass dozens of other families and friends having a blast!

Would you recommend this to a novice trail rider?

As I said earlier depending on your rig the trail will be very doable. A person new to off-roading should always take precautions and be safe as they get used to the different terrain. The trail is fun for everyone of all experience levels.

How long does this trial take to do?

Depending on the offshoots you take or the pace you are taking it could take several hours. The trail is a good length and you could more than definitely make an entire day out of it.

What's the better way of doing it starting from Silver Lake or Highway 138?

I personally don’t have a preference on which way the trail is more fun. I am constantly changing things up and taking trails in different ways. Most trails feel completely different based on the way you take them. You could even go to one end and then back if you please.

Why did you choose the Tacoma?

I chose the Tacoma platform because I think for any person wanting to join the off-road scene it is the best base out there. They are reliable and can take a beating. I, not being a Toyota guy, was thoroughly impressed with how the Tacoma was built even stock and more so I love the community! Big plans, maybe long travel (hint hint), in the future.

Any good stories from Cleghorn?

Any fun stories I have at Cleghorn end up with me getting stuck and/or breaking stuff from trying to send it down something I shouldn’t have!


  • Definitely a trail that I will be doing soon. Great article.

    Augusto “Gus” Balmaceda 11/20/2023 at 11:18 PM
  • cant wait to try out this trail with my new cali raised skid plates!

    Lazaro 01/19/2023 at 12:26 AM
  • Cleghorn has plenty of places to get in trouble.

    Justin 01/06/2023 at 07:08 PM
  • Great article full of good detail and information. Will be adding this trail to my list!

    Jason 07/19/2022 at 12:43 PM
  • This are great photos

    Aaron 05/09/2022 at 12:00 PM
  • I e been looking at doing this trail for sometime now

    John Daley 03/10/2022 at 11:14 AM
  • Been meaning to check this trail out. Being down in san diego it’s taken me longer than I would have imagined to plan a day trip.

    Evan 02/17/2022 at 11:52 AM
  • Just got my Tacoma last September and have been loving it…

    Wayne CIerkowski 02/10/2022 at 08:36 AM
  • I own a 2020 SR5 Access Cab. Probably not the best platform for off-roading but I’m still very interested. I currently have a stock suspension on stock all-season tires but I plan to put on 265/75R16 BFGoodrich KO2s soon. Probably leave the suspension alone for now. Think I’ll be okay on some beginner-level trails?

    Brandon Doiron 01/24/2022 at 11:31 PM
  • love my tacoma! best truck in the industry

    Parker Fitzsimmons 01/10/2022 at 12:42 AM