Laguna Hills Trail
On this trail not far outside of Yuma, drive through the bizarre landscape of the Laguna Hills. You’ll be treated to nice views of the surrounding lush farmland of Yuma and California.
Where to go:
The directions to the start point can be a little confusing so the coordinates are included at the end of this paragraph for reference. From downtown Yuma, head due east on Highway 95. Turn left onto Avenue 7 E to head north. After 4.3 miles, turn slight right onto Laguna Dam Road. Follow this north and after 2.2 miles, stay right as the road becomes County 2nd St. Follow this as it bends slightly left, and after 0.8 miles, turn right onto a dirt road. Head east to canal and turn left. The trail begins here at approximately: 32.802353° -114.493967°.
From the entrance point, turn left on the dirt road to head east along the northern edge of the canal. Stay left to drive up and around the canal. The trail heads downhill along the southern edge of the canal. Just after 0.8 miles, take the 3rd left to begin the trail. The road goes east briefly, then turns right to cross a wash before heading back east uphill. Almost immediately you enter an interesting and nearly bare hilly area that the trail will follow for most of its length. Stay on the main trail, ignoring side roads, as the trail gets rougher.
Stay left at 1.9 miles as the trail heads south underneath powerlines. The road remains rough as it descends by the powerlines where high clearance and good articulation is needed for some washed out sections. Cross several more washes at the bottom of the hill and then the trail will begin a steep climb. Make an important right turn up a blind hill at 2.8 miles. Just after this, stay left at another junction at 2.9 miles. We mistakingly turned right at this second junction and ended up back on Laguna Dam road and enjoyed the scenic drive. Continue to the left for the best and longest way back.
After continuing east, the trail gets easier as it follows a scenic mountain ridge. Here you will be treated to nice views of the fertile landscape around Yuma and the Colorado River. Stay to the left at 3.9 miles as the trail heads downhill, then stay straight through two more junctions at 4.0 miles. The trail continues along the ridge of the hillside. Stay left at 5.7 where the trail splits one last time before heading back down. Stay on the road as the trail passes through a gravel pit at 6.4 miles and reaches a wide dirt road at the 6.7 mile mark. Turn left. Follow the wide dirt road to 9.3 miles where it ends at the paved Highway 95. Turn right to return to Yuma.
Notes & Trail Ratings:
From a navigational standpoint, this trail is very challenging. There are so many different turns to take, it is easy to end up in the wrong place. Make sure to take a GPS with you and know the route well (refer to the KMZ file at the top of this page). Overall, the 9 miles through the Laguna Hills is quite short and should take 1-2 hours depending on if you explore any side roads or not. We’ve rated the trail a ‘5’ out of ‘10’ in terms of difficulty. Vehicles should have high clearance and 4WD due to the washed out sections. If you’re looking for something quick and surprisingly scenic close to Yuma, don’t miss out on this one. There’s also a lot of mountain bike trails in the area that you’ll see along the trail.