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Corral Canyon OHV Area

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Corral Canyon OHV Trails (Descanso Ranger District)

Cleveland National Forest CORRAL CANYON LINK HERE

The Descanso Ranger District has reopened all of Corral Canyon after the Horse Fire burned 80% of the OHV area in 2006. It was our volunteers combined with fire rehabilitation funds that allowed this popular recreation area to reopen. To view a Powerpoint presentation showing the volunteer efforts and tread replacement work, please follow this link. This is a very large file and download may take several minutes on slower connections.

General Information

We offer over 51 miles of system OHV trails and roads traversing through beautiful scenery and challenging terrain. Most of the OHV recreational opportunities on the Descanso Ranger District are displayed on the Corral Canyon OHV Area map. This guide is designed to provide the off-highway vehicle enthusiast with information, regulations, and travel tips while using National Forest lands.

The trails vary in elevation from 3,400 feet at Corral Canyon Campground to 4,169 feet at Bronco Peak, and vary in degree of difficulty from novice to advanced.

The Corral Canyon OHV area is not an OHV "park". Off-highway vehicle recreation is just one of the many used allowed on the National Forest. So please ride with care and always be prepared for other vehicles that may be coming toward you.

Off-Highway Vehicle Route Markers are found on designated OHV trails. On these markers you will find signs and decals designating the type of use recommended, level of difficulty, and system number which corresponds to the map and guide. The OHV guide/map may be obtained at any forest office. Markers with signs, or decals with a red slash mean the route is closed to that type of use.

Spark arresters are required year round.


Dry summers, steep slopes and dense vegetation characterize the Cleveland National Forest. During the hot summer months wildfires are a constant threat. They destroy vegetation and endanger life and watersheds. Please do your part to protect your forest from the ravages of wildfire.

If you are planning on camping outside of a campground you need Visitor Permit from a Forest Service Office. Wood fires and charcoal fires are prohibited. Use of portable liquid or solid fuel stoves is permitted. Stoves must be used in areas which have been cleared to a minimum of 3 feet in diameter from flammable vegetation. For information on permits, contact the Descanso Ranger Station.

Fire Safety

Your OHV must have a US Forest Service approved spark arrestor to ride on this National Forest. There are several companies that make a Spark arrestor/Muffler combination for 2 and 4-stroke engines that are legal. If you are unsure about your spark arrestor, ask a Forest Service Officer or the manufacturer before riding.

The external temperature of an exhaust pipe at the first bend after the manifold can reach 1000 degrees. Grass ignites at about 400 degrees. Common sense and following these few simple rules will help to reduce the number of fires started each year.

Smoke only in enclosed vehicles or cleared areas.

Do not smoke while riding.

Avoid tall grass, and other dry vegetation that might come in contact with hot vehicle parts.

Stop often to clean grass and debris from skid pans and other grass catchers.

Stop only in cleared areas.

Do not spin wheels unnecessarily.

Do not overfill fuel tanks.

Use brakes cautiously. Locked or over-used brakes can overheat and ignite.


Corral Canyon OHV Area offers two campgrounds with rustic conditions in a beautiful setting.

Corral Canyon Campground has 20 sites with fire rings, a vault toilet and a hand pump with potable water.

Bobcat Meadow Campground has 20 sites with fire rings, and a vault toilet. There is no potable water in this campground.

We enforce the Pack-in/Pack-out policy for all trash and quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. There is no camping fee at Corral Canyon or Bobcat Meadow campgrounds.

An Adventure Pass may be required for all vehicles parked anywhere on the Cleveland National Forest. The pass IS required in OHV areas. Please contact the district office to find out where you will need one in order to park.

Green Sticker Placement

As of January 1, 1996, California DMV no longer issues a renewal sticker. A new OHV "license plate" is issued upon each renewal. The OHV license plate must be affixed in a specific location on an off-highway vehicle.

Required placement of the license is as follows:

Motorcycles: On the left fork leg, either horizontal or vertical, visible from the left.

All Terrain Vehicles (ATV): On the left rear quadrant on permanent plastic or metal frame members visible to outside inspection.

Sand Rail, Rail type Buggies: On the left quadrant of metal frame, visible to the rear.

For better adhesion, clean surface thoroughly. Remove any old license plates.

OHV Sound Regulation and Enforcement

The 101-dB(A) legal limit on sound produced by an off-highway vehicle is enforced in all areas of the Cleveland National Forest, including but not limited to the Corral Canyon OHV area. It is the OHV enthusiast's responsibility to know the rules and regulations and to abide by the laws enforced in this area. Information on these regulations can be obtained by visiting the California State Parks OHV Website

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Directions to Corral Canyon from El Cajon.....

Directions to Corral Canyon OHV Park:

From El Cajon (I8 and Hwy 67)

Go east on I8 about 30 miles to Buckman Springs Road (Exit 51). Go south on Buckman Springs Road about 3.25 miles. You will pass Mountain Empire High School on your left and a Forest Service facility on your right. Shortly after passing the Forest Service facility there will be a right turn with signs for Corral Canyon OHV area. Take the right at N32 42.990 W116 30.009 (Morena Stokes Valley Rd.) and proceed past the military base. Continue a couple of miles up the mountain toward the fire lookout tower. As you reach a saddle of the mountain you will see the 4 Corners Parking area of Corral Canyon OHV Park. N32 43.468 W116 33.552

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