Geology Tour Road: Joshua Tree’s Easiest 4×4 Road

Geology Tour Road is an 18-mile drive in Joshua Tree National Park that has sections only accessible to 4×4 cars. It is a fun place to drive that shows you what the park would have looked like back in the day and while there isn’t a ton to see here, it is a good intro into the parks geological history as well as a few human elements. Here is all the information.

Details

  • 4×4 is recommended, but you can usually get to Squaw Tank without it. Heading on to complete the loop generally requires 4×4 though. Check with a park ranger for the status of the road.
  • 18 miles round trip
  • Location: The marked turnoff is near Jumbo Rocks Campground.

Getting There

Geology Tour Road is in the park map between Jumbo Rocks and Sheeps Pass. There is a sign noting the turnoff, but you have to keep your eyes peeled to see it.

The Drive

When you turn onto Geology Tour Road, it will be paved for about 100 feet before becoming dirt.

I would recommend taking a picture of the map or grabbing one of the printouts, so you know where you are going before heading out.

There are numbered signs that correspond to the different points of interest in the printout, but I found it hard to see these signs while driving.

Also, the first 6 or so miles to Squaw Tank is not very exciting, it is flat, and there are sparse Joshua Trees around.

Squaw Tank

At the 6 mile mark, you will see a turnout for Squaw Tank which is the primary point of interest on this drive.

You will have to walk about a tenth of a mile to see it. Squaw Tank is an old concrete wall that once served as a dam for water in the area.

I would recommend not heading on from here if you do not have 4×4 since this portion of the drive was rougher when I went.

The road then enters into a one-way loop that will take you alongside a mountain before arriving at Cottonwood Springs.

Cottonwood Springs is the start of many other backcountry adventures in the park, but I didn’t do anything here when I went. There are two old water tanks near the sign though.

The road gets more narrow and rocky here as you head up the small hill to the junction with Berdoo Canyon Road.

This is an actual 4×4 road so don’t attempt it unless you know what you are doing.

The road bends inward and continues the climb before arriving at point of interest 14, 15 and 16.

Point 16 is the best part on this trail as it looks out over the valley and provides a 180-degree view. You can also see the road you came in on in the distance.

After taking some photos at this small pullout, you will want to continue back to where the road split and then head back the way you came.

When I went on a weekday, I didn’t see anyone else on this trail, so it felt pretty remote even though it isn’t. While it is not one of my favorite things to do in the park, it was still a fun adventure that I wholeheartedly recommend. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Font’s Point: Anza Borrego State Park’s Best View

Anza Borrego State Park, in Southern California, is a huge desert with countless adventures to be had. While I have by no means done everything, the view at Font’s Point in the parks northern section is one of the best views in all of Southern California. The way the ragged ridgelines bend out in front of you from this high vantage point is awe-inspiring, and something that everyone should see at least once in California. Here is all the information on how to get to this spot.

Details

  • 4-mile dirt road to drive
  • 4×4 strongly recommended
  • Best at sunrise or sunset

Getting There

From Christmas Circle in Anza Borrego, you will want to head out on S-22 for ten miles. Right after the 29-mile marker, you will see a dirt road on the right and a sign that says Font’s Point, 4 miles. This is where you will turn and start the off-roading to Font’s Point. I would not recommend doing this without 4 wheel drive, but it does depend on the year and road conditions. When I went, there were a lot of sandy spots which would be easy for 2WD cars to get stuck in. You can always call the park visitors center and ask for the current conditions.

The Road

When you turn off the main road onto the dirt, you will be following a wash most of the way. The road is wide, and there are not many markers, but since this is such a popular spot, you will be able to follow the tracks that are already there. There is one section with two paths; one has a sign that says foot traffic only, so you will want to take the section on the right. At the end of the drive there is a split as well, take the left spur, as most people exit from the lot to the road at the right.

When you get to the top, you will see a small parking lot at the end of the road.

Font’s Point

Font’s Point is on the other side of the low hills in front of the parking area. From the parking area, it is about a 5-minute walk to the viewpoint.

When you get to the edge you will be blown away by the view you have down into the craggy rocks and out to the Salton Sea.

The best time to see it is at sunrise as the sun rises in front of you. Sunset is great too as you get some nice colors but the sun sets behind you.

You can walk along the ridge and gets lots of views as you look out over the park.

I spent a good hour and a half here just watching the sun come up, and walking around to take it all in.

There are multiple information placards around the area so you can learn more about the park’s past as well.

Be sure to check this spot out if you have 4×4 and are spending some time in the park. It is one of those viewpoints you will not forget.

Font’s Point: Anza Borrego State Park’s Best View

Anza Borrego State Park, in Southern California, is a huge desert with countless adventures to be had. While I have by no means done everything, the view at Font’s Point in the parks northern section is one of the best views in all of Southern California. The way the ragged ridgelines bend out in front of you from this high vantage point is awe-inspiring, and something that everyone should see at least once in California. Here is all the information on how to get to this spot.

Details

  • 4-mile dirt road to drive
  • 4×4 strongly recommended
  • Best at sunrise or sunset

Getting There

From Christmas Circle in Anza Borrego, you will want to head out on S-22 for ten miles. Right after the 29-mile marker, you will see a dirt road on the right and a sign that says Font’s Point, 4 miles. This is where you will turn and start the off-roading to Font’s Point. I would not recommend doing this without 4 wheel drive, but it does depend on the year and road conditions. When I went, there were a lot of sandy spots which would be easy for 2WD cars to get stuck in. You can always call the park visitors center and ask for the current conditions.

The Road

When you turn off the main road onto the dirt, you will be following a wash most of the way. The road is wide, and there are not many markers, but since this is such a popular spot, you will be able to follow the tracks that are already there. There is one section with two paths; one has a sign that says foot traffic only, so you will want to take the section on the right. At the end of the drive there is a split as well, take the left spur, as most people exit from the lot to the road at the right.

When you get to the top, you will see a small parking lot at the end of the road.

Font’s Point

Font’s Point is on the other side of the low hills in front of the parking area. From the parking area, it is about a 5-minute walk to the viewpoint.

When you get to the edge you will be blown away by the view you have down into the craggy rocks and out to the Salton Sea.

The best time to see it is at sunrise as the sun rises in front of you. Sunset is great too as you get some nice colors but the sun sets behind you.

You can walk along the ridge and gets lots of views as you look out over the park.

I spent a good hour and a half here just watching the sun come up, and walking around to take it all in.

There are multiple information placards around the area so you can learn more about the park’s past as well.

Be sure to check this spot out if you have 4×4 and are spending some time in the park. It is one of those viewpoints you will not forget.