Deer Valley 4×4 Jeep Trail Review
Deer Valley 4×4 Jeep Quick Trail Info:
Difficulty (1-10): 4-7 (Depending on which direction you run it) (35s and 1 locker preferred if going south to north)
Distance: 6.3 Miles one way
Apprx. Travel Time: 3-6 Hours (Depending on which direction you go)
Type of Trail: Straight Through or In n Out, Rock Crawling
Directions to TrailHead: South End – North End
Governing Authority: El Dorado National Forest
Typical Operating Season: Late Spring through Fall
Last Fuel Stop: South End Fuel Stop – North End Fuel Stop
Last Starbucks Stop for JK Owners: Polluck Pines Starbucks – Jackson Starbucks
Ham Radio Repeaters: NV7CV – 147.330+ pl 123 Hz, 146.655- pl 131.8 Hz. Both are on Leviathan Peak and only accessible from the North Water Crossing campsites.
Fire Permits: Help Prevent Wild Fires!
Last Updated: 8/10/18
Deer Valley 4×4 Jeep Trail GPX and KML/KMZ Files
We personally prefer Gaia GPS for all of our trail mapping needs. Get a membership (20% off for My Off Road Radio readers if you follow this link!), and then you can either upload one of the files below into your Gaia account, or click on this link here and save our public Gaia GPS Folder to your own folders. Then go hit the trails!
Deer Valley 4×4 Jeep Trail Review
Deer Valley 4×4 Trail is an amazing trail to check out if you are in the area. It runs from Hwy 88 to Hwy 4 through El Dorado National Forest. The trail can be done both directions, but going from the south end to the north end is considerably more difficult.
Going from north to south can be done in just about a stock vehicle running 33″ tires and no lockers. However going from south to north, you will want at least 33s and a good rear locker, preferably 33s and two lockers, or 35s and 1 locker.
The Deer Valley 4×4 Trail has been closed for almost 8 years following the El Dorado Forest trail closure litigation. It finally re-opened late in 2017.
The Deer Valley 4×4 Trail boasts beautiful scenery, a constant level of off roading, and some great camping.
One major thing to note is do not take a trailered rig into the south end at Hermit Valley Campground. As Hwy 4 goes up from Bear Valley Resort, and around Alpine Lake, it becomes extremely narrow (only 1 lane for both directions of traffic), and extremely steep and windy with some tight hairpin turns. Do yourself a favor and park the tow rig at Bear Valley Resort, or come in from the North End at Blue Lakes.
There are 2 great ways to run the trail if you have a better built rig. The first is come in and camp at Blue Lakes (there are a couple of nice camping spots that overlook the waterfall from the dam, on the trail, just past the trailhead). Then hit the trail in the morning, and go down to the south trailhead, then back up to your camp spot at the north end. Camp there, then head out the next morning for home.
The 2nd way is to camp at Hermit Valley Campground your first night, then head up to the north water crossing. You should be able to reach camp by 2-3pm. Hang around camp, relax, enjoy the sunset. Then get up in the morning and either go back down to Hermit Valley Campground, or head on out Blue Lakes.
If you don’t have a locker, then we highly recommend only running this trail from the north end, to the south end.
Deer Valley 4×4 Jeep Trail Obstacles
Deer Valley 4×4 Jeep Trail Points of Interest
Hermit Valley Campground
Hermit Valley Campground is located at the south end of the Deer Valley 4×4 Jeep Trail. It has no running water. It has vault toilets. It is also no fee to camp there. There are a few sites with fire pits, so you can have a fire during fire restrictions, as long as you have your Fire Permit.
Also nearby are Grouse Flats (east on Hwy 4 roughly 1/5 mile, and on the south side of the freeway) and Pacific Valley Campgrounds. **Please note, Pacific Valley Campground is currently closed as of 8/16/18 due to the Donnel Fire, please click on the link to ensure the campsite is open**
North River Crossing Campsite
This is the big group camping area. It can easily accommodate 20-30 rigs if needed. Please note, fire restrictions do go in effect in this area, so please use your Fire Permits responsibly.
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Also, if you don’t have your Ham Radio Technician License, head over to our Online Ham Radio Class and study up! Remember, 15% of your registration goes back into keeping our trails open!
And, of course, don’t forget to check out our MORRFlate 4 Tire Off Road Inflation Deflation Kit!