Doran Canyon Trail is the keystone Jeep trail in in the Calico Mountains in southern California. It is often run as a loop with Odessa Canyon Trail. This is a challenging trail that takes patience and good line planning to successfully navigate. The trail starts with the infamous gatekeeper - an extreme obstacle at the beginning of the trail. Few successfully pass through the gatekeeper. It is a washed out waterfall that is essentially just a big pile of huge boulders. Do not attempt the gatekeeper unless you are prepared for carnage. It is unlikely you will make it through. The good news is that there is a bypass for this obstacle. The bypass starts about half a mile before the entrance to the canyon and rides the ridge just to the west of the obstacle. Just because there is a bypass to the gatekeeper, doesn't mean the rest of the trail is a walk in the park. We rate this trail at 3.5 because of the gatekeeper bypass, however with the bypass it would be a 4.5. There are three more difficult obstacles that require some careful line planning, in the addition to the rest of the trail, which is rather difficult to navigate. Rock crawling is the name of the game on this trail. The trail goes to the famous Bismark Mine, one of the largest mines in the area. From her you can challenge yourself even more and loop back to where you started on the Odessa trails, or explore some of the other trails in the area like Wall street overlook. The easy way back down is to take Mule Canyon or Phillips Canyon trails back down. It is advisable to run with trail people who has run it before as you will benefit from experience on the obstacles on this trail. It is a very rewarding trail and one of the must-do trails in the area.
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