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Owl Canyon to Rainbow Basin Canyon

Difficult
 4.0 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A very technical hike through two different slot canyons.


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Map Key

8.3

Miles

13.3

KM

Loop

3,821' 1,165 m

High

2,941' 896 m

Low

1,246' 380 m

Up

1,246' 380 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

24%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Cave · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Overview

This hike will take you up Owl Canyon which has several tight slots and even has a cave to go exploring in. It is very technical, and you'll have to slow down in several places. The views on some of the hills are amazing. After you get through with Owl Canyon, you make your way over to Rainbow Basin Canyon and hike down it. There are several spots where you have to climb down, and it is legit climbing down. Once you get to Rainbow Basin Road there is some amazing picturesque views of the rock formations. You hike on the scenic dirt road for a bit then cross back over to the Owl Canyon Campgrounds.

Description

Owl Canyon and Rainbow Basin Canyon become slot canyons at portions and are amazing areas for hiking. All the Joshua Trees add to the ambiance of the Mojave Desert scenery that will surround you.

The geological formations will have you stopping quite a bit to take it all in. This route is located in the Rainbow Basin Natural Area, maintained by the local BLM here in Barstow. Rainbow Basin is a big basin full of colorful rock layers that are warped into anticlines and synclines.

A variety of desert wildlife are found here, including the desert tortoise.

The campgrounds are a first-come, first-served campground with 22 campsites (no hookups). Campsites include a picnic table and a fire ring. The fee is $6.00 per night; however, daily use is free!

Contacts

Shared By:

Alex Bridgeforth

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#3640

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#544

in California

#3,640

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1,000 Since Feb 19, 2019
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Photos

The Rainbow
Feb 15, 2019 near Barstow, CA
The colors of Rainbow Basin.
Dec 30, 2020 near Barstow, CA
Running in front of the "Rainbow".
Feb 15, 2019 near Barstow, CA

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Check-Ins

Jun 16, 2020
William Suellentrop
8.3mi
May 26, 2020
Christopher Robles
Jun 11, 2019
Ashley Keele
5h 20m
Apr 27, 2019
Daisy Daezie
Bring a buddy! Definitely not a solo adventure. Watch out for rattlesnakes. And keep your eyes on the map, part of the trail was a tad hidden. 8.3mi — 4h 30m