Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, as documented by off-road.com. Thousands of off-road enthusiasts descended upon Southern California for the weekend of intense off-roading and fun. The event was put on by the 4-Wheel Drive Club of San Diego and was a huge success. “Even the new off-road park was abuzz with off-roaders testing their new rigs, setups, or trying to tackle some of the more challenging obstacles.” The trails were packed with Jeeps, trucks, and even the occasional dirt bike. The below video will highlight the events from an ideal off-roading weekend in Southern California.
Jon Crowley from Side x Side Industry News reports that five new off road trails in Burning Rock Outdoor Adventure Park is opening. The trails total to 11 miles in length and allow park visitors and residents direct access to the trail system and the town. The trails on Burning Rock are denoted by a color coded system: green (easy), blue (medium), and black (difficult). These additions bring the parks total number of trail to seventy-four and a total of 106 miles. Woody Duba, who is the General Manager of Beaver Coal Company Limited, believes that the new off road trail access with assist in the town’s economic growth. Burning Rock have plans to continue the development of more trails as the Slab Fork area continues its expansion efforts. “According to Lisa Gale, Burning Rock’s Director of Marketing, “‘We have something for almost everyone to enjoy, whether they ride the trails or not. But looking at off-road riders specifically, they demand new trails and new challenges regularly –that’s what keeps them motivated to keep coming back…’”
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Jon Crowley from Side X Side Industry News writes about the origins of King of the Hammers, which takes place each year in February on public lands in Johnson Valley, CA. This race started with 12 teams competing for bragging rights, now more than 150 teams compete in front of thousands of fans live and online. Hammerking has led to the Ultra4 Racing series, which challenges drivers to race in a variety of off road terrain from desert racing to competition-style rock crawls to short course racing. Hammerking currently runs 5 of the 6 races in a series on their own. “The races take place on both public lands and in private motorsports parks across the country including; Exit 28 Motorsports Park in Nevada, Rausch Creek in Pennsylvania and Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.”
On January 28th off road enthusiasts traveled to Washington City fault line for the third annual Winter on the Rocks, covered by The Spectrum & Daily news, in the wilderness connecting the city to Hurricane. The West Rim and Fault Line trail is one of a handful near Washington Dam Road and the Sand Hollow recreation area to create environmental consciousness. The Marketing Director of Utah 4×4 Club, Kelly Jenson, is quoted as saying “‘We do cleanup events throughout the year…everybody has a garbage sack, and we’re telling them, ‘If you see a can out there, pick it up.’” Brian O’Conners of Fort Carson, Colo., said the emphasis on wilderness duty is a reason he, Hurricane Mayor Tom Hirschi, enjoys this event. The Bureau of Land Management is also supportive of Winter on the Rocks, for their promotion of a cleaner environment. This event provides the riders with a sense of camaraderie, while giving the drivers peace of mind as they rely on trail-side spotters. This event is welcoming to all off road drivers, regardless of experience level.
Crandon, Wisconsin for the past 42 years has held an exhilarating off-road race; Todd Kaho in “Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races” explains this excitement from a firsthand experience. This race consists of off road power trucks that top speeds of 101 mph and going airborne for more than 100 feet. The first race started way back in 1970, riding on a 101 mile trail through the woods. The race evolved to a short-course competition and moved to his current location in 1984. Crandon is a town of less than 2,000 people but graciously welcome off-road fans for the Spring Run and the Labor Day weekend “World Championships.” The Crandon raceway is a “13/4-mile circuit is natural terrain carved out of the rolling hills in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.” The course continues to go through alterations, which has led to track records falling.
The weekend is capped off with the running of the Amsoil Cup, which consists of pitting the Pro 2WD trucks against Pro 4x4s. “The Pro 2WDs are given a head start, since their lap times are a little slower. To win, a Pro 4×4 must catch and pass the entire Pro 2WD field.” This feat was actually reached last year, when Scott Douglas broke away to lead the 4x4s then weave through the 2WDs to take the checkered flag. The rush you receive from off-road truck racing is very addicting, leading to the religious return to “the best short-course off-road racing in the world.”
Tierra Del Sol – Ocotillo Wells SVRA, Calif.
Every year for the past 49, Tierra Del Sol (TDS) Safari has boasted being one of the biggest Jeep and 4×4 events in Southern California. The off-road gathering takes place at Truckhaven, which is now part of Ocotillo Wells SVRA, with the three-day event offering everything from trail rides, obstacle courses, vendor alleys and more. Next year marks the 50th running of the event, which will take place Friday, March 2, through until Sunday, Mach 4th. Visit www.tds4x4.com for more information.
For full coverage and photo highlights of the 49th Tierra Del Sol, click here.
Photo by Jaime Hernandez