Holy Cross City 4X4 Trail

Holy Cross Trail meanders through rock gardens, streams, and mud on the side of the 14,000+ foot mountain, “Mountain of the Holy Cross.” The signs along Holy Cross Trail warn when the trail is about to get more difficult and what’s it going to cost to get towed out of there, can be used as an indicator of just how great Holy Cross Trail is. At the top is an old ghost town with leftover mining equipment and some empty cabins dating all the way back to the 1800’s. At the entrance is sign of what your vehicle needs to complete the trail and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. The list includes a winch, 32″ or larger tires, locking differentials, tow strap, Hi-Lift jack, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, drinking water, food, tire repair kit, shovel, and a fluid spill clean-up kit. If you happen to make it to French Creek I recommend stopping and watch all the vehicles do there best to cross it. This place is all about knowing where the vehicle’s tires are and at the same time knowing how to move the vehicle around because this section is all about driver skill. The less capable 4×4 vehicles may want to have the winch ready because this section tends to get backed up. Cleveland Rock is the biggest and most difficult of the obstacles on the Holy Cross Trail and there is no bypass, because of this, most turn around at Cleveland Rock. The rock is giant […]

Appleton Area Recreational OHV Park

Up in Swift County Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources has set aside land with 10 miles of ORV trails specifically for off-road vehicles. The Appleton Area Recreational OHV Park is situated on 330 acres of mostly old rail road line with sand dunes, hill climbs, and rock crawls. However the park is split in two sections, one side is ATV’s and dirt bikes only with the other portion for full-size vehicles. An interesting obstacle at the Appleton 4×4 park that I haven’t seen else where, is “stair steps.” A stair step is a long obstacle on a hill with a log laid across the trail about every car length in such a way that is forms the appearance of stairs. The park is on DNR land and this means that you need to register your vehicle with DNR and get a State ORV Trail Pass to drive on these trails. Appleton Area Recreational OHV Park Map

Windrock Park

North of Oliver Spring, Tennessee in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains is 72,000 acres of trails, rock crawling, and mud bogs that make up the off-road park, “Windrock Park.” Windrock Park claims title to having the largest privately owned land for off-road use. Right on the property is primitive camping, full service RV hooks, and even fully furnished cabins that sleep up to nine people per unit when you decided to visit. The best time to visit is in the fall, when the forest’s foliage is turning all shades of reds, yellows, and orange. Creating some amazing moments not soon forgotten climbing the hills there. With the all the accommodations, the mountains, and trails that make up Windrock Park is it another place you need to visit. Windrock Park Trail Map Send me photo’s of Windrock Park!

Turtle Ridge ORV Park

In northern Michigan, just east of Mackinac Island, is the awe inspiring Drummond Island. The off-road adventure begin before you even step foot on the island. No bridges link Drummond Island to the main land, which means that the only way across is to board a ferry to get to the island with your vehicle. Turtle Ridge ORV Park guides you through boreal forests, glacial rock deposits, and stone ridges in the UP. This place has something to offer everyone, from stock vehicles, to monster rigs, the island will not disappoint. Don’t forget to run the ORV trails that Drummond Island has to offer too. Special thanks to JK Experience for the photos.

Cliff’s Insane Terrain Park

Illinois’ only true Off-Road park for full size vehicles has some of the most unique wheeling that you will ever encounter. Nothing like the rocks in California, where traction is no problem on the granite. The mud at Cliff’s Insane Terrain Park is something of it’s own, adding another level to difficultly to off-roading… that most haven’t experienced. The hills are truly eroding underneath your feet as that vehicle works it’s heart out trying to climb up hills. The trails become quite interesting when you drop into a rut and literately let go of the steering wheel and stay on the trail. I generally like to avoid this kind of terrain, but it is just a tell for where I struggle driving off-road. Want to know if that super flexy buggy of your is all that, bring here and you’ll know just how good it is. Rain is huge factor at Cliff’s Insane Terrain Park on gauging how hard the trails are going to be. If it rain the day of or the day before, a stock vehicle isn’t going to be “running the trails.” Even mildly modified vehicles will struggle here. Trust me, Cliff’s Insane Terrain Park is something you just have to experience at least once in your life. Official Website -> Cliff’s Insane Terrain Park

Tip Toe Behind the Rocks

Tip Toe Behind the Rocks in Moab is one of the easier trails, but what it lacks in difficultly is made up with beautiful and scenic views. I drove the trail after few days of running the harder trails because we want an easy day were we focus on the beauty that the desert has to offer. Tip Toe is an off shoot of the much harder trail, Behind the Rocks and can be easily driven in any high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicle. At the end of this trail is Balcony Arch, Picture Frame Arch, and Pritchett Arch which is something that I highly recommend hiking to, because the sites are something you won’t quickly forget. Just remeber to bring some good shoes to hike in… I wish I had.  

Steel Bender

Originally a wagon trail, Steel Bender leads you through 20 miles of scenic views of Mill Creek, Moab, and the La Sal Mountains. This trail can prove to be very difficult in a stock vehicle which is why I have given Steel Bender a rating of Difficult. I do not recommend running this trail alone, and spotting is a must on some of the obstacles. The most memorable obstacle for me was “The Wall,” which is this vertical wall that you must drop down. For some reason I decided to take the seeming more difficult off camber section to the left. It was very tipsy for my lifted Grand Cherokee, but I managed. Looking back I wish I would have gone down The Wall. At the end of the trail is a section of rock that is fenced off, in there is Petroglyphs that really round out this trail.

Rubicon Trail

Of all the trails in the world, The Rubicon Trail is the one and only trail to top them all. Located in the Sierra Nevada, the Rubicon Trail is located directly due west of Lake Tahoe crossing rivers, lakes, and granite in the El Dorado. So popular is this place, auto manufacturers regularly use this trail as the gauge to test their new vehicles on. The trail technically begins in Wentworth Springs, but the typical 4×4 enthusiast is looking to start the trail at Loon Lake. The first obstacle encountered is Walker Hill which is a climb up a rocky section to a notch that is either straddled or side-hilled. After which the trail continues on to the Soup Bowl, a series of ledges that are difficult to climb in short wheel base vehicles and/or low ground clearance. The most difficult section of the The Rubicon Trail is The Little Sluice. In 2012 the Little Sluice was in sense destroyed because it was so difficult that most, if not nearly all, bypassed the obstacle. The reason for doing this was because so had to bypass this part of the trail and in doing so drove onto private property. Even with the damage done to the Little Sluice it is still difficult to pass. Once pass the the Little Sluice, the trail continues on to Buck Island Lake, The Big Sluice, and finally into Rubicon Springs where events like Jeep Jamboree, Toyota Land Cruiser Association’s Rubithon, and Marlin Crawler Round-Up take […]

Badlands Off Road Park

The Midwest doesn’t have many options for weekend wheeling, but in town of Attica Indiana the “Badlands Off-Road Park” delivers. With 800 acres of steep wall climbs, sand dunes, rock gardens, trails, mud, ruts, swamp, and stream crossings this park will not disappoint. Perfect for easy wheeling all the way up to extreme off-road sections. One of the nicest features in the park has to be the full-size vehicle only section with things to climb in every direction. If your vehicle is stock or your just trying to get a feel for the park head to the full-size only section first and look for the green trail. The trail isn’t marked very well but that doesn’t matter to much just head in any direction, except when I sign says otherwise. If driven properly, green trail has this awesome section where you drive in a decent size stream. In the winter this stream freezes and makes for very interesting fun when you break through the ice to the stream bed just below. Once you’ve completed green trail you got two options. Run the very difficult but short pink trail, or head back near the parking lot and run the orange trail. If you got 35’s and a locker you might as well drive the pink trail since it is right at the entrance of the full-size only section and take some great photos. Otherwise just head to orange trail and find out what the Badlands Off-Road Park really has to offer. […]

Hell’s Revenge

In 2009, the week before Easter I headed to Moab, Utah so that we could avoid the Easter Jeep Safari. I wanted to be at the Easter Jeep Safari, but the group I was with decided that the trails would get so busy that Moab wouldn’t be as fun as the week before. I think that plan worked out great, because the amount of elbow room out there wouldn’t have been the same with bumping into other Jeep’s that weekend. Of course, I still would have liked to see all those different vehicles out on the trails. The off-road trail “Hell’s Revenge” is a legend in the 4×4 community, not because it is difficult, but because it’s a right of passage. Making it a must for any true off-road enthusiast. The trail head is located 9 minutes from the center of town up on a ridge. The trail intersects many times with one of the most famous mountain bike trails, “Slickrock Trail.” As the name of the mountain bike trail implies, the rock becomes very slick when wet and can easily make trails in Moab jump to the next level. The obstacle I find to be the most popular on Hell’s Revenge is “Mickey’s Hot Tub.” The name derives it name because it is a hole in the rock that can fit an entire vehicle and the temperatures get hot in there. Approached from the correct side, Mickey’s Hot Tub is extremely difficult and dangerous for short wheel base vehicles and vehicles with a high […]

Solid Axle Upgrade

The H3 Hummer has a solid AAM 860 axle in the rear of the vehicle that is commonly referred to as the GM 8.6. This axle that all H3 Hummers come equipped with from the factory is very well suited for the off-road application and hold up quite well. However the axle does have a partial flaw. The differential cover that seals the ring and pinion off from dirt and debris is not capable of supporting the weight of the vehicle, which can happen off-road. Underneath the differential cover is some of the most important parts of any vehicle, the ring & pinion, the spider gears, bearings, and also axle shafts. Those part turn the torque from the motor 90° and transferred onto the tires. This process of turning the torque 90° require a lot of precision to work properly. Being off even just a 1/16 of an inch can cause major problems. This is why I needed to protect my AAM 860 axle with an aftermarket heavy duty differential cover. Being a fan of company Solid Axle Industries, I decided to go with their solution for protecting my AAM 860 solid axle. Even though the company Solid Axle doesn’t sell heavy duty differential cover for AAM 860, they do have a product for the GM corporate 10 bolt cover which is also another name for the AAM 860. The heavy duty corporate 10 bolt cover is made from cast iron 3/8 inch thick and reinforced with thick nodular bracing, […]

Broken Bike

Between the Hummer Parts, adding features to the two current themes, and staying active in like sports I like, I haven’t had much time to myself. The other day I decided that I would finally get around to fixing my Kawasaki 2006 636 Ninja. After having some weird brake issue, and now the shifting has become difficult I thought I would take it upon myself to fix it. After series of bad events that was no one’s fault, I decided that I would do the work on my bike from now on. After some research I thought that the shifter drum and shifter forks had been worn because of my driving style. It made sense, that if the up-shifting was difficult on my Ninja, that the mechanism responsible for shifting would be worn or shaved in spots. At first I was just going to get the bike ready for doing the work by removing the fair and some other things, but I just couldn’t stop once I started. The bad news came when I finally got the bike completely apart. The shifter drum, shifter forks, and the gears all looked brand new when I finally got a look at the parts. Not a single scratch on anything, no marring, just shiny brand new looking metal. The oil was perfect, couldn’t have had more than 1000 miles on it and was very clean. I was disappointed that the parts I looked up and order had turned out to be just be […]