Fun and Sun in the California Desert

Jocelyn Fechner, MPC Staff/Photos, Jami Pellegrino

High Desert Roundup, hosted by Cal 4 Wheel, is nothing but dust in our rear-view mirror at this point. But while we were there, we sure had a great time!

The event opened Friday morning with registration and camp set-up. But you can’t get a whole bunch of off-roaders out in the desert and expect them NOT to hit the trails! A few of us headed out to find some fun in the rocks. And when the trails have names like Achy Breaky, El Diablo, and Devils Loop, you know you’re in for some good stuff!


Like all canyon trails, these are at the mercy of Mother Nature, changing from one day to the next. And after all the winter rain, the canyons were really carved up! But if your rig rides on at least 35” tires and is equipped with at least one locked differential, you should have no problem making it. Of course, a strong winch and an experienced spotter help, too!

Saturday morning brought a whole host of trail rides to choose from.

Money Pit Classifieds chose to run Pumpkin Eater with about 40 other Rigs. It’s definitely one of the most challenging trails in this part of the desert and earns its name over and over again! It can stop even some of the more capable rigs out there, so the Money Pit Classifieds buggy became the winch point to help out drivers and to keep the trail moving. Unfortunately, some breaks cannot be that easily fixed, and a busted knuckle on a TJ rendered the trail impassable, meaning that the rest of the rigs turned around to find a different canyon to romp around in.

Then all of a sudden it was Sunday funday! Genright Off Road sponsored the Wet Lap, a race in which the winning rig not only has to have to fastest time, but come across the finish line with the most water remaining in the passenger-held bowl. Lots of good, wet fun was had by each contestant, but we’re proud to say the Money Pit Classifieds car came in first in the buggy class! Way to go, team! These games give families a chance to play together for fun and prizes, with all proceeds going to Cal 4 Wheel, an organization that works tirelessly to keep desert trails open. A worthy cause, wouldn’t you say?

Of course, no High Desert Roundup would be complete without the Sunday evening raffle and the “Best Equipped Jeep” event. Every year the raffle prize list seems to grow. And again this time, there were too many give-aways to be counted, but it’s safe to say that lots of rigs have shiny new parts on them right about now.

It’s never easy to have such a great event as this come to an end, but end it did. Memorial Day morning had campers packing up and heading out to spend the rest of the day honoring our fallen patriots.

If you have not spent time at Cal 4 Wheel’s High Desert Roundup, you should definitely put it on your list. There are great trails that range from scenic desert drives to challenging boulder-strewn canyons; socializing over games and campfires, and good food and cold drinks at the Slash X Café.

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