I’ve been camping and off-roading in Ocotillo Wells for the past seven years, and I love it so much that I normally make the trek multiple times each season. Camping is FREE and entrance to the state park is FREE! The off-road trails are diverse and fun to explore— there are washes to blast through, technical trails to traverse, and landscapes that make you feel like you’re walking on Mars. There’s a ton of geological action at work in Ocotillo Wells, such as the active Gas Domes, the odd pumpkin-shaped formations in the Pumpkin Patch, and the oyster shells at Shell Reef. And for the Jeep enthusiasts out there, the scenic Tierra Del Sol trail is a must-do! Never been to Ocotillo Wells and unsure where to camp? Read on for my favorite camping spots. Read More
Summer winding down doesn’t have to signal the end of camping season, especially if you live in Southern California. Once the extreme heat lessens and we swing into autumn, desert season officially begins. One of my favorite desert camping destinations is Glamis, officially called the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. It’s located in the southeast corner of California and borders Mexico, and it happens to be an offroading playground with giant, smooth sand dunes that stretch for miles. Keep reading for an explanation of the different camping areas at Glamis and what you need to know before heading out there.
We bought our 1997 Jeep TJ back in 2009 completely bone stock. Since then, we’ve transformed it into an off-roading beast that can tackle any trail. We’ve trekked it across deserts, traversed sand dunes, and explored rocky mountain trails. But now with two small children that won’t be ready for Jeep adventures for a few more years, it’s time for us to bid farewell to our trusty Jeep. Read More
For the past year I’ve been experiencing massive Jeep withdrawals because our Jeep has been undergoing a suspension and fender alteration to achieve a lower center of gravity (LCOG). After driving around for five years with a tall, top-heavy Jeep, we’re reducing our lift from 5.5 inches to 2.5 inches to make it a little more highway friendly and easier to hop into, while still maintaining its off-road capabilities. The stock fenders are getting trashed and we’ll be installing Poison Spyder high-line fenders to maintain similar (or better) suspension travel that we enjoyed before. Accompanying these fenders in the front will be new taller shock towers (via Ford truck shock towers), a new track bar by JKS, new Bilstein 5125 shocks and new 2.5 inch front progressive coil springs from Rough Country. Read More
Day 3 of our Mojave Road offroad trip completes our three day, 130 mile Jeep trip from Laughlin to Barstow. The final day covers 51 miles and traverses through Soda Lake, sand dunes, Afton Canyon, and a river crossing at the end. (And what camping trip wouldn’t be complete without a Del Taco feast!)
The toughest part about Jeep camping trips is organizing all your gear and fitting it in your Jeep… and still being able to take a furry buddy in the backseat. My husband, Matt, decided to make a Frankenstein spare tire rack out of $60 Harbor Freight receiver hitch cargo carrier that attaches to the Smitty Built spare tire carrier currently on our Jeep.Our spare tire rack loaded up with firewood and gas on the Mojave Trail. Read More
If you’re looking for a picturesque day of offroading amidst tall cliffs and geological formations, then Red Rock Canyon is the spot. Located off highway 14 north of Mojave, California, Red Rock Canyon State Park offers camping, offroading, hiking and spectacular views. Read More
The Mojave Road is a 130 mile dirt road that traverses the Mojave National Preserve, and makes for an incredibly fun and historical three-day Jeep trip. The road starts out in Laughlin, Nevada and ends a little north of Barstow, California. Along the way there are historical landmarks, abandoned mining camps and even a lava tube to explore. Camping is primitive (no running water, no bathrooms) and the spots we’ve camped at have been remote with great views.
My husband and I have taken this trip twice, both times with friends from the Wrangler Forum. I made a few videos to give you an idea what the trip is like (thanks to Steve P. for collaborating on these videos!) and also included a list of items to pack in addition to your normal camping gear. Read More