Four wheel drive enthusiasts gathered this weekend in the Stanislaus National Forest at the Niagara Rim Off-Road Vehicle Park for a family-centered rock-crawling, four-wheel drive trail riding and camping event.
Sponsored by 4×4 In Motion Four Wheel drive Club of Modesto, the 8th annual run attracted close to 100 off-road rigs, from stock S.U.V. to highly modified rock crawlers gathered to travel various designated off-road trails and enjoy camping under the tall pines of the High Sierra east of Sonora.
Saturday night featured a full-blown tri-tip dinner, a raffle and dancing to a live band. Thunderstorms stayed off to the east during the weekend, so bad weather wasn´t a factor this year.
The run had three levels of difficulty for the drivers. The “Discover” Run was for stock rigs and S.U.V.’s. The “Niagara Rim” Run was best suited for modified rigs, and for The “Rock” Run, off road machines need 33-inch or larger tires, locking differentials, a winch and highly experienced drivers.
The “Niagara” and “Rock” runs use the same trail, however, the “Rock” group gets last whack at the “Rock Pile” traveling from end to beginning over granite boulders and solid rock out-croppings.
Many newcomers to the sport got to see what off-roading and the “Tread Lightly” philosophy is all about during the weekend event. They learned a few technical things about 4-wheeling, hit some smaller rocks and got a tour of the great outdoors, to boot.