Victorville, CA's 4 Wheelers Club
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Adkins
For those who like to rock, especially those who like to drive on rock, check out the Victor Valley 4 Wheelers club.
The High Desert serves as the rough, tough setting for club members who own off-road vehicles ranging from Suzuki Sidekicks to military Humvees. Most of the machines are SUVs and trucks such as Jeeps, Land Cruisers and Scouts, but the approximately 50-member club welcomes any make or model as long as it's a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
“We drive on local moderate trails all the way up to hardcore extreme trails, and our club has actually built most of the trails in the High Desert area,” says Mike Wickham, director of Victor Valley 4 Wheelers, which is based in Victorville. “In fact, the meanest trails in the world are located in Johnson Valley, and we're the club that built those. Anyone who knows four-wheeling knows about the famed Hammer trails in Johnson Valley.”
The High Desert is known for its spectacularly scenic yet tough terrain that includes dry lakebeds, sand dunes and plenty of rock.
“Some of our club members really attack those rocks with everything they’ve got,” Wickham says. “Meanwhile, other club members like to ride the more peaceful trails. It's all here to enjoy.”
The High Desert is a utopia for people who enjoy four-wheeling, riding dirt bikes and even land sailing, thanks to five open areas that were set aside specifically for off-roaders in the California Desert Conservation Areas Plan of 1980.
Largest Open Area
Johnson Valley's 188,000 acres remain the largest open area in the United States for four-wheelers, drawing 2 million drivers each year.
“On a normal weekend, you might ride for 100 miles without seeing another vehicle in the desert,” Wickham says. “How sweet is that?”
The Victor Valley 4 Wheelers has been around since 1967 and is always looking for new members. The club meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at Sterling Inn, located at Francesca and Ridgecrest roads in Victorville.
“We organize events throughout the year, with our biggest being an annual Fun in the Desert run on the last weekend of September,” he says. “The 2010 gathering will be our 19th, and we attract hundreds of riders from throughout the region. Seeing all those four-wheelers attacking 15 trails is a wild sight.”
Wickham says the club supports the local community and donates many hours to an Adopt-a-Trail program, along with other trail maintenance projects. It also works alongside the United States Forest Service to promote responsible use of public lands.
Find more on Victorville, CA's outdoor activities.