2017 BITD Parker 425

Heading into the middle of August, off-road desert racers are gearing up for the 2017 Best in the Desert “Vegas to Reno” event. Scheduled for August 16 through 19, this will be the 21st running of this ambitious event, billed as the longest off-road race in the United States.

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A number of famous people I associate with my (misspent) youth turn 50 this year. Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins turns 50. So does Vin Diesel. Yes, that’s right – Dominic Torretto is fifty years old. It was also fifty years ago that GM restyled their Chevy and GMC pickups into the ‘Action Line’, creating some of the best-looking trucks ever built.

Know what else turns 50 this year? An annual event on America’s west coast for off-roaders called Sierra Trek, being held this year from August 10-13 near Meadow Lake in California. What began as an overnight Jeep trip and cookout is now organized into a four-day festival featuring nearly a dozen great 4×4 and ATV trips which radiate out from base camp like splines on a Dana 60.

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Ranging from guided historic runs through the California Gold Country to extreme rock crawling on the Fordyce Creek Trail, it’s billed as the west coast’s premier 4WD event. Off-road fans get the chance to wheel their rides through some of the best trails the American West has to offer.

READ MORE: Sierra Trek 50th Anniversary This August

The Fordyce Run is a highly technical trail with organizers requiring locking diffs and 35″ tires. A 3″ lift is highly advised. The same gear is required for Friday’s River Run. The Outer Limits Run features a route suitable for stock 4x4s plus a more challenging trail for slightly modded 4x4s.

Every year, the Sierra Trek team builds the Summit City tent camp, complete with a Wild West Saloon replica and chuck wagon-style kitchen (with much better food than what Cookie whipped up on the trail). A dance hall featuring three nights of live music provides entertainment after a day of four wheeling and, naturally, there will be a bonfire in the middle of it all.

READ MORE: The Wrangler JL will Debut in Late November

This year will also feature a special Saturday trail ride for Wheelers for the Wounded with a homecoming parade in Base Camp, after which organizers will raffle off more than $30,000 in gear from vendors BFGoodrich, 4Wheel Parts, ARB, Raceline Wheels, and Warn.

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Interested? Registration is open until July 28th and includes four days of hearty meals, one run, an optional free run, plus camping and entertainment. Not bad for $175 per person. Head over to their website or Sierra Trek’s Facebook page for more details.

Off-Road.com will be attending the 50th Sierra Trek, so be sure to come back and read about our experience at the event.

If your weren’t lucky enough to attend the legendary off-road race in person this year, you can now watch the full 2017 Mint 400 right here. 

Kymera coloradoWe originally spotted the Kymera Chevy Colorado diesel conversion at the 2016 SEMA Show.  

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Suwanee, Ga. – Omix-ADA, the world’s largest wholesale-only Jeep parts and accessories manufacturer and distributor, hosted hundreds of Jeep enthusiasts at its Suwanee headquarters on June 3. The second annual Jeep Heritage Expo built upon the success of last year’s event with hundreds of custom Jeeps in attendance. Omix-ADA’s own private collection, which includes 30 rare Jeeps ranging from very early 1941 prototypes to the latest Wranglers, was also on display to the public. The company will celebrate its 25th anniversary later this year.

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Back in 1964, a small group of four-wheelers came up with the idea of creating a fundraising event for the newly formed California Association of 4WD Clubs. It would need to be a first-rate venue similar to the then-famous Jeepers Jamboree on the Rubicon. The chosen route was a long-abandoned wagon road from Cisco Grove, California (near Truckee), to the shores of Meadow Lake and the 1860’s mining camp of Summit City. The event was called Sierra Trek, and it would become one of the West’s premier destinations for family fun, great food, and some of the best trails in the country.

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SANTA ANA, CA. – (June 12, 2017)
– Yokohama Tire Corporation fortified its partnership with the high-energy Nitro Circus organization by becoming an official partner of the Nitro World Games, June 24 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Save of the week
You can always count on some crazy carnage on big event weekends in Moab Utah and Rally on the Rocks was no different.  This guy managed to save a UTV rollover that could have been ugly.

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Minneapolis, June 6, 2017
– Polaris RZR dominated the Baja 500 taking the top five places in the Pro UTV Forced Induction class, all four finishing spots in Pro UTV and the overall. Nineteen of the 26 finishers raced RZRs showing the durability and race prowess of the vehicles.

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Ensenada, Mexico, June 5, 2017
– Facing an increasingly strong field and only three of the top eight starting positions, drivers on BFGoodrich® Tires stormed through race traffic, and the 513-mile technical, rough course at 2017 SCORE Baja 500 to capture nine of the top 10 overall finishers.