APRIL 24-25 2021
LET'S GO BIG
It's time for a pair of firsts for SCORCH. It's our first ride of 2021 and our first time in Anza Borrego. After more than five years, we are finally getting down to holding an event at our most requested location.
Join us for all or part of the weekend as we explore Southern California's Colorado Desert, a subdivision of the larger Sonoran Desert. Anza Borrego is the biggest state park in California and we are going to ride clear across it. Since we are not in any real rush, we're going to take two days to do it.
We will romp over hills, down dry washes, and across the baked landscape to some beautiful vistas and a splash of adventure. Make it a day trip or camp under the stars all weekend. This family friendly and fairly low-challenge weekend is a great chance to get out into the wide-open and connect with fellow explorers.
IT GOES DOWN ON
APRIL 24 & 25
April can be a magical time in the deserts of Southern California. The days are already heating up but not yet completely up to triple digits. The evenings are cool but no longer cold, and are perfect for camping under light pollution free skies, as Anza Borrego is a certified International Dark Sky Park.
SCORCH has become one of Southern California's largest and fastest-growing off-road meetup groups. Our events have earned a reputation for being fun, laid back, and welcoming to drivers and rigs of all levels. This one will be no different.
It's free as always to come along and guests are welcome as well. RSVPs will be handled on our Meetup.com page and there is never a fee to join our group.
CAN I HANDLE THIS?
Yes you can handle this. The thing about Anza Borrego is that everything is either pretty easy or really hard. It's a network of totally navigable washes and trails that are sometimes strewn with completely avoidable obstacles. The biggest enemy is soft sand in some of the washes, but you'll have a squad of fellow SCORCHers to yank you free if get beached.
Those of you who have ridden with us before know that we like to throw in one challenge to help newbies learn about their rigs (and themselves). For this event that will be a spot called Diablo Drop. It's a short decent with a few options for lines that will have newer drivers hold onto the steering wheel just a little tighter. There is no workaround for this one, but there are a few different options of varying difficulty for getting down it . Built rigs will have no problem but we will hang out for a bit so the more adventurous among us can go up and down it for fun.
All rides are lead by a mostly stock Nissan X-Terra Off Road Edition upgraded with better (but not bigger) tires, 2" body lift for tire articulation, rock rails, some armor, a skilled driver, and a new plastic front bumper to replace the old plastic bumper that fell off, but is now already starting to fall of again.
The meetup spot on Saturday will be located at a turnoff of paved S2 onto the dirt Vallecito Wash Trail. You can map yourself to this by starting to type "mud caves on S2 turnoff" into Waze or Google Maps and it will pop up. Map coordinates are 32.915370, -116.240581
Our camping spot for Saturday night will be at or near 33.15462822896294, -116.14875443199473. This is in Ocotillio Wells SVRA.This is a dispersed-camping location with no formal campsites, reservations, or services. If you have never done it before, it is an odd and liberating feeling all at once that will change how you think about camping. It's a stone's throw from a pair of vault toilets, but running water is up to you. Also be prepared to pack out your trash.
It's 32 miles on road to a Chevron gas station and market plus several fast food options. We will organize on off-road drive there on Saturday after the main ride for those who want to go. Camping is completely free and very rugged. If you plan on camping there on Friday night as well, be advised that it is about an hour long drive on road to the trailhead so make sure to get on the road by 8am Saturday morning.
Saturday, April 24
Be aired-down and ready for a drivers meeting at the trailhead by 9am (arrive 8:30) then we hit trails. We will be making an extended stop along the way to explore some mud caves plus a lunch stop and another break to play around at Diablo Drop. We'll end the day exploring in Fish Creek Wash. When that is over we air up for a 10 mile on road then 1 mile off road drive to the trailhead. This will include driving along CA-78, so those who want to head home can just keep going.
The evening will include an optional easy off-road jaunt across Ocotillio Wells SVRA to gas up and maybe play around a little. Those who just want gas/supplies can drive there on pavement.
Sunday, April 25
Pack up and be ready to roll at 930am for a half-day adventure as we head to the Borrego Badlands for the best views as we make our way North. We will hit pavement on Highway S22. We'll be just 5 miles down the road from Borrego Springs if you want to see the famous metal structures on the way out We'll have you home long before dark.
STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW
The main ride on Saturday covers about 60-75 miles and will take 4-8 total including multiple stops.
Late-April weather in the desert can range from chilly at night to sweltering during the day. Check the forecast often and plan for anything.
- Heavy winds are also always a possibility. If you are going to tent camp, bring stakes.
- The background image on this page is by Steven J Magner Photography and used with permission. All other images on this page by Jonathan Z.
STUFF YOU SHOULD BRING
This is an off-road drive off the grid across the desert during an unpredictable time of the year. Get your vehicle inspected and pack it accordingly. Please use the specific links below for any purchases as we earn a small commission from Amazon to support our group. (All links open in new window)
Lots of water - It's dry in the desert. More than you realize. Plus there will be no running water.
Food - Lunch will be on the trail on Saturday. Dinner will be at the campsite. There are fast food options in Salton City about 35 minutes from base camp. We'll off road there Saturday evening as well.
Radio - The lead rig will be broadcasting a mix of important and objectively useless information throughout the ride. We are no longer supporting CB. Read here about selecting and programming a radio for all SCORCH rides.
Air Pump - We recommend this off road air compressor to quickly air SUV and truck tires up and down for better trail performance. Do not show up with a cigarette lighter-powered pump for passenger cars.
Tow Gear - Bring a tow cable like this one or winch and have tow points to connect them to so we can pull you out of a ditch if needed.
Spare Tire - Duh!
Garbage bags - There may not be garbage bins nearby so be prepared to pack out all trash
Sunblock - Shade? What shade? It's the desert.
Firewood - We are planning a community bonfires for Saturday night unless fire restrictions are in effect. Please bring wood to contribute to these events.
Headlamp or flashlight - for the mud caves. It super dark in there. Here's a cheap headlamp with batteries included.
Tools - Any tools you can bring along that might help get your rig or another driver's rig patched up in the wild would be greatly appreciated.
It only took us 5 years but we finally decided have t-shirts made. We took the extra step and went for upgraded ringspun cotton that is super soft and breathable so you are comfy when hitting the trails in the heat. These crew neck tees are available in red or black. Sizes are Men's M, L, XL or XXL.
The only way to get our shirts is to show up at our rides with $30 and hope we have your size. That's what we call limited edition. Once these inaugural shirts are gone they are gone forever and we'll move onto a new design for another short run. Supplies are very limited.
THE FINE PRINT
The organizers of this meetup are not responsible for any damage done to your person or vehicle at this event, getting to this event, or after this event. We are a group of adults meeting up for an activity that takes a high degree of personal responsibility. All participants must do so at their own risk.
If you act like an asshat, douche, idiot, jerk, or in any way behave or operate your vehicle in a manner that is a risk or annoyance to others or does not respect the trails and park, you will be asked to leave the ride and be possibly ejected from SCORCH.