There are a lot of difficult trails in the United States, especially in the western regions. Big names like the Hammers and the Rubicon Trail tend to take the spot light for well known 4×4 trails. There are, however, lesser known trails that will certainly give them a run for their money. One such trail is the Fordyce Creek Trail.
Situated northwest of Lake Tahoe, Fordyce Creek is a neighbor to the famous Rubicon Trail and is arguably a much more difficult trail. Rated 9 out of 10, the challenging trail encompasses twelve miles of twisting and turning through the California forest, bouncing off of boulders the entire way. The trail has five “Winch Hills” that are the most difficult portions. These obstacles are so named due to regularity of having to stretch out your winch line to get to the top. Officially, 33-inch tires and at least one locker are the absolute minimums, though 35-inch tires and two lockers are recommended.
Fordyce Creek snakes along near the trail creating multiple water crossings throughout the trail and typically it is too high to be safely crossed. Water flows there can quickly change, potentially stranding vehicles between crossings. The best time to attempt the trail is in late September before the first snow fall. That is unless you attend the California Four Wheel Drive Association (Cal4Wheel) annual Sierra Trek.
August 6-9, 2015 marked the 48th annual Sierra Trek for Cal4Wheel. Jeepers and Offroaders from all over the Country come to the Sierra Nevadas for an extended weekend filled with ‘wheeling and good times. Cal4Wheel works with Pacific Gas & Electric company (PG&E) to slow the water flows down to make the water crossings much more manageable. Considering the nearest town is about an hour and a half away, registration for the event includes most of your meals for the week-end as well as entertainment. Vendors and sponsors set up booths for attendees and spectators to browse. Fabtech took the opportunity and made the trip up from Chino, CA to enjoy what the region has to offer and display the Fabtech Jeeps and products.
The Fabtech 2005 Jeep LJ Wrangler and 2015 Jeep JK Wrangler performed amazing throughout the entire trail. Fabtech utilized the event for field testing prototype rear coilover systems on both vehicles, which were already outfitted with Crawler Long Arm Suspensions and Dirt Logic Coilovers in the front. The rear Dirt Logic Coilovers increased wheel travel, smoothed the ride and kept the tires solidly in contact with the ground. Both Jeeps tackled the Winch Hills without needing to even think of getting the winch controller out. One of the local club members who was helping spot vehicles going through the tough sections even commented “those are the Fabtech guys, they know what they are doing.” And he was right. Fordyce is a challenging trail and the Fabtech components did exactly what they needed to do. The Fabtech Jeeps traversed the trail with ease and excitement.
Experiencing the Sierra Trek and the Fordyce Creek Trail was incredible. Live music, a roaring bon fire and new friends helped make for an unforgettable event. For more information on the Sierra Trek as well as Cal4Wheel, head to www.cal4wheel.com. We’ll see you there next year!