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Nevada Wheeling On The Broken Bones Trail

Posted in Events on January 1, 2012
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We first visited Elko, Nevada, during the 2006 Ultimate Adventure, when we ran Gas Tank Alley with members of the Bangin’ Bones 4WD Club. Since that time we have been eager to go back and experience more of the excellent Basque food, the scenery of the Ruby Mountains, and of course the challenging rockcrawling trails. This time around we took a crack at the Broken Bones Trail.

The rattle under the hood of Britt Blakeman’s CJ-7 emanates from the 6.2L GM diesel equipped with a Banks Sidewinder turbo. Gobs of torque are transferred through a 700R4 four-speed automatic and Dana 300 transfer case to a front Dana 44 and rear Dana 60 axle capped by 35-inch Super Swamper SSR tires.

We were actually scheduled to run Broken Bones during the 2006 UA, but a grass fire just weeks before the trip forced a last-minute change of plans. Like most high-desert trails, Broken Bones is a seasonal wash in the bottom of a canyon. It is only a mile long, but harsh winters can change the trail quite dramatically from one year to the next. When we ran the trail last spring it was still wet. The lack of traction definitely upped the difficulty factor. Broken Bones lived up to its name, as only four of the nine vehicles we started with were able to complete the trail under their own power. Fried clutches, busted driveshafts, and broken axles claimed the rest of the group, and soon there were more people walking than driving.

The author’s ’87 Toyota pickup relied on the Marlin Crawler dual transfer cases and Detroit Lockers to get through the trail in one piece. The 37-inch BFGoodrich Krawlers work best at the single-digit pressures allowed by the Walker Evans beadlock wheels.

Want to experience these trails for yourself? Elko is located on Interstate 80 roughly halfway between Reno and Salt Lake City. Every Memorial Day weekend the Bangin’ Bones 4WD Club (www.bang hosts the Wild Weekend, with organized trail rides covering everything from historical Pony Express routes to axle-snapping canyons like Broken Bones. We definitely plan to return soon for more Nevada wheeling.

Broken Bones is located outside of Elko in one of the countless nearby canyons. Did you know that there are 314 distinct mountain ranges in Nevada? And that 89 percent of the state is public land? The possibilities for rockcrawling are endless here.
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