The first weekend of March, off-road enthusiasts from all across the southwest flock to Tierra Del Sol’s Desert Safari in Northern Ocotillo Wells, California. Now in its 52nd year, the Desert Safari officially kicked off in 1962. The first gathering wasn’t much more than a group of ’wheeling enthusiasts. The original group had simply wanted to explore the barren Southern California desert in their Jeeps. They had such a great time, the group started its annual pilgrimage. The modern Desert Safari is now a huge family friendly event, with vendors, trail rides, and great entertainment.
Normally, the first weekend of March makes for perfect desert weather with blue skies and hardly a cloud in sight, but this year wasn’t one of those ideal weather situations. With a storm rolling in from the Pacific, we we’re hoping the mountains between us and civilization would keep the ’wheeling dry, but Mother Nature had a different plan. Not only were some areas hit with a little rain and high winds, we also got more than a few dust storms rolling through the Ocotillo Wells area, which made for white-knuckle ’wheeling and almost no visibility at times. Despite the poor conditions, there was plenty of great ’wheeling and fun in our safari.
Gathered here are some great snapshots of the awesome ’wheeling event, which should be on every West Coaster’s bucket list.