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Big Bear's John Bull Trail - Old School Is In Session

Posted in Events on April 10, 2007 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Emily Johnson

Take a bunch of vintage rigs over a run like the Sierra Nevada's Rubicon Trail, Moab's Poison Spyder Mesa Trail, or Big Bear's John Bull Trail? You'll be there all day winching and wrenching, right? Nah. You don't need super-mega-secret Low range, monster tires, or 300 hp to tackle tricky trails. All you need is a Jeep and a driver who can keep a level head.

Just like a wave that breaks into a cliff and gently rolls back to sea, we're seeing a renaissance in the off-road world. The high-water mark of tube buggies with monster gizmatic suspensions is slowly giving way to moderately simple lifts, sane tire choices, and full body panels. Old school is back in session and recess is in the rocks.

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So when we heard Adam Sparks, the dude behind one of our favorite Web sites (, was going to be in town, we told site members we'd bring the cameras if they brought the Jeeps. The meeting place was Big Bear Lake, California, and the trail was the none-too-easy John Bull Trail. In the end, we wound up with a smattering of vintage CJs through the ages in varying degrees of build-from bone stock ('66 CJ-6) to kinda crazy (author's '53 DJ-3A). Enjoy the old school stuff? Want to see more of it? Then drop us a line at and tell us about your vintage trail run. Give us more than a few months' advanced notice, and chances are we may join with cameras in tow.

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