If you are not familiar with the off-road trail event put on by the Vegas Valley 4 Wheelers every November, you might think Hump-N-Bump is a disco song right out of the ’70s. However, despite the fact this event began just as disco was peaking in its popularity, your Jeep will still be doing some pretty fancy footwork and shimmying from side to side at times when you join this family oriented 4x4 club for what, in 2016, will be it’s 35th year of organizing a truly fun weekend of off-road trail rides.
The Hump-N-Bump itinerary began Thursday night with a Pot Luck dinner and meet-and-greet around the campfire at the Clark County Fair and Rodeo grounds in Logandale, Nevada, which is about an hour’s drive north from Las Vegas. Most event attendees bring trailers or motorhomes and camp onsite, but cushy lodging accommodations can be found in nearby Overton, Nevada. Friday is the first trail day and started with the Nevada-based Partners In Conservation (PIC) sponsored continental breakfast. Then, 100-plus rigs lined up just outside the fairground entrance according to the trail each driver had signed up for. That evening was filled with trail tales and campfire camaraderie. Saturday brought a chance to run a different trail after the PIC-sponsored continental breakfast. A vendor fair was held from 4 to 6 p.m., and dinner that night was a mouth-watering BBQ feast prepared by John Mull’s Road Kill Grill (not to be missed). Afterwards came the raffle, during which tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of goodies for adults (and there were some prizes for kids too) were handed out.
There were plenty of trails to choose from during the weekend event, and they ranged from dirt-road fun-runs to challenging rock-crawling exercises. Drivers knew which trails to choose based on their vehicle’s equipment and build and their driving experience because the club rated each trail from 0 to 5 (0 being the easiest) to make selection easy.
A 0.5-rated trail (Maintained Dirt Road) meant it’s a road graded or maintained year round, was a typical non-paved county road that’s dry or has a water crossing of 3 inches or less in depth, with gentle grades that could be done in 2WD under all conditions except snow. There would be no width problems, as it was two vehicles wide. A 5.0-rated trail (Impassable Trail) was for the extreme four-wheeler only and required a highly modified vehicle, including lift, excellent articulation, lockers front and rear, large tires with aggressive tread, winch, and high-lift jack. A high level of driving skill was required, paint damage was virtually guaranteed, and body and/or mechanical damage very likely.
For 2015, Hump-N-Bump offered a choice of seven trails, ranging from a 1.0-2.0 rating to a 4.0 rating. The Bitter Springs Trail (1.0-2.0), designated a scenic backcountry byway by Congress in 1989, was a 30-mile route south of Valley of Fire State Park consisting of old mining roads and desert washes and ran through a section of vivid red-rock sandstone. On the other end of the scale was Bronco Falls 2 (4.0), a short trail named after the major obstacle: a huge vertical rock-wall climb. It also offered plenty of off-camber sections and vertical V-cracks to test most modified vehicles and their drivers.
The Vegas Valley 4 Wheeler’s Hump-N-Bump event helps the club keep open the amazing trails the club and its guests get to play on during the November weekend, as well as for 4x4 recreation year-round. We highly recommend it for any one looking for a great time four-wheeling with a bunch of very hospitable and helpful like-minded people. For more details about the 2016 Hump-N-Bump, check out the club’s website at vv4w.org. Let them know you heard all about it in Jp, your favorite Jeep enthusiast publication.
One of the very first things we did after arriving at 2015 Hump-N-Bump headquarters at the Clark County Fair and Rodeo grounds was to check out the trails and choose our routes for the weekend.
These two youngsters were engaged in a trail ride of their own around the campsite—a sure sign that Las Vegas 4 Wheeler’s Hump-N-Bump event was a family friendly affair.
Despite the fact that only three of the nine trails on the agenda for the weekend were rated 3.5 or higher, this owner came armed for bear with a fully trussed axle under both ends of his rig. He knocked out two of the three without a mechanical failure.
This owner was not so lucky. He splintered the axleshaft the first day and made it back to camp but was a spectator for the rest of the weekend. The story around the campfire that night was a whopper though!
We saw several ways of securing the anti-sway bar link up and out of the way when disconnected from the front axle for the trail. Some were simple and easy, while others were a bit more semi-permanent. To each his own!
It’s refreshing to see a seriously built Cherokee XJ on the trail. This one was well set up for running just about any trail the driver decided to tackle, and it had absolutely no trouble on a 3.0-rated trail that day.
Dennis Mann led the troops on the Bowl Trail in his ’05 LJ equipped with 37-inch Goodyear MTRs, Trail Ready beadlock wheels, and a 6-inch Rubicon Express suspension. Like any true leader, Mann went first and showed everyone who was willing (all the major obstacles had go-arounds) how to successfully navigate the “S” obstacle, which was actually a thin Z-shaped passage through a red-rock wall.
Gary and Karen Shaffer brought their ’97 custom stretched-wheelbase Jeep TJ all the way from Porterville, California, to join the Vegas Valley 4 Wheelers for the 2015 Hump-N-Bump. Gary cleanly piloted his 4.88 ARB Air Locker–equipped rig through the nefarious “S” on the Bowl Trail.
There were also a few small ledges to tackle along the Bowl Trail. Tony Sodaro is seen here easily handling one of them in his ’10 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited. Dual Yukon air lockers sure didn’t hurt his efforts that day.
Scenery was part and parcel of many of the trails on the slate for the 2015 Hump-N-Bump weekend. This canyon was chock full of the Logandale, Nevada, region’s majestic desert beauty.
Many of the trails used for the 2015 Hump-N-Bump involve some mild rockcrawling. As can be seen by the scrapes on these stones, quite a few rigs have navigated this rugged canyon. Damon Doherty had no trouble here in his ’06 TJ set up with a 4-inch Rubicon Express suspension, ARB Air Locker in front, Yukon Grizzly locker out rear, and 33-inch Goodyear MTRs.
A few of the rigs we saw at the 2015 Hump-N-Bump event were not only set up very well from a mechanical point of view but, like this JK, also offered a spectacular graphic treatment.
In real estate, they say “location, location, location.” In off-roading, sometimes it’s “attitude, attitude, attitude.” This owner had a winning attitude.
Well prepared for night running with a bank of LED lights perched on the front bumper, this Jeep owner also brought a sense of humor with him too, as evidenced by the hood ornament.
This Jeeper displayed the hospitality that was so prevalent among the Vegas Valley 4 Wheelers club members. Without being asked, he offered to help fellow Hump-N-Bump attendees from out of state get headed home on the highway safely with fully inflated tires after a long day on the trail.