After a foot-numbing week of walking miles of aisles at the SEMA Show, there is nothing better than turning our wheels toward the hills for a couple of days on the trail. Such was the case as the chaos of Sin City faded in our rearview mirror and the splendor of southern Nevada’s red rock country filled our windshield. Just an hour from Fremont Street, the Moapa Valley OHV area is one of the best-kept secrets in the region—unless you frequent the Hump-N-Bump (HNB).
We rolled into the sleepy town of Logandale to join the Vegas Valley 4 Wheelers for their 35th annual extravaganza. Their motto—“Eat, sleep, and wheel”—is fitting for a three-day event with nine separate trail rides. We were not disappointed. After a night of vehicle games orchestrated by the Logandale Fire Department, and socializing in main camp, more than 200 Jeeps ranging from buggies to stock Grand Cherokees gathered for tech inspection. One thing we like about HNB, though we pine for the more technical lines, is that trail options range from SUV-suitable tours of the surrounding desert to sheet-metal-strafing gauntlets of vehicular pain.
Out of the gates we were on the latter, wedged into a narrow chasm of sandstone known as Rock Bottom. One by one, JKs, CJs, and XJs carefully straddled the abyss in a balancing act where a moment of distraction could result in custom, yet unwanted, bodywork. Fortunately, local clubs staff the event with their most experienced trail guides, each of which knows the precise line to keep participants from slipping to the dark side. Successful in our quest, we moved on to Bronco Falls and The Shedder and wheeled into the late afternoon.
Hump-N-Bump celebrated its 35th anniversary with one of the largest turnouts in the history of the event. More that 200 Jeeps descended on the Clark County fairgrounds and numerous trails of the Moapa Valley OHV area.
Back in Logandale, which resembles a sleepy Midwest farming town replete with slumbering dogs in the road, we joined 500 other participants for one of the best barbecues we’ve had, which was dished from John Mull’s Road Kill Grill. In addition to providing great wheeling, killer food, and a first-rate raffle, the HNB crew takes pride in giving back to the community and other worthy causes. Each year, “Biker Bob” collects gear donated by SEMA Show exhibitors and passes it out to veterans, which totaled about $3,000 this year. Organizers also put on a special raffle to raise funds for a six-year-old Logandale boy, Doran Millett, who has leukemia. Through generous ticket purchases, they were able to assist Doran’s family with a check for $1,500.
By the end of the weekend, everyone had his or her fill of dirt every day. Hump-N-Bump is a great event. If you are in southern Nevada near the beginning of November, put it on your agenda to check it out. For more details, visit vv4w.org.
The entrance to Rock Bottom, referred to as the “filter,” keeps all but the most skilled drivers at bay.
Any deviation from the line will result in body-to-sandstone contact. This JK missed its mark, which resulted in the loss of a mirror.
Low air pressure, good articulation, and locking differentials can make the difference between success and failure in twisty terrain.
The Rock Bottom Trail is a short, narrow crevasse that requires precise tire placement.
The Vegas Valley 4Wheelers work closely with the Bureau of Land Management to keep trails of the Moapa Valley OHV area open to the public.
We don’t remember the name of this obstacle, but few who challenged it were successful. This highly modified JK cleared the top in a flurry of dust and flying rocks.
Excessive pressure on the skinny pedal can result in various bits of shrapnel taking flight.
Many of the routes will test every ounce of your driving skill, sidewall lug on your tires, and cog in your differential.
Experienced volunteer guides, each of which have extensive knowledge of the correct line for safe passage, staff technical sections.
After a day on the trail, participants headed out to the dunes for an hour of carving turns in the afternoon light.
The Moapa Valley OHV area’s red slickrock and uplifted sandstone rifts are reminiscent of Moab.
Trails like Bronco Falls require the full attention of driver and spotter.
The long wheelbase of the JK Unlimited provides the advantage of longitudinal stability when climbing steep obstacles.
Bronco Falls apparently received its name when a Bronco did a wheel stand at this spot and tumbled backwards like a marble through a pachinko machine.
Although the Jeep XJ ceased production in 2001, the venerable second-generation Cherokee is still popular with the rockcrawling crowd.
With the finesse of a diamond cutter, this driver walked his XJ over anything put in front of him. Unfortunately, we heard later that he ran out of luck after the event, putting this well-equipped Cherokee rubber-side-up.
Many of the area’s washes made us feel that we were traversing a canyon in Mexico’s Baja peninsula.
The Moapa OHV route system, which is managed by the BLM, has numerous trails suited for mildly modified rigs.
Jeep JKs, CJs, and XJs lined up for the Saturday morning tech inspection
Doran Millett, a young Jeep aficionado who was recently diagnosed with leukemia, piloted his Wrangler “EV” two-door through the Friday night obstacle course.
The Saturday evening raffle rewarded lucky ticket holders with thousands of dollars worth of cool off-road swag.
John Mull’s Road Kill Grill, which served up some of the best barbecued ribs and chicken we’ve had, is a regular feature at Hump-N-Bump.