The inhospitable lands of the Mojave Desert stir the imagination. How early settlers traveling west survived their journey though this harsh climate defies comprehension. Most of the Mojave Desert remains the same today as it was when the first wagon wheels cut tracks through its sand. There are literally thousands of square miles of absolutely nothing but beautiful desert to explore - responsibly.
If you aren't familiar with Johnson Valley, California, it is home to some of the toughest four-wheeling trails this country has to offer. Tucked within its confines is a cluster of trails sitting off Highway 247 at Boone Road called the Hammer Trails. These forlorn trails range in difficulty levels from moderate to extremely difficult. There is always great action and plenty of carnage to be had here.
The North American XJ Association (NAXJA) is a very large contingent of Jeep XJ and MJ owners. Chapters of the organization span the country. Throughout the year, the club holds trail adventures for its members as well as special events to raise contributions for various land use organizations. This year, NAXJA's Southern California chapter held its Rockin' XJ Jamboree at the Hammer Trails in support of the Friends of Panamint Valley and its legal fund for Surprise Canyon. Surprise Canyon is located in Death Valley, California; it has been closed to vehicle travel by environmentalists and the BLM. The proceeds from the event's raffle went directly to the Friends of Panamint Valley to fight the unjust trail closure.
The Rockin' XJ Jamboree has been a tradition for the SoCal chapter for the past five years that began when Surprise Canyon was shut down. This year's event welcomed 46 vehicles and about 100 members. Vehicles ranged from factory to completely fabricated. As you can tell by the photos, the trail action was, as it always is on the Hammers, great fun.
All in all, the event's raffle raised a substantial amount for the Friends of Surprise Canyon, and some awesome prizes were given out to boot. Everyone had a great time. It is events like this, along with people who care, that keep our sport alive.