Last year was our inaugural off-road adventure that led slightly more than 70 Jeeps across the deserts and mountains of Nevada, Arizona, and Utah to the 50th Annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab. It was a rousing success, and so we dared to do it again, hoping to at least see the same number of registered vehicles and high level of satisfaction from attendees. For 2017, the 2nd Annual Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep again began in Las Vegas and ended in Moab, but that’s where the similarities ended.
We were pleasantly surprised how early on in the pre-registration process we hit our maximum allowable 100 registered vehicles, and we were more than gratified to see how many return attendees signed up, especially since we had added a day to the Jp Dirt ‘N Drive presented by Jeep to allow us to include a more varied and challenging course for this year’s on- and off-road adventure.
The 2017 event was expanded to four days and began with a registration day at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas. We traveled to St. George, Utah, on the second day with a morning of warm-up trail rides in the Logandale, Nevada, area. We then went on to Torrey, Utah, on the third day after a morning of very exciting trail runs in Sand Hollow State Park outside of Hurricane, Utah, and then pushed on to Moab, with a spectacularly scenic dirt-road side trip through the Cathedral Valley section of Capitol Reef National Monument on the fourth and final day. Of course, that evening in Moab, all of the 2017 Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep participants were invited to a delicious and complimentary banquet dinner at the Canyonlands by Night facility, after which there was a raffle for prizes donated by Jp Dirt ’N Drive presenter Jeep and sponsors Bestop, Bushwacker, General Tire, Magellan, Rampage, Tom Wood’s Custom Drive Shafts, and Warn.
Day 1: Party In VegasRegistration day at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall was a hoot! With over 100 Jeeps in the parking lot for an impromptu Jeep show, the more than 200 Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep attendees, as well as locals who came to see the gathering of mechanical masterpieces made for an interesting and educational day checking out each other’s rides. It was a great collection of Jeep vehicles, too, offering almost every type from flatties to round-fender CJs, XJs, YJs, TJs, and of course a host of JKs. There was even a ’64 J200 pickup present, as well as a masterful cross between a ’07 JK and a ’63- to-’71-vintage pickup grille. Stay tuned for full features on many of the 2017 Jp Dirt ‘N Drive presented by Jeep attendee’s rigs, including the JK/truck mash-up.
After a night in Vegas (we’re not talking), the parade of 100 registrant’s Jeeps and our 12 staff rigs (which included Jp editorial staff, support staff for on-trail mid-gunners and tail gunners, a videographer, as well as two EMTs), we hit the highway and headed north for Logandale, Nevada. There we were met by members of the Vegas Valley 4-Wheelers who acted as guides on a handful of scenic and challenging runs in the Logandale Trails System.
Day 2: Logandale Trails SystemThe Logandale Trails System is a 45,000-acre region laced with 200 miles of OHV trails, most of which are perfect for Jeeps. The trails offer a variety of skill levels, and the trails chosen for 2017 Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep participants ranged from mild fun runs to mid-level rockcrawling exercises. Everyone had a great time and got their dirt-driving skills warmed up. After the morning of wheeling in the Logandale Trails System, those who didn’t have on-board air could stop for a free air-up at Logandale Tire and Auto Care Center. Then we all moved on to a meet-up and gas stop in Mesquite, Nevada.
From that point on, Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep participants had the choice of going “highway” all the way to the next stop’s nightly accommodations in St. George, Utah, or stay on the off-road “course” as mapped in the 2017 Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep route book handed out to every registrant. Most chose to stay on the dirt rather than pound pavement all the way to St. George. Careful attention to the route book was necessary as there were some diverging trails, but the second half of the day was when an additional bit of fun began.
During the next 86 miles of dirt roads from Mesquite, Nevada, through the extraordinarily beautiful northeastern corner of Arizona on the way to St. George, Utah, Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep participants had the opportunity to begin engaging in a multi-day “poker run.” Points of interest along the route were called out, and these points of interest with names such as “fireplace rock,” “Joshua Trees,” and “old windmill” were easily identified using clue photos published in the route book. Participants were to shoot a photo of their Jeep with the point of interest in the background, then make a post on their Facebook page with the hashtags #jpdnd17poker, #jeep, and @Jeep. That evening when checking in at the Four Wheeler Network trailer set up at the host hotel, they were to show these social media posts to members of the Jp support staff and were then given a playing card for each post properly done.
Days later at the Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep banquet dinner, the playing cards would be collected by Jp staff members, and the best poker hand would win a prize. That prize and many others, including the next two days of exciting four-wheeling are all part of 2017 Jp Dirt ’N Drive: Part 2. Stay tuned for the rest of the story soon to be on jpmagazine.com.
Want to Join Jp Dirt ’N Drive?Want to join us for Jp Dirt ’N Drive next year? Just drive a Jeep. Of course, there are some requirements other than your vehicle being a Jeep. It can be any model or vintage. It can also be a bone-stock Jeep right off the showroom floor. However, no matter what, it must be equipped with some important safety and trail equipment. At a minimum, it has to be four-wheel drive, street legal, currently licensed and insured, and you need to have a VHF radio, recovery rope, properly secured tow hooks front and rear (drawbars, receiver hitches, or bumpers with clevis or D-rings were acceptable), fire extinguisher, fullsize spare, and a rollbar (if it’s an open or soft top). Watch jpmagazine.com for preregistration announcements around the end of the year for the following year’s event and get your preregistration materials in right away. You could be one of the lucky 100!