Have you ever wanted to drive your 4x4 around an abandoned desert ghost town? We got the chance to join DeMello Off-Road and ICON Vehicle Dynamics at the SoCal Toyota Fest outside Barstow, California.
Calico Ghost Town was home to silver miners in the 1800s, but by the turn of the century, it was stripped of its resources and abandoned. The town now takes on a new life with tourism opportunities as well as some challenging off-road trails.
During this three-day event, over 100 Toyota rigs ranging from built rockcrawlers and decked-out overlanders to stock Tundras, FJ Cruisers, and 4Runners descended on the Calico campground, which served as a basecamp for the weekend’s activities.
The weekend included a vendor village with exhibits from CBI Off-Road Fabrication, Baja Designs, Deaver Suspension, Overland Labs, and many more, as well as a dinner for participants Saturday night. Though camaraderie and excitement were alive around the dinner tables and campfires, the real fun was had on the trails.
Participants divided into groups based on trail difficulty, and were led through the desert by local experts. Some decided to cruise the desert washes and ridgelines, while others wanted to really test the mettle of their Toyota rigs. Those who chose to run the Odessa Doran Loop were subjected to tight squeezes, steep climbs over refrigerator-sized boulders, and the constant threat of damage to all smashable parts of their vehicles. Check out the photos and videos below to see what kind of challenges the Toyotas tackled on the trails.
Photo Credits: FourWheeler Staff and Socal Toyota Fest