2013 Chile Challenge - New Mexico Wheeling!

This Is Why I'm Hot

Harry WagnerPhotographer, Writer

A few events should be on everyone’s wheeling bucket list. Easter Jeep Safari. Dakota Territory Challenge. Sierra Trek. All-4-Fun. And the Chile Challenge. If you are a longtime reader you have likely seen these events in the pages of 4-Wheel & Off-Road, as we have been covering them for decades. They offer not only some of the most challenging trails in the country, but are also run by volunteers. The profits raised from the events are used to keep those trails open.

Unfortunately, that is getting more difficult for the Las Cruces 4WD Club. While the challenging trails, excellent food, and great camaraderie are still present, the funds generated for land use are dwindling. “There seems to have been a lot of speculation in the 4WD community about the future of the Chile Challenge,” explains LC4WDC president David Smith. “This year was the most costly event ever with a rather low turnout. But it looks like we will come very close to hitting the break-even point when all the final incomes and refunds are settled.”

Once you mark this event off your bucket list you will get hooked

That is partially due to lower registration numbers in an ailing economy and partially due to BLM fees, which have doubled since 2006. As a result, the Chile Challenge is at risk of going away, and if that happens many of the hardcore trails that Las Cruces is famous for are in danger of closing. None of us want to see that happen, and it can be prevented by signing up for the 2014 Chile Challenge. Once you mark this event off your bucket list you will get hooked on the great trails, friendly people, and delicious food and will want to come back every year, just like us. The Chile trails may seem too hot to handle at first, but it won’t be long before you develop a taste for them and will want to come back for seconds and thirds.

Andy Valdez had the biggest … well, everything! His buggy has a 502ci big-block under the hood to spin massive 54-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws. Overson axleshafts keep the Rockwell axles from puking out their guts.