Who doesn't love a good adventure!?! Exploring the great outdoors, man (or woman) and machine, testing the your limits and making memories to last a lifetime. A few months back we got an offer to take on the JK Experience, a weeklong trail riding adventure covering an unknown region of the US. Organized by Mel Wade of Offroad Evolution, the event is known as the toughest JK-only event on ever with long road days and hardcore ORV trails, and camping along the way. The trip brings together 10 selected JKs along with event sponsors for an awesome week of hardcore offroad action, scenic views, and camaraderie among the event participants. With JKS Manufacturing signed up as a sponsor this year we turned out efforts to prepping our trail Jeep, a supercharged 3.6L powered 2008 Wrangler JK (2Dr). Our JK has been in service for a several years, running Jeep Jamborees and other trail events around the country. While its held up great to all the abuse over the years it was time to freshen it up with new Jspec suspension components to test out, new tires, bumpers, body armor, and lighting along with paint and graphics. For more on the buildup click here
This year's JK Experience was held in the Pacific Northwest with various stops in Oregon and Washington. JKS reps Ryan Snyder and Glen Hard loaded up the JKS JK and took off from Michigan in route to the startpoint of this weeklong offroad adventure. Day 1 After a stop at Billy Bob's Offroad to drop the trailer, the guys headed on to the start in Burlington, WA for check-in, tech inspection and to meet the other participants. After a few drinks and a good nights sleep the guys woke up bright and early for the start of the 4wheeling action on JKX.
Day 2 of JKX where the group head out to Walker Park, the first of many trail days. They met up with a local 4x4 club that lead the way through the tight, muddy, wooded terrain for a solid day on breaking in our freshly built JK.
Day 3 was the first road day of the trip, with an incredibly scenic drive through Washington covering some 450 miles. Along the way they made a detour to the Moses Lake Sand Dunes, for some sandy wheeling as the group aired down and pinned the throttle around the dunes before heading on to Cle Elum, WA near Mount Rainier for the night.
Day 4 had the group out for a full day of 4wheeling around Manastash Ridge on both the moon rocks and funny rocks. After a solid day of wheeling we hit the road for our next stop, pulling into the Naches district of the Wenatchee National Forest under the cover of nightfall.
Day 5 the group woke with a good idea at where they would be wheeling for the next day. They'd all heard stories and seen coverage about a trail system nearby and at the morning drivers meeting the assumptions were confirmed, the guys were wheeling Elbe Hills ORV Area, a challenging trail system cut out of the dense forests with deep notches, bottomless mud pits, and exposed roots ready to take out a mirror, tire, or reshape body panels. The heavily wooded terrain offered plenty of winchpoints that came in handy throughout the day. After making their ay through Elbe Hills we set up camp nearby to rest, wrench on the Jeeps and recharge their gears for the next day of JKX.
Day 6 was a road day with a pleasant surprize in store for us. Along the way to the next destination we stopepd at Warn Industries for tour of their manufacturing facility in Clackamas, OR along with a catered lunch outside of their offices. Fromt their the group hit the road making it to Tillamook State Park near Portland, OR for a quick nighttime trail ride before setting up camp at Brown's Camp for a couple hours of shut eye.
Day 7 began early as the group loaded up to hit the Tillamook State Park once again for a solid day of trail riding. Warn sent a few reps to play trail guide as they hit up the dusty, rocky terrain highlighted by the 7up obstacle and waterfall. Following the trail ride they hit the road once again in route to the final destination in Pacific City, OR right on the coast.
Day 8, the final day of the 2014 JK Experience took the group to the Sand Lake Recreation Area just north of Pacific City for a drive on the beach where they cruised found some dunes to jump and ran the rigs on the ragged edge one last time. Following the beach day everyone headed back for the wrap up party for dinner, drinks and awards making for a great end to the weeklong JK Experience. They guys made some new friends along the way and caught up with old ones, took in the amazing Pacific Northwest scenery and got to spend tiem doing our favorite hobby, 4wheeling in a capable Jeep. A big thanks to the Offroad Evolution crew for their efforts in organizing the event, as well as the sponsors and invited guests that made the trip. This was definitely a trip full of great people and memories to last a lifetime.
To see more photos from the event head to JKS's Facebook Page. Video edit is in progress and will be out by SEMA.