We bought our JK a couple of months ago. This would be the first trip where we would actually get to use the JK for its intended purpose. Yes we would take the JK off road and explore some my home state of New Mexico. I started to research and we would try and do some of the basics for this area.
My son and I were driving into Red River to meet up with my wife's family for their annual gathering. We rolled into Sipapu ski lodge and we were way ahead of schedule, so we decided to find a forest road and do some exploring. We found NM 76. It looked like a 22 mile routs that would drop us right into Eagle Nest NM. The first 4-5 miles were no issue. It was a hard packed dirt road. There was no need for 4WD.
The further we went the more rocky the trail became. Then the skies opened up and it started to rain. It was never really hard, just a nice steady down pour. The trail became a lot harder to manage. We shifted into high 4WD.
As we continued I stared to get concerned that I had bitten off too much for the stock JK. We were now in low 4WD, the trail was very rocky and the incline was really starting to increase. My sone loved the bumby ride, as you can see from the next pic.
We made the trek without incident. It also allowed me to truly understand how capable the Jeep JK is. We had a great time. It took us almost 3 hours, but it will be a memory we have for many years to come.
I did learn a few things. The first being to make sure someone knows where you will be exploring. Had we had a bad issue, no one knew where we were and the cell reception was not to be had. I will also be looking to upgrade the tires. The stock tires did well and did not cause any issues, but the rain sure showed the limitations of the stock tires. Other than that we were in pretty good shape. I probably should not have done that by ourselves but it worked out.
The next couple of days we explored Greenie Peak, Goose Lake and many fire roads around the Red River Ski Basin. The family had a great time and the Jeep performed without issue. I am headed to Colorado In September for 9 days, so I can't wait to explore more with my JK.