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I had the opportunity to meet up with a group of great folks for a weekend trail run at Fordyce Trail. The trail is located in the Tahoe National Forest about 170 miles northeast of San Francisco. The trail is among the most difficult in California as I would soon learn. This was my first time on the trail.
Our group consisted of six rigs. Two YJs, one CJ7, one Yota, all highly modified. There was one CJ5 slightly modified and my JK Unlimited with just enough mods. Only the CJ5 and myself drove our rigs to the trail. Everyone else towed their rigs.
We started out at Cisco Grove Campground, where the tow rigs and trailers parked. By the time everyone aired down it was dark. The group began our fourteen mile trail ride down to the river where we would set up camp . The trail started out as a dirt road and progressively got to the point of crawling over boulders as we made our way down into the valley. Wheelin at night is surreal and set the tone for an amazing offroad experience.
We made it to the river and our campsite at 11pm. After setting up camp, I sat down and had a couple beers by the fire before lights out. The next morning we broke camp as we were going to camp at Meadow Lake after a day on the trail. We started out with a river crossing and climbed the river bank where I max flexed my rig just climbing the bank. The guys helped me through obstacles I didn’t think I was capable of and would cheer when I made it through. Over the coarse of the weekend they were impressed with the JK and so was I.
After a while we came to winch hill three where the carnage began. Winch hill three is a narrow crevice of granite and body damage is highly likely. One of the YJ’s went through and ended up getting winched out on it’s side. The CJ7 started through and broke something on the front axle when it got the wheels stuck between the boulders. I ended up winching him backwards to get him out. Now he only had rear drive. I took the bypass which was a challenge in itself. We stayed awhile to watch other rigs attempt to make it through. Some made through with no problem at all and others were not so lucky.
Later we continued up the trail but after awhile the CJ7 was having a hard time getting through and one of the YJ’s broke two wheel studs. So a decision was made to turn around and go back to our original camp.
While going up the trail, I had a number of near misses. Going down the trail was a different story as I was at the mercy of gravity. It’s kind of funny, every time I did some damage I would minimize the situation by saying “ That’s ok, I want to change those fenders anyway” or “ That’s ok, I’ll just rattle can that. You’ll never see it.”
We made it back to the river and set up camp once again. A few beers and tequila settled our nerves. Later we went back out to take on the rocks around the river. This is where the other YJ tried to reshape the mountain and broke a ujoint on his rear drive shaft leaving him with front wheel drive only.
The next morning we broke camp again. A few guys discharged their fire arms into the mountain. This capped of my eight year old son’s experience as he pulled the trigger on a 9mm and a 45cal. Now he asks me everyday when he’ll be old enough for a real gun.
My JK and the Yota served as tow rigs for the crippled YJ and CJ7 on our way out. We stopped at a lake for lunch and shot at floating pine cones with a pellet rifle. The kid wants one of those too. Oh, and a quad.
Everyone made it back to Cisco Grove where we said our goodbyes and headed home. For me, this weekend is what my JK purchase is all about. I had the time of my life and my son was pretty stoked as well. Oh, and “ Son, what do you say when Mom asks what you did this weekend? “ “ Nothin Mom, just threw rocks in the river.” :) I must have taken 300 pictures, most of them from my drivers perspective as I did not retain a film crew. Here are some of them.

RobV
 

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Cool pics and achievement :beer:

I have friends that live very close to Fordyce and the Rubicon and I plan on visiting them next summer to run both trails.
 

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Holy shiate... what an awesome trail. Looks like a great time. Tell me though, there were some pretty tough ledges and rocks, did you bypass or run 'em? And are you running 37s or 35s?
 

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Great shots!

Gives me a good idea about just how much more I need to do to the JK before I'm ready for Fordyce!
 

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That looks and sounds like a great trail, thanks for sharing. If it is the same trail then this is the second trip report that I have seen for Fordyce. It is definitely one that I would like to find my way too sometime in the future.

I didn't reealize that it's a multiple day trip, or is that just how you guys planned it? I guess any trip can become multiple days if so desired, and if there's enough trail to ride.

Do you have any GPS coordinates? I want to add this into my list for sure.

(*edit)
just thought that maybe I would link that other Fordyce trip report that I mentioned. Let me know if it's the same trail.

Fordyce Creek Trail 6-8-08
 

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Cool pics and achievement :beer:

I have friends that live very close to Fordyce and the Rubicon and I plan on visiting them next summer to run both trails.
Hard to beat what the rocky mountain states have to offer. You won't be disappointed if you come out and run those trails.
 

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Awesome pictures man, looks like you had a hell of an adventure. :beer:
Holy shiate... what an awesome trail. Looks like a great time. Tell me though, there were some pretty tough ledges and rocks, did you bypass or run 'em? And are you running 37s or 35s?
You guys should come up. I'll go with you. Recovery gear not an option. I did do some of the tough ledges but bypassed the real hardcore sure to get body damage stuff. The bypasses weren't much easier but passable.

I'm running 37's and now looking at coilover spacers for my 4.5 long arm lift. I feel the need for more clearance. Gonna lose the hard top and doors next time so I can actually see.
 

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That looks and sounds like a great trail, thanks for sharing. If it is the same trail then this is the second trip report that I have seen for Fordyce. It is definitely one that I would like to find my way too sometime in the future.

I didn't reealize that it's a multiple day trip, or is that just how you guys planned it? I guess any trip can become multiple days if so desired, and if there's enough trail to ride.

Do you have any GPS coordinates? I want to add this into my list for sure.

(*edit)
just thought that maybe I would link that other Fordyce trip report that I mentioned. Let me know if it's the same trail.

Fordyce
Creek Trail 6-8-08
Our group planned on a multi-day trip. I think it would be difficult to do the trail in one day. I don't know exactly how long the trail is or gps corrdinates.
I know that there are several ways to access the trail. As far as I know there are four creek crossings and five hill climbs. Winch hills one through five.

The creek crossings can be treacherous as PG&E, the state utility company controls water flow and I'm told flow levels can change anytime. The winch hills have their unique challanges. The guys I know have never completed the trail on any one run. They usually break somewhere. Then, they are usually looking for trouble.

Lots of great stuff on youtube regarding fordyce.
 

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You guys should come up. I'll go with you. Recovery gear not an option. I did do some of the tough ledges but bypassed the real hardcore sure to get body damage stuff. The bypasses weren't much easier but passable.

I'm running 37's and now looking at coilover spacers for my 4.5 long arm lift. I feel the need for more clearance. Gonna lose the hard top and doors next time so I can actually see.
Absolutely. I know Jason is up for the trail. Maybe we could plan something for next Summer... I'm sure my wife and girls would love the trail and camping out!

Love the story and sounds like your son had a great time. Agree that doors should come off... and I'll make sure to bring some spray paint and maybe a spare part or two...
 
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