Al's '85 Toyota pickup showed up from the factory with a solid front axle and EFI, so it w
"We are here today to honor a fallen comrade, Steve Riffel, and to open a new trail which will bear his name. Who was Steve Riffel? He was one of us. He was part of a group of people who take part in a sport unmatched by any other sport. We have a sense of family and a sense of unity. We are always there to help one another. No one gets left behind or forgotten.
The Riffel Canyon Trail begins abruptly with a "gatekeeper" climb that's just plain nasty. The gatekeeper isn't the toughest obstacle on the trail, but it serves as the route's harbinger: If you can't make it past the gatekeeper, just smile, park your vehicle, and hitch a ride with someone else. You'll have plenty of time on the trail to scheme and dream of ways to build your rig better for future runs.
Once successfully in the canyon, obstacles come in rapid succession. Some are fairly benign, such as single boulders or distinct narrow spots in an otherwise wide section. Others can only be described as merciless waterfalls. The recipe for success: a minimum of 35-inch tires, low axle gears, rock sliders, low T-case gears (or a dual transfer case), and a winch. The winch is mandatory, as the climb above the "bear cave" is completely impassible without one. Let's mention it again: You'll need a winch.
Riffel Canyon was built in a few months using the same ingredients as Steve's monument on the Fissure Mountain Trail: determination, time, gasoline, and muscle power. The trailhead is located at 34 degrees N, 28 minutes, 18.2 seconds; 116 degrees W, 42 minutes, 12.8 seconds. To get to the area, take CA 247 and exit at Green Rock Mine Road. Once you've exited the highway, head north toward the mountains. Pay close attention to your GPS. Riffel Canyon lies within the Johnson Valley OHV area.
After almost a year of trail-building, Riffel Canyon opened. Before the inagural run, Brian addressed the group with these words:
The Bucket's stock tie rod succumbed to big tires and big rocks, but it was nothing that c
This CJ-8 Scrambler, license plate reading "ROCK BUS," cruised through the mayhem sans dra
No camera tilting here: The truck really is leaning as far as it looks.