2019 Desert Rendezvous Trail Run - Canyon Sin Nombre, Arroyo Seco del Diablo (and Dropoff) - Saturday

#1
I will be leading a trip for the 2019 American Adventurist’s Desert Rendezvous. This trip will travel from pavement on S2, down Canyon Sin Nombre to Vallectio Wash, hang a left for a short distance, then proceed up Arroyo Seco del Diablo to the Diablo Dropoff, down the Dropoff into a narrow canyon, out to Fish Creek Wash and then back to camp.
The drive will entail about 65 miles of pavement from camp to the trail head, then about 24 miles of dirt to get back to camp. We will need to leave camp by 0900 to reach the trailhead by our anticipated start time of 1030. The dirt portion of the trip should take between two and four hours, barring unusual circumstances. This trip has an AA difficulty level of mostly Easy (3) but some Easy (4) to Moderate (5), with an adrenalin bump going down the drop-offs. I anticipate our time-on-trail to be between 2 & 4 hours, ending very close to camp.

Specifics:
Date – Saturday, February 23, 2019
Schedule: driver’s meeting 0830 - leave camp 0900 - begin trail 1030 - return to camp by 1400
Trailhead location – S2 at Canyon Sin Nombre, 32.829985°, -116.170318°
Communications – Ham 146.535 simplex, FRS Ch 6 (462.6875) no privacy tones
Trail leader – Tony Sawyer (aka Sage Bromax)
Limited to 10 vehicles:

1) Tony Sawyer (Trip leader)
2) Yumafolks
3) fj80toyman
4) finn
5) RanduR50
6) Randy_929
7) Overlanche
8) ReneR50
9) ohv
10)
 
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Tugs

Adventurist
#3
Is this something an LR3 with 2" rods and 33's could do? I'll have my 2 year old with us too? I'm not too familiar with trail ratings and what you need to be running to navigate them.
 
#4
I have been all up and down Vallectio Wash in my stock Z71 avalanche with no issue.i have driven up to Diablo drop off but never done it due to the fact that I always have a full truck and never wanted to take the risk, but the drop off really doesn't look to bad you can find some vids on YouTube for reference. But over all the trails are easy going and make for a nice day out. BTW I take my then 3 year old and he loved it.
Is this something an LR3 with 2" rods and 33's could do? I'll have my 2 year old with us too? I'm not too familiar with trail ratings and what you need to be running to navigate them.
 

Dave

Adventurist
Founder
Senior Staff
Editor
#5
Is this something an LR3 with 2" rods and 33's could do? I'll have my 2 year old with us too? I'm not too familiar with trail ratings and what you need to be running to navigate them.
For your reading pleasure, our trail rating system can be found HERE

:)
 
#13
I'd like to sign up, but I am certainly a novice and just driving a stock WJ "overland". I've been looking for an "easy" run to get my feet wet but please let me know if you see any issues with my vehicle, etc. I don't want to take someone's spot AND break our jeep.
 
#14
I'd like to sign up, but I am certainly a novice and just driving a stock WJ "overland". I've been looking for an "easy" run to get my feet wet but please let me know if you see any issues with my vehicle, etc. I don't want to take someone's spot AND break our jeep.
Well, it's been more than 40 years since I was a novice off-roader so my judgement is probably skewed. The vast majority of this route is relatively standard dirt trails in desert washes. The toughest section is going down the dropoff, which is actually two dropoffs. These can cause significant anxiety. I did a quick Google/You Tube check and there are lots of videos posted of off-road vehicles of all types going through the Diablo Dropoff section. Just keep in mind, there are going to be experienced people along that can guide you through it, and it is not a race. Slow and easy is best to avoid problems.

As far as taking someone's spot, there are only four of us on the list so far. The 10 rig limit is just to keep the group on time. I did this run last October with a group of 23 rigs, and we still made it through in under four hours.
 
#15
Well, it's been more than 40 years since I was a novice off-roader so my judgement is probably skewed. The vast majority of this route is relatively standard dirt trails in desert washes. The toughest section is going down the dropoff, which is actually two dropoffs. These can cause significant anxiety. I did a quick Google/You Tube check and there are lots of videos posted of off-road vehicles of all types going through the Diablo Dropoff section. Just keep in mind, there are going to be experienced people along that can guide you through it, and it is not a race. Slow and easy is best to avoid problems.

As far as taking someone's spot, there are only four of us on the list so far. The 10 rig limit is just to keep the group on time. I did this run last October with a group of 23 rigs, and we still made it through in under four hours.
Thank you, this is definitely reassuring. I was also watching some videos last night and think the rocky areas are of the most concern to me. I do have the crappy stock skid plates that were on the "Overland" model along with the "rock sliders" if you could really call them that. I also have the all time "Quadradrive" 4wd and a 4L gear. My biggest concern is the stock clearance and that this is my daily driver. (But we are building it out specifically for this stuff.) I know there's no better group to do this with and have to start somewhere. If you guys are willing to help out a noob, my wife and I are in. (She somehow agreed after I made her watch the videos.) :)

This is the video that made me uncomfortable. The big flex parts and the rocks mostly.



jeep.png
 
#16
Are you going around the mountain (i.e. leaving camp) to the south or north? From the camp location it is probably shorter to go around to the south through Plaster City and Ocotillo. That would give opportunity for fuel as well. I think we went around to the north last year and it seemed long. Then again, the views along S2 are nice.
 

Yumafolks

Adventurist
Moderator
#17
Are you going around the mountain (i.e. leaving camp) to the south or north? From the camp location it is probably shorter to go around to the south through Plaster City and Ocotillo. That would give opportunity for fuel as well. I think we went around to the north last year and it seemed long. Then again, the views along S2 are nice.
Fuel is always nice
 
#18
Heading southeast out of camp along the railroad line is a possibility. I will check the route when I come in on Thursday and we can discuss it at the drivers' meeting on Saturday.
 
#19
Daedelus,
More than happy to help a new person get the hang of things. I watched the video you linked and I don't remember big rocks in the dropoffs. Check this video:
If you keep it in first gear, low range it should crawl down without too much trouble.
 
#20
Keep in mind that video is 6 years old. I went through there most recently in Oct 2017 and Feb 2018 and it was much smoother than shown in that video, although conditions change can after rain and runoff so YMMV.

The rocky part at 11:00 is the extra credit section. The high road just above to the right is not nearly as rocky.

The rocky section starting at 18:20 is probably the worst of it, but again, as of last year it was smoother than shown in that video (kinda disappointing actually).

Both of those sections are after the dropoff and before Fish Creek Wash.

Take it easy, listen to your spotter and you should be fine.
 
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