Escape from Death Valley

According to the Death Valley National Park website, in the Fall of 1849, a group of pioneers left Salt Lake City for the gold fields of California.  The disaster that befell the Donner Party a couple of years before were still fresh on everyone’s mind.  So instead of attempting to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains in winter, they intended to follow the Old Spanish Trail, which went around the south end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  On Christmas Eve of 1849, some of them arrived at Travertine Springs, the source of Furnace Creek in what is now known as Death Valley.

Their oxen were weak from lack of forage and their wagons were battered and in poor shape. They too were weary and discouraged but their worst problem was not the valley that lay before them. It was the towering Panamint Mountains that stood like an impenetrable wall as far as could be seen.

From Furnace Creek, the pioneers struggled across the salt flats and attempted to pass over the Panamint Range via Warm Springs Canyon, but were unable to do so. They retreated to the valley floor and sent two young men, William Lewis Manly and John Rogers, 'over the mountain' to get supplies.  Nearly a month went by as the men walked more than 300 miles to Mission San Fernando, got supplies at a ranch and trekked back.  When Manly and Rogers finally arrived to the camp of the Bennett-Arcan party they found many of the group had left to find their own way out of the valley. The two families with children had patiently remained, trusting the men to save them. Only one man had perished during their long wait, but as they made their way west over the mountains, someone is said to have proclaimed "Goodbye, Death Valley," giving the valley its morbid name.

On November 9, 10 and 11, 2016 twenty intrepid overland adventurers will retrace the path of these 49ers in Cal4Wheel's "Escape from Death Valley 2016" Run. This run will begin near Death Valley Junction on the morning of November 9, stay overnight in Warm Springs Canyon, continue via Butte Valley, Mengel Pass and Goler Wash to the 2016 Panamint Valley Days base camp on November 10, then explore the remainder of the Death Valley Escape Trail between the Panamint Valley and Trona on November 11. Due to permit restrictions, this run is limited to twenty vehicles. Any vehicle with high clearance and 4 wheel drive is OK. Once the run is filled, we will place up to ten vehicles on a wait list before closing registration for the run.  

PLEASE NOTE: This run is in addition to the main Panamint Valley Days event. In order to attend Panamint Valley Days, you must register here:

Hi Desert Round-Up Post-Event Survey

Mojave Road Run - backup

May 2017 | Fort Piute on the Mojave Road, in San Bernardino County, CA
More information coming soon

The Mojave Road is a historic route across the Mojave Desert first used by Native Americans to travel between the Colorado River and the coast. Spanish explorers, Mexican traders, and American settlers have used the route. Today, the 121-mile long 4-wheel drive trail across the Mojave Desert is on the “bucket list” of every overland adventurer.

C4WDA obtained a Special Use Permit from the National Park Service to lead a run over a portion* of the Mojave Road on May 25 & 26, 2016. This run was not part of the annual C4WDA Hi Desert Round-Up, but was timed to allow participants to easily transition to the Hi Desert Round-Up. In addition to traveling the portion of the Mojave Road that traverses the Mojave National Preserve, we will take side trips to Hole-in-the-Wall, Kelso Depot, and Lava Tubes. Here are details:

  1. There is no charge for this run, but participants must be members of Cal4Wheel and vehicles must be street legal and meet the safety requirements of C4WDA. Participants may make a donation to help cover the cost of the permit and event insurance.
  2. The run will depart at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, May 25 from Fort Piute on the Mojave Road. Camp on Wednesday night will be at the Black Canyon Group Campground in the Mojave National Preserve. The run will end on Thursday afternoon, May 26 at the Razor OHV area. Participants may depart or camp out and proceed to High Desert Roundup the next day (about 60 miles).
  3. To register for this run or if you have any questions, send an email message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject “Mojave Road Run 2016.” Include
    1. Your name, the name of your club (or unaffiliated), your C4WDC member number and the number of people in your vehicle
    2. Your address, and phone
    3. Your vehicle make/model/year
    4. An emergency contact.
  4. You will receive an email confirmation with more details and directions to the meeting point. Under the terms of the permit, the run is limited to 15 vehicles and 30 people. If necessary, we will have a wait list.

* Due to limitations of the Special Use Permit for this run, this run will start at mile 21 of the Mojave Road (near Fort Piute) and end at mile 104 of the Mojave Road (at the Razor OHV area). Participants may travel the first 21 miles and/or the last 17 miles of the Mojave Road on their own, but such travel will not be part of this C4WDA led run.

Mojave Road Run

May 2017 | Fort Piute on the Mojave Road, in San Bernardino County, CA
More information coming soon

By Russ Chung

The Mojave Road is a historic route across the Mojave Desert first used by Native Americans to travel between the Colorado River and the coast. Spanish explorers, Mexican traders, and American settlers have used the route, which leads between desert watering holes from Fort Mohave on the Colorado River near Laughlin, NV to Fort Cady on the Mojave River near Newberry Springs, CA. Today, the 121-mile long 4-wheel drive trail across the Mojave Desert is on the bucket list of every overland adventurer.

  • Kelso Depot
  • Soda Dry Lake
  • UPRR Railroad Bridge
  • Kelso Depot
  • Soda Dry Lake
  • UPRR Railroad Bridge

The Cal4Wheel Mojave Road run began at Fort Piute on the eastern boundary of the Mojave National Preserve (mile 21 of the Mojave Road) at noon on May 25 and ended at the Razor OHV area on the western boundary of the Mojave National Preserve (mile 104) on the afternoon of May 26. The run included an overnight stay at the Black Canyon Group Campground, and side trips to Hole-In-the-Wall, Kelso Depot and the Lava Tubes, and a crossing of Soda Dry Lake. Due to storm damage, the National Park Service closed a portion of the Mojave Road on AT&T Hill (from mile 27 to mile 32), so the group took the Leiser Ray Mine Road to detour around the closure.

Prior to the start of the run, a few of the participants met in Laughlin, NV and departed from the Colorado River on the morning of May 25. They met the main group at Fort Piute for the start of the run.

The weather was typical for late May; the daytime temps were in the 90s and the nighttime temperature was in the 60s. The skies were generally sunny except that a brief thundershower struck while the group was setting up camp at Black Canyon. The rain soon stopped and the group enjoyed a pleasant campfire under starry skies.

Upon reaching the western boundary of the Preserve, four of the participants headed home but the rest of the group camped overnight at the Razor OHV area and continued to the end of the Mojave Road at Fort Cady the next day. After refueling in Newberry Springs, the group explored the gas pipeline road that connects Newberry Springs to the Slash X Ranch near Barstow, arriving in time for the start of the Cal4Wheel High Desert Roundup.

We plan to repeat this run next year; it will be a full three day adventure starting from the Colorado River and ending at High Desert Roundup 2017.

Win-A-Jeep Build List

Photo of Win-A-Jeep MiniMoto 2016

Thank you to our generous sponsors for donating time and product to make MiniMoto happen! All of this could be yours.

For more photos and information, visit Genright's Win-A-Jeep page

Genright Front tube fenders / Signature series aluminum back tube fenders / Signature series aluminum front bumper / Signature series aluminum stubby back bumper / Signature series aluminum rockers / Signature series steel powder coated silver EVAP skid plate* / CrMo hi steer steering / Installations
ARB Fridge/Freezer Combo
Viair Continuous duty air compressor
Odyssey Battery 34-PC1500T battery
JE Reel Heavy duty shafts / 1350 U-joints
LGE Paint* Paint work on half doors and Rugged Ridge hood
Advance Adapters Atlas 2, 4.3:1
Daystar Isolators*
Tuff Stuff 4x4 D-rings
Raceline 17" x 8" 982 Raptor wheels
BF Goodrich 37" x 12.50" x 17" Krawlers tires
Curry Enterprises Front Rock Jock 44 axle housing
Rock Hard Interior JK Sport Cage, powder coated silver
Snevy's Off Road 50" LED light bar*
Spiderweb Shade Bikini top
sPod 6-switch panel, with air gauge
K&N Cold air intake
Kicker Sound system upgrade
PRP Front and rear bucket seats*
TBM "Thunderstorm" brakes
BDS 3" short arm suspension kit
Reid Racing Hi steer knuckles
Warn Zeon 10-S winch
Fox 2" emulsion shocks
PSC Hydro Assist Steering*
Yukon 4340 axle shafts and zip air lockers front and rear
Rugged Ridge Aluminum hood latches / Soft Velcro grab handles / Floor mats front and rear / Performance vented hood* / Half doors front and rear*

*Items not yet installed

Free vendor booths available

We are having an outdoor vendor show at our Convention in Visalia that will be open to the public with no admission charge. Vendors will need to provide their own table, chairs and shade canopy. Vendors are also asked to provide donations for our raffle.

Register online

Register online for Convention 2017

Convention Info

Event Chair:
Amy Cave
(559) 936-3473

Fernando Cave
(559) 805-7651

Hotel Info

Lamp Liter Inn
3300 W Mineral King Ave.
Visalia, CA 93291
(559) 732-4511
(800) 662-6692