The Miller Jeep Trail hasn't changed much over the last twenty years. Maybe the last half mile or so from the top. This does seem a little rougher or perhaps it's just old age settling in. But before you read on see Rachel's first run in her new Rubicon. Here is a small 5 meg clip of Kabob, Miller clog, first rough spot and the rocky switchback. And as promised the continuing story below, From Lockwood New:
Everyone at this point is truly enjoying the trip with the new comers excited about Miller's. As we slowly creep away from the campground everyone is reminded to keep their distances as we climb Miller's. Just like a couple weeks earlier, everybody is progressing without much difficulty. We arrive at the section where the Ranger flipped a few weeks ago. First me... up and over the rock slab... GREAT, no sweat. Dana straddles the 'V' section and he's through. Ron takes the rock climb, the stock Bronco II just does not want to impress the rest of us, so we abandon the attempt. Backing down, the Bronco II travels too far and ...WOW the vehicle begins to pitch wildly sideways. On the verge of tipping over everyone runs towards the vehicle screaming ...STOP!!!. I jump on the front of the hood and tip the vehicle forward. Slowly we get the Bronco moving and get him lined up into the 'V'. With a little work we are successful and Ron is off and running. Next the stock Ranger. He lines up into the 'V' and is making excellent progress. The vehicle begins to roll towards the passenger side and crapes the rocker panel. OUCH. Next comes the TJ and without any guidance decides to traverse the 'V' and again 'crunch' into the right plastic running board. At this point David's wife was having so much fun, she decides to drive from this point forward. Now the Grand Cherokee takes a stab at the 'V' and wa la, through it without much difficulty. We continue up the mountain and begin to spread out considerably. The progressive climb is beginning to slow the caravan down. The Bronco II and the Ranger doing their best to maneuver around the boulders and off camber sections. The Bronco II decides to scare us by getting topsy-turvy again. This time reportedly worse than before. Again with the support of Greg and others, the Bronco II is safely guided through this difficult section. Eyebrows raised, we were amazed the Bronco II had suffered NO damage. We continue our trek. Slowly we approach the top of Alamo Mountain. The scenery from this vantage point is extraordinary and fabulous. At the top the kids run off to play in the snow as the rest of us shake off the dust and unwind. It was a great trip.
We descend Alamo leaving behind the great memories of those exciting moments as our adrenaline spiked into the danger zone. Everyone begins to break-up at the Piru Campground as Dana and I decide to check out the 4 Wheel Drive Training Area. We arrive and notice a Jeep stuck in the up hill sluice. We ask if we can try it. While waiting we climb a parallel section filled with concrete and obstacles set into it. 350 to 400 up hill climb... no problem. Coming back down the Jeep has moved and I bring around the Bronco. Slowly I creep in then just as quickly I'm stuck. As I started my climb some loose boulders dislodged at my left and right side. Enough of this…as I try to back up. It was no easy task, but managed to circumvent the strangle hold and back out safely. Once out we decide to do the mini sluice. Another narrow section with 8 to 12-inch rocks and lined with 4-foot boulders. Slowly and carefully we enter, aware that there is NO turning back. With Randy as my co-driver everything went like clockwork. Approaching the exit of the sluice the Bronco begins to pitch just missing the giant monolith on my left and finally we're out. This is truly a great training area for those interested.
Written by Mark Larson
It was a truly spectacular trip. Maybe will see you next time. E-mail us to find out our next trip.
Memorial Weekend 2005 Day 1: Well it was a spectacular trip regardless of the tire mishap Saturday afternoon.
Rick and I decide to go in early (Friday evening) to set up camp. We have heard reports that the trails (Lockwood and Miller) has been worked on by the local AAT clubs and that gives as a secure feeling that nothing could go wrong. Rick's running a little late so I saddle up my '81 F-250 and start down the road. Here comes Rick towards me in his nearly stock Green 'TJ'. It's 6:30 PM and the sun is quickly moving westward to plunge into the Pacific ocean. We stop in at the local Lake Hughes market just to get some ice and we're off towards Gorman. 138 quickly merges with I-5 and within a few moments the traffic stops. We slowly merge over to the right side of the road and can see three CHP's and a big rig causing the traffic to cautiously pass as though they were going to be ticketed. As soon as we pass the traffic is up to speed and we exit the Gorman off ramp and take the west frontage road over to the Flying 'J'. I pump Rick's gas and Rick runs inside to grab a few supplies. We head back to the Hungry Valley entrance and enter without any intervention. We begin to see the city forming from all the RV's, 5th Wheels and Off road vehicles for the weekend ahead. We quickly make our way over to the Piru Creek crossing and up Alamo Mountain. The darkness begins to fall upon us just as we descend Miller Jeep Trail. The trail seems rougher and the shadows dancing from the headlights make the rocks and holes look like the Rubicon. I gently slide down and over these menacing batholiths and canyon type obstacles keeping in mind the low ground clearance Rick has to contend with. We slowly, methodically inch our way forward, pushing our way through overgrown scrub oak and other naturally occurring plant life. I'm ahead of Rick by the time I reach the bottom by a few minutes and turn into the campsite. Overgrown and waiting for a much needed clean up. I CB my companion to be watchful of the turn off to the left into the secluded campsite. I can see the lights of his Jeep beaming across the canyon lighting up the sides of the mountains with hues of green and brown. Totally awesome. Down and around Rick comes toward the campsite. 10:30 PM and we still have to set up camp. Eager to get started we clean up the fire ring and light some charcoal briquettes to start dinner. Meanwhile Rick is unraveling his tent. We manage the poles and erect the tent. We then throw in our clothing bags, sleeping bags and Rick sets up his cot. We relax.... have a couple cocktails and wait for the coals to whiten. We reminisce about our journey down the mountain, throw the sirloins on the grille and wait in anticipation of our tasty meal. We finally hit the hay after 1:00 AM. Memorial Weekend 2005 Day 2: A little video to keep your interests 2004 Four Wheeler of the Year. Be sure to have your player settings on MP3 to hear the music.