Robert Johnston

Trail Reviews: 400 points
Questions Answered: 50 points
Off-Road Experience:
6+ years
Off-Road Style:
Rock Crawling
My Garage:
  • 2004 Jeep Wrangler (2 door) (4.5" lift, 35" tires)
I run a East Valley Rockers, a Meetup group for Jeep trail rides. We also have an invite-only group for hardcore rock crawlers called Heavy Metal by East Valley Rockers. I'm an Arizona Native with a lifetime of off-roading in various forms. We offer some of the usual types of runs- easy trail rides for any Jeep and hard core rock crawling trails, but also add a twist as we sometimes have runs with expert consultants such as a Geologist or other AZ Desert experts. Our goal is to provide a great experience for everyone while challenging you to improve your skills or testing your and your Jeep's abilities. We don't expect you to be a mechanic or know everything about 4 wheeling, in fact we'd prefer to teach you the 'correct' way to enjoy this sport while respecting our natural wonder that is the Sonoran Desert and making sure your Jeep is ready to take you to work Monday morning. We are not a club or "clique-ish" in any way. Well, except we would very much rather you be driving a Jeep. Our runs are fee-based to limit those "joiners" that take up a spot on a trail ride yet have no intention of coming. You won't be waiting for a last minute cancellation at EV Rockers, nor will you be choking on the dust of 40 Jeeps in front of you. We offer added insurance in the form of a full range of recovery and safety equipment including satellite phone access in case of emergencies. All runs are carefully planned with equipment requirements carefully considered so you can decide if this run is right for you. TrailsOffRoad is our go-to resource for maps and trail reviews. Every Jeep group has it's own flavor, I hope you'll give us a try and see if we're the Jeep group for you. Robert.

My Garage (1)

2004 Jeep Wrangler (2 door)

Lift Size: 4.5"
Tire Size: 35"

My Trail Reviews (3)

(within last 6 months)
Highway To Hell (01/01/2021)
WOW! We ran this trail for New Years Day as a great way to say goodbye to 2020. It did not disappoint! Definitely the hardest trail we've done so far. We did not have to take any bypasses and rock stacking was minimal (and mostly useless). The waterfalls are awe-inspiring and take careful planning. Some were easier for my TJ, others were easier for Ryan's JKUR. He had to power out of some of the waterfalls while I opted to winch twice when my shorter wheelbase proved to be a detriment in some of the deeper holes. Ryan had to winch once. We did not sustain any body damage, Ryan had one tippy moment that a proper application of throttle solved, and I noticed a leaking rear axle seal after I got home. The diffs took a beating as the loose boulders between the waterfalls proved to be sneaky at moving right into the way of one or the other. I would not place this trail in the buggy only category but I do not see winching as a failure- just another tool in the toolbox. Definitely for properly set up Jeeps only with capable experienced spotters and trusting drivers.
Sunflower Mine Loop (12/26/2020)
7 Rockers ran this challenging trail today and successfully made it through with only one winching required. This trail is extra challenging for anything long wheelbase such as a Gladiator or Taco. I would not attempt this solo without a full complement of recovery gear. Thanks to some very capable spotters we were able to get a non-lockered JKU through, also thanks to a calm driver with great throttle control. Slow and steady should be your mantra and the most obvious line is not necessarily the best one. More often than not I found that driving up the mountain face put you in the best position for the right angle to the next boulder. Bridge is open and Ice cream truck is still there. With three long breaks and one recovery this trail took us 7 hours. Depending on the size of your group I would add to the expected time. The area was VERY dry so I would be extra careful with campfires or parking positions with hot catalytic convertors. Luckily this area is still open after this Summer's devastating fired. East of Hwy 87 including Mt. Ord is still closed as are areas South such as Sycamore Creek and Log Corral. There was no water in the creek at this time.
Log Corral Trail (12/24/2020)
It's being reported by another member of East Valley Rockers that the gate to this trail is currently closed and locked as of 12/24/2020.