Jon Houchin

4400

My Profile

Year Started:
1972
Off-Road Style:
Dirt Roads/Backroads
My Garage:
  • 2020 Jeep Wrangler (2 door) (Stock lift, 35" tires)
  • 2019 Ford Ranger (3.5" lift, 34" tires)

My Garage (2)

2020 Jeep Wrangler (2 door)

Lift Size: Stock
Tire Size: 35"

2019 Ford Ranger

Lift Size: 3.5"
Tire Size: 34"

My Trail Reviews (13)

(within last 6 months)
Backway to Crown King, Arizona (11/11/2022)
We ran the tail with 4 diverse vehicles; my Ranger, a stock Ranger Tremor, a stock, non-TRD 4-runner, and a JLUR on 35"s with a winch. The recent rains made the trail much more difficult. The Jeep and my Ranger made it unassisted with only minor body damage to my Ranger. The rock hump/ledge (picture of my buddies Ranger) after the waterfall required winching of his Ranger and the 4-Runner. The left turn 1000' so past that spot did the damage to my Ranger and required the winch line again for the other Ranger and the 4-Runner. We camped right before way-point 25, overnight temps were in the low 20's. much of the trail past way point 15 is more washed out than the pictures show.
7463 and 7465 (10/27/2022)
Ran this tail in the Ford Ranger. The spots where the trail dips into the washes, like Way Point 2, were very washed out even with 12"- 24" drops and rises (these will get smoothed out with use but I was the second tire tracks on the trail since the rains). Additionally the flora on the trail has grown tremendously due to recent rainfall so pinstriping is going to happen. The part of the trail between Way Points 7 and 8 that runs though the wash bottom is extremely rocky with no sand, the rocks roll under the tires creating a fluid driving sensation. The trail was more challenging than expected but that's a good thing.
Rockhouse Cabin (10/22/2022)
Ran this tail in the Ford Ranger in the opposite direction. Way Point 11 was done up-hill rather than down and is much more eroded than indicated in the pictures. The spots where the trail dips into the washes are washed out with 12"- 24" drops and rises (these will get smoothed out with use but I was the second tire tracks on the trail since the rains). Additionally the flora on the trail has grown tremendously due to recent rainfall so pinstriping is going to happen. The trail was good fun and the views are worth the effort. The mine entrance is blocked with bat-bars so no more exploring.
McCracken Mine Road (10/22/2022)
Ran the trail in the Ford Ranger, It was more washed out on this date than the recent rains but sill a easy trail. Its wide so even a full size should be good with no pin-stripping. I did continue past the end of the trail on, I believe 7460, for another mile or two. There are some very narrow spots due to wash-outs and overgrowth, an above grade cattle guard, and then a wash out that, since I was alone, decided not to attempt. I didn't pay much attention tot he side trails, I'll explore those the next time.
Old Alamo Road (10/22/2022)
Took this trail as an alternate to Alamo Road in the Ford Ranger. I was fooled by the wash noted at Way Point 10 which ends in a half mile or so in a 15' water fall, there is a small two-track to the left that takes you back to the trail. Way point 11 had many recent wash-outs where the downhill rear tire was dragged across very deep wash outs, I'd not recommend this trail to any vehicle with a longer wheel base than a mid-sized pick-up or to any full size due to these wash outs.
Loves Camp (10/22/2022)
No idea what Love's camp was, I'd like to know the history as well. I used this a connector from Old Alamo to Maggie's Slot Canyon, so opposite the track indicated here. It was recently graded and a smooth ride (better than some paved roads). I took the side trail at Way Point 3 towards the lake which ends in a small camp site with fire ring. Just off this side trail is the down-stream end of Maggie's Slot wash (picture is at the end of the wash).
Maggie's Slot Canyon (10/22/2022)
Ran this South-North in the Ford Ranger and, at least from that direction, is the longest vehicle you could get through way point 15. The front bumper "kissed " the wall (no damage) on the passengers side and the rock slider was less than an inch form the wall on the driver's side. Stopped for lunch in the shade of one of the side canyons, very peaceful and quiet. Hiked one of the side canyons, it still had a good amount of water in it and was completely shaded at noon time. A truly beautiful trail that pictures and video don't due Justice to.
4S21 - Indian Mountain (08/06/2022)
This could be my new favorite trail in Southern California. I ran the trail from the south (up hill) solo in the jeep to see if the vehicles in the small group I lead could do the trail. I wouldn't lead anyone on this trail without 33's and 1 locker for short wheelbases and 35's and 1 locker on longer wheelbases. I don't think I would do this trail north to south in the jeep (2-door) without a spotter.
4S01 - Black Mountain (08/06/2022)
Great trial to escape the heat, it was over 100 in Hemet but 68 at 7,500'. The trail up through waypoint 7 is more like a road and could be driven in the family sedan. Past waypoint 7 was much less busy and more trail-like, it included some mild off-camber, loose rocks, and small steps but still very easy. Chatted with some dual-sport motorcyclists at the end of the trail and a couple F250, crew cab, long bed truck drivers on the way back out, everyone was enjoying the trail. There are some truly spectacular views, great rocks to climb, and beautiful conifer forests. A relaxing drive and lunch in Idyllwild afterward made a great trip.
5S07 - Bee Canyon (08/06/2022)
Ran the trail in the Jeep for access from pavement to San Jacinto Ridge and Indian Mountain trail. Went past one group of target shooters in the first mile but saw no other vehicles. pretty easy trail, it could be done in 2WD, I used 4WD HI so I could disconnect the sway bar.
5S09 - San Jacinto Ridge (08/06/2022)
I drove the first half of the trail (Bee Canyon to Indian Mountain) and saw no one. pretty easy trail with some great views. I'll go back and do the other half next time.
1N54 - Clarks Grade (07/16/2022)
My wife and I took this trail in the Jeep as a "short cut" to Big Bear for lunch and some sight seeing. I have driven the trail a few times in the past and was a bit disappointed this time. most of the rocks have been pushed to the sides, the rough spot at waypoint 6 has been graded and was done in 4wheel high but could have easily been done in 2wd in the Jeep. The downed tree mentioned in another review is way off the trail now. There are still some narrow spots with massive drop offs, especially for a full size at night. Still great views and cooler weather at the top.
Gearhart to Warrenton (06/30/2022)
We ran the beach, North to South, from Gearhart and back at a fairly low tide and it was open all the way to the jetty at the north. The sand from the end of the pavement to the wet sand was extremely soft and deep, we didn't air-down so some speed was needed to get through. were able to "drive through" the ship wreck which was cool and saw a few Bald Eagles. There were many varying rigs on the beach from monster 1-ton crew cab diesels to AWD mini-vans. If you are in the area and have a 4wd or even AWD vehicle, go experience beach driving.