Ever wanted to venture to Area 51? The Raptor Offroad Community made a second trip to the area that does not exist.. Or does it. See the images and recap of this amazing event.
In May 2017, Raptor Offroad Community embarked on it’s second trip to Area 51. This was a sold out event starting and ending in Las Vegas, Nevada. For those of us brave enough to attend, we were treated to some of the best trails in Nevada and some amazing sights.
Chapter 1 – Alien Hunter
Meeting early in the morning, we made the 30 mile caravan to the trail head. This was the closest point to Las Vegas we could get in order to start the trip. Our group was made up of Ford Raptors, Dodge Rams from the DTX forum, Tacomas and a F150 4link. At the trail head we aired down and got ready to go. Raully M. would lead us out on the trail while the camera and photo team blazed ahead to document the group.
Within 5 miles of starting, the Area 51 weirdness began. One of the trucks lost its steering. This was not a pump failure, but rather it was the bolt that holds the steering shaft together. Luckily, no one was hurt and it was a quick 10 minute fix. The rest of us blazed on past the camera and drone spot.
The first adventure section we found was a silt bed where we had to keep the power down. Some of the dust was so fine it acted like water splashing over the hood of the trucks.
Our next regroup point was Carol Dunes, just past the silt beds. Here we had a little dune trail fun. Of course, one or two trucks parked in deep sand so we had to rescue them. After saving a few trucks, we hit the next section of trail, which was as close to Area 51 as you can legally get. Here, if we made one wrong turn, we would have found ourselves flying down one of the many roads that are not marked and we would have likely been meet by the men in black with lots of guns. Fortunately, this time around we all stayed on the right path and we all made it safely to the fuel stop.
Our mid-day lunch stop was at what could be called an oasis in the desert. With the only fuel for miles around and shaded seating, this was a great place to relax. We appeared to be the sight to see, as we received strange looks from passers-by, probably wondering what all these desert trucks with decals were up to.
After lunch we made our way to the Area 51 research center. Here you could buy your Area 51 gear and you could try to see an alien in the science lab. After escaping, I mean departing the research center, we headed up and over the mountain, past the secret Area 51 mine (which we did not have time to see) and stopped at the Little A’Le’Inn for some drinks. Here, Area 51 strangeness struck again. Mysterious forces intervened, causing one truck to have to bow out for the remainder of the trip. No one was hurt, but sadly, the truck would not be able to continue the run. After getting the group back together, we headed to the Black Gate to give the guards a little razzing. However, as we arrived, the guards jumped into their infamous white Raptors and headed over the hill as not to be photographed.
Since we could not have any fun with the guards, we simply took a few pictures and then continued on to our overnight stop. Making fast work of the next section of trails, we quickly made it to the air force base on the north side of Area 51. Here we decided to call it a day, as we had been delayed significantly with all the Area 51 weirdness. Had we chose to complete the trails planned for the day, we would not have arrived to the hotel until very late into the night. Therefore, we decided to fast track the 30 miles to town for food and cold beers.
Chapter 2 – Attack of the truck
After a good night’s sleep and a hot breakfast, we started the trek back to Las Vegas. Heading out, we hit one of the first canyon sections of the day. This fast trail with drift turns and whoops led to a valley trail that was equally fun. Before regrouping for the next leg, our photography crew photographed us flying across a lake bed section and doing a few extra morning donuts.
Section two was all about twists and turns. Moving in and out of a Joshua Tree forest, the trails were mostly open. There were a few times, however, that we had to suck it in to pass the larger trees. Exiting the forest, we hit a flat, open section where the only speed limit was your limiter or right foot. These high speed fun trails led us to a special stop at Gold Point, NV. This town, with the huge population size of 5, still looks like it did 60 years ago. Well, most of it does anyway. There were a few modern cars spotted around town. Needless to say, our large group of offroad trucks stood out. Grabbing a few drinks at the local bar, we headed off for a great hill climb section before descending into the first of two lake beds.
With a quick stop for a group photo at an old mine, we then moved to the “jump.” This was a section with two jumps in a row. Setting up the drone and cameras, we all took turns getting air time. After a few people took an extra pass, we headed down to the lake bed. Just before reaching the lake bed, we found a section with two trails side by side. Here, a few people had a friendly competition of who was faster. Eventually, the dust spoiled the fun, becoming too thick to continue racing.
Our lunch stop was in Beatty, where we were able to relax a bit and enjoy an ice cream cone. Making sure everyone got fuel, we then headed to the next section of trail. This section of trail allowed us to drive flat out as it led us to Devils Hole, which is the start of the Death Valley aquifer system. This water cistern is the only location Pupfish live in the entire world.
The last part of the day started with a stop at a 7 mile lake bed. Here we were able to run flat out, do donuts and other shenanigans. While here, the ladies on the trip decided to do a race to 100 mph. So, kicking the boys out of the trucks, they all lined up for the Lady of The Lake drag race. After a two mile sprint, the Gen 2 Raptor was out in front with the supercharge 5.4 screaming close behind.
Leaving the lake we did the last main section of trail. Known as Baja Run, this 12 mile section was fast, fun and amazing. At the next junction, half of us made the turn to fast track it to the hotel, while the other half of us went to run an unexplored trail. The new trail started out fast and fun, but ended with a rocky section that took us all the way to the exit point.
After a fun day on the trail, everyone made it back to the hotel for dinner and a well-deserved frosty beverage.