This weekend, from March 3rd to 5th, 2017, is the 55th installment of the Tierra del Sol Desert Safari off-roading event. The annual event is organized by the Tierra del Sol Four Wheel Drive Club at Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area in the Southern California desert. In addition to the Tierra del Sol Four Wheel Drive Club’d members, most of the other four wheel drive clubs in Southern California, and other unaffiliated folks (like us) show up as well.
The event brings in thousands of people to descend upon Ocotillo Wells with their RVs, tents, and tricked out wheeling rigs to camp for a few nights under the stars and seek thrills while driving over things. There are a number of organized four-wheel drive runs, which vary in difficulty and capability depending on your skill-level and vehicle capabilities. There are also many folks which informally organize their own runs with their club, or venture out on their own. In addition, there is an organized vendor area, and a raffle for over a $150,000 in gear on Saturday night, which is followed by a massive fireworks display.
Desert Safari Relocation
The Desert Safari event, is back at it’s previous home this year near the Truckhaven obstacle course. Last year the event was officially forced to relocate to the nearby Native American reservation after being unable to secure a permit because of environmental concerns. This year, those concerns have been settled by California Fish and Game Commission.
The irony of the whole debacle is that it only forced the Desert Safari headquarters to move, every one still camped out in the same spot near Truckhaven in Ocotillo Wells.
How to Attend Desert Safari
This event is one of our favorite four-wheeling events, and we try and attend each year. Generally, the people you meet are good folks out to have a good time, and you cannot beat camping under the stars out here.
Tierra del Sol Desert Safari, is located near the Truckhaven four-wheel drive training course (its really more of an obstacle course) in Ocotillo Wells SVRA. The location is on State Park road 22 (S-22). This is 23 miles east of Christmas Circle in the town of Borrego Springs, CA on S-22 or 3.0 miles west of State Highway 86. The GPS coordinates for the location are 33.261429 N – -116.013350 W
The cost to participate in the organized runs is $55 per vehicle, with all proceeds going to benefit keeping our Public Lands open. There is no fee to camp at Ocotillo Wells or neighboring Anza-Borrego State Park. More information on the event can be found here.