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2009 X
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm starting my search for some places to take the Foz out and play in the dirt. I've gotten it in the dirt quite a bit as my job gives me access to some local areas that the general public does not have access to, however I can't just go out on the trails for fun on the weekend.

Some of my fondest memories from my childhood was running around in the dirt in our wagon and Im looking at sharing the same experience with my wife and daughter. Im planning a trip out to Carrizo Plain National Monument and also out to Death Valley but I'm looking for some Southern California offroad and "soft road" spots to go have fun with the family.

Anyone have any suggestions?
 

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2003 Forester
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7 Posts
Toyman321,

Welcome to So Cal Subie off-roading :)

There are actually a lot of places to drive on dirt roads, trails, and off road in the area. Especially in the San Bernardino Mountains and the Mojave. I've covered a lot of them by dirt bike and more recently by Forester. I don't fall down quite as much in the Foz and I've gotten too old to heal fast.

One place that is close to where you live is the Hungry Valley Off Road area near Gorman. A search on the web should turn it up with directions. For more scenic and adventurous destinations, the national forests have a lot of dirt roads some of which are quite challenging, some easy.

From personal experience, its much better to go with another car or two in case of unplanned stops (I won't say I've ever gotten stuck, but if I did, it would be nice to have someone with a rescue strap) or having too many flat tires or mechanical problems - many or most of these roads go to areas that have very little if any traffic, so getting rescued could be a problem. A satellite phone or emergency beacon would be nice too.

I'm thinking of heading up to Hungry Valley with my Forester and a friend with her Xterra to see how well my new tires do in the dirt - maybe we could rendezvous there or do some other dirt driving some day.

I have thought about trying to get together a bunch of Forester and/or other light-duty vehicles to do group runs. I belong to a group called the Mojave Desert Explorers, but they're more set up for Jeeps and the like. I've always imagined that there must be more people with Foresters in So Cal besides me that would like to do runs with other people in the area, but I'm not an organizational type so I'm hoping that someone else would be interested in the idea and might help with organizing.

Anyway, I'll be happy to share my knowledge of driving areas - the easiest would be to look at a map book and point out the roads I'm familiar with.

If you want to email me, put Subaru in the subject line so I won't think its junk mail.

Hank Murdoch
[email protected]
PS -
I have a 2003 Forester with a 1" lift + another 1/2 inch from oversize diameter tires and the mother of all skid plates ;-) I can't emphasize too much the value of a skid plate even if you don't intend to do very challenging driving - the peace of mind of knowing that you aren't likely to get stranded or do very expensive damage to the low hanging exhaust and catalysts is well worth the expense.
 

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09 Forester Limited
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184 Posts
I have been to Death valley quite a few times with my 4x4 traveling in a group. there are many trails that are Subie friendly. The road out to the racetrack is perfect. My wife has an interest in wildflowers so I took her to the 100 year bloom in Death valley and there were a lot of Subies out there.
Carrizo Plain is also a good bet especially if there is no rain in the forecast. that place turns into a teflon slick mud track with a slight rain.
Don't overlook Bodie the Ghost town state park and it's destroyed sister city of Aurora. The Bodie - Aurora Road is doable with a skid plate and heavy duty tires. I bring a GPS, maps, compressor, tire repair kit, extra fuses, snatch strap, CB, first aid kit, E-tool, axe, weapons, plenty of water cell phones and food.
 
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