There’s something about the American southwest that’s enchanting. Varied terrain, climates, vistas as far as the eye can see, it spans from California thru to Texas, with some of the world’s great natural wonders in between. A few years back, I took a road trip with some friends to the Eastern Sierra mountains just west of Bishop, CA, and took a lonely trail deep into the wilderness. This was the start of the off-road journey.

  • Cars: 2008 Toyota Tundra, 2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD, 2010 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
  • Location: Bishop, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (IG + Twit @Chrishasacamera)
  • Camera: iPhone 7

We took this trip right after we graduated high school, as a de facto grad trip. We planned out a good spot deep in the wilderness with a single-track trail, my dad funded some new KO2 tires so our 2WD Tundra could actually have a shot at making the trip, and we loaded up our brace of dirt bikes and a quad so we could have some fun around camp. It was poised to be good and fun, and it was!

The trip up was smooth sailing, and the trail outside of Bishop was the perfect difficulty (if a little on the high side) for the Tundra. I certainly had to use momentum for a lot of obstacles, but it did it… with a few extra dents underneath. It was an incredible high sierra trail with unbelievable views and a good mix of obstacles and steep climbs. We even forded a small river before we reached the inland valley where we made camp.

Though the bikes were not tuned for the 10,000-foot altitude of the place. The next morning, we fired them up and rode them, but they wouldn’t rev out well. We could still cruise them, so we did, up to 11,000 feet above sea level where the bikes had zero power and we got stopped by a snowbank. It’s a trip I’ve wanted to repeat for years. Maybe it’s time in 2021!

As big as we could get it:

This Scene Always Reminds Me How Great a Good Off-Road Trip Can Be