CRAWLING BIG IN TEXAS
Everything is bigger in Texas they say, and even some of the rocks are bigger! From MILD to WILD, Wolf Caves is Texas rockcrawling at it’s best!
I had the chance to attend the Yukon Gear & Axle 2019 CRAWL Magazine Readers Ride, Rolling on BF Goodrich Tires, featuring Trails Magazine. This is their 10th Annual and was being held at Wolf Caves in Mason, Texas May 10-12.
Mason Texas and Wolf Caves is about 4 hours from my house in Odessa, and the same if driving from Dallas or Houston and then Austin and San Antonio are only about 2.5 hours away.
Directions from the Wolf Caves web site:
“Wolf Caves, LLC is a privately-owned ranch with 430 acres of very unique granite outcropping located in the western edge of the beautiful Texas Hill Country. We have miles of trails that are accessible to a practically stock jeep and miles of trails that are suitable for more modified jeeps.
We have many trails that will challenge even the heavily modified rock crawler. ATVs, UTVs, and motorcycles are not allowed on the property. We are located 8 miles west of the town of Mason. We’ve really got some great trails for all levels of drivers and vehicles. So, make your way up to Wolf Caves, LLC you never know what you might find!”
Use this Google Maps link to see locations and create directions: https://goo.gl/maps/85mbCGCJ1qy
The trails are well marked with the paint color on the rocks of the trail you are on. This helps keep people on the respective trail that they want to be on. The newest trails are the purple trails that they keep adding to the park.
I headed out Friday afternoon from home in the rain and hail. Thankfully not golf ball sized or larger that can be common here in West Texas. It took me almost 4 hours to get there because of the rain. The weather folks could not make up their mind all weekend and had rain Friday night and off and on during the ride on Saturday.
After my camp was setup with the tent on the trailer to stay out of the dirt and mud for the coming rain, I headed up to main camp to check things out. I had a chance to talk to John Herrick, owner of Crawl Magazine for a little while. He said he had over 200 rigs registered for the event even with the rain and it being Mother’s Day weekend.
Dinner on Friday night was provided by BFGoodrich Tires and I had a chance to talk tires with Tim Cromer of BFG. He had his well setup Jeep JK running on 37” BFG KM3’s. This is one well setup rig that Tim hauls around the country representing BFG. He has lots of miles on his KM3’s and they still look great.
Saturday breakfast was provided Trails Magazine of breakfast burritos. I saw a few other folks I knew from other adventures and talked trails and tires with them. Dave from Brave Motorsports of Houston had brought up his sweet looking Jeep JK to wheel with the group.
The plan for Saturday trail ride was to run one of the moderate runs lead by the folks from Tribe 16 (#jointhetribe.) They did a great job keeping the group together and stopping often to allow folks to take pictures. They took the group past some of the harder obstacles in the park where we got to watch others showing off some great trail and race rigs playing in the best that Wolf Caves has to offer.
The weather did not disappoint for Texas as we had rain during different parts of the day and trail ride. This made for some slick rocks as we ran through mud and dirt prior to some of the moderately steep climbs that we had to do. The rocks here though offered lots of grip even while being wet.
The BFG KM2’s on my Jeep did an excellent job and kept us moving all day with no issues. Have to love our BFG tires. Like I mentioned, these rocks offered lots of grip like the granite that we were used to in the California Sierra Nevada mountains, though they are lighter when the same size. These rocks will move easier than the granite rocks of Cali.
Some of the new trails at Wolf Caves are buggy only with rear steer. Very tight and narrow draws that require excellent driver skill and buggy abilities.
If you want to ever attend an event that has something for everyone, this is one of those types of events. You could go with an organized group like I did, or just go play in the park. John and the crew at Crawl Magazine did an excellent job organizing this event. I do think next year John is going to move it to someplace else. I did hear of the possible new location, though I will not reveal it here as things are not set in stone yet for that location.
I loaded up Friday night and headed home as more rain was in the forecast, and I was able to get home to take my lovely wife out for lunch on Sunday, Mother’s Day.
I would highly recommend attending a Crawl Readers Ride if you have one close. John and the crew get local groups involved that know the trails to lead the less experienced around on the trails. This event had three meals included for the event price of $99.00 and I thought that was an excellent bargain for my money. This saved me from having to haul food and cooking equipment with me.
Even with the weather being a little bit of a detractor for the weekend, I would give this event a 5 out of 5 Jeep rating.
Great Job Crawl Magazine 😊