Starting Rock Crawling – 02/17/24


Class Location: Johnson Valley, California

If the class is full, please contact us to get your name on the list as a back-up. Spots occasionally open before the class date.

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Class Location: Johnson Valley, California

This clinic is specifically designed to get you on-the-rocks! The clinic makes use of trails with a high rock content. If you plan to do the famous Rubicon Trail, you should try to sign up for all the Rock Driving Clinic dates. You can sign up for the Rock clinic even if you are not planning to do the Rubicon.

The Rock Driving Clinic is held in Johnson Valley. The objective of the Rock Driving Clinic is to increase your comfort in dealing with rocks, rocks and more rocks. This is a day with the coaching of an experienced guide and the help of fellow travelers.

You will gain new confidence with the capabilities of your vehicle and your skill in dealing with rocks.

The Rock Clinic is designed for beginning rock crawling. While we use some quite difficult trails in the clinic, our pace, our emphasis on careful wheel placement, our coaching and spotting makes it a great learning experience for new or first timers.

The clinic is open to everyone who wants to practice or do the trail again. The second time over the same trail, you are much more relaxed. You begin to pick up on nuances missed the first time. The more times you engage rocks, the more comfortable you will be.

There is no substitute for practice. The local rock trails will give you plenty of feedback on how modifications you made work and what other modifications you might still need to make to your vehicle. Even if you will not drive the famous Rubicon trail this year, you can benefit from the Rock Clinics.

Vehicle Requirements: 

  • You need a stock SUV or 4WD vehicle with 4 low range capability
  • Recovery points front and rear.
  • FRS radio for communications.
  • Rock rails are highly recommended, without them you risk rocker panel damage. Side steps do not count as rock rails and are not recommended.
  • All vehicles can expect some “pinstriping” from the trail side bushes. Vehicle damage is possible but not likely. If you or your vehicle is not ready for the Rock Driving Clinic, you should sign up for the Advanced Beginner Clinic It will help you learn to pick lines without the higher risks of damage on the big rocks.
  • All wheel drive vehicles that do not have a 2 speed transfer case are not appropriate for the class. Two examples of vehicles that are not appropriate for the class include Subaru Forester and the Honda Ridgeline.

The class is limited to 10 vehicles.

Recommended Items To Bring:

  • Winch
  • Spare Parts for your vehicle
  • If you plan to do the Rubicon trail, load it up with all the gear for the Rubicon. You will find out how the vehicle handles with the load you plan on carrying across the Rubicon Trail. You might call it a shake down for your gear too!


“Tom and his team provide useful information such as the amount of steady torque needed when ascending or descending an obstacle, picking a line, when to “bump” it over and when to back up and try a different approach.

The obstacles we drove over were challenging, but he set up warm- up exercises to help us get used to navigating rocky areas. Tom and his team provided support and encouragement; they acted as spotters when needed and more importantly, urged us to do recon and pick our own lines.

I think I can safely speak for the group by saying that during this class we drove up/down/over some rocks that we thought there was no way ANYONE could or would drive over. All and all it was an informative, well supported day of adrenaline charged fun!
Lori Palmer, Co-Founder, Editor and Adventurer
The Adventure Portal

“Badlands Off-Road Adventures’ Beginning Rock Driving Clinic is the perfect way to step up to a more challenging level of off-roading, safely.”

We had no idea that any vehicle could have gone over a trail like that the way we did. Normally we would have been very skeptical of doing something like this. OK – not just skeptical, how about, No way. Taking this class with an experienced trainer like Tom with his expertise, gave us a confidence I never thought possible, especially over a trail like this. The trail was rough, tough, nasty and scary, testing all of your abilities. It is hard to explain what this has done for us for our future jeep adventures. The only thing we can say it is Priceless. It’s a must for all who enjoy going out on the trails. Mark my words, you will not be disappointed.
Darlene, Mongo & Julian

Satisfaction Guarantee
If you are not satisfied and do not feel you received good value for your money and time, send us an email explaining why and the full price of the class will be refunded, no questions asked.
You may keep all handouts as our apology.

We charge per person including passengers since we feel everyone attending, riding, watching, etc. learns a great deal.
( Badlands Off-Road Adventures Terms & Policies )

Vehicles For Rent – Contact us for information on available vehicles for rent.

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