Hollister Hills SVRA
Brian M.

Hollister Hills August 18, 2007, by Brian McMinn

What started out as an excuse to take my father, Wayne, four-wheeling turned into a great day at Hollister Hills for six of us. It was a good turnout for such short notice. My dad and I made it to the ranger station in my Wrangler before 10:00 and aired down while we waited for the others. Brian Geranin and Richard Yung showed up in Brian’s Rubicon. Ron Frey came out in his recently lifted Unlimited Rubicon to flex the suspension and see how it works. For a special treat, Brian’s brother, Mat, brought his brand new (didn’t have plates) ’07 Wrangler Sahara. It was his first trip driving off-road.

We started out playing at the obstacle course. Ron made an attempt at Squeeze Rock and left a little paint. From there we moved over to the ravine at the bottom of Truck Hill. Mat was a little concerned about damaging his new Jeep but we were able to coax him into the ravine with Brian spotting.

We took the Fremontia Road to Hector Heights for lunch. Mat had a tense moment on the way up when his right-front wheel dropped into a hole which got him sideways on a hill. We assured him it wasn’t as bad as it felt. Brian, Richard, and Ron took the White Rock trail to the top while Mat, my dad and I took the easy route. The weather was perfect, sunny but not too hot. We enjoyed the view while eating.

After lunch we went down to Bonanza Gulch to play. Mat paralleled us on the easy trail as Brian and Richard, My dad and I, and Ron worked our way up the Gulch. I got into a tough spot where I didn’t know if I would make it out without going into the wall. After numerous different attempts, the Jeep came out unscathed. It was getting late in the day so we exited Bonanza Gulch to head back. Brian, Richard and Mat started for home while Ron, my dad and I stuck around the obstacle course for a while.

The park rangers had recently added a new obstacle at the bottom of the rutted bowl south of the obstacle course. It is short with a couple of rock lined water holes. The surrounding hillsides are now fenced off and erosion control has been applied. We met a few of the park rangers, including Chief Ranger, Jeff Gaffney. They came out to see how the new obstacle held up. We discussed some of the trail management concerns at the park. Jeff asked us to contact him with any suggestions we might have (jgaffney@parks.ca.gov).

We were on our way out but there was still time for one good deed. Ron helped pull a ’07 Unlimited Wrangler out of the Mud Pit. They were some novice drivers who got in over their head. Overall it was a great day at Hollister. Thanks to all who came out to show my father the off-road!



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