U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Hill Climbs and Sand Drags at Dumont
The line was drawn in the sand on Presidents Day Weekend at Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Area … as to who could climb Banshee Hill the highest, the fastest -- and the slowest. More than 30 participants from the Las Vegas Jeep Club competed in the hill climbs on Saturday, celebrating the annual event for the 40th time.
To help speed up interest in the competition near the end of the day, the participants actually slowed down… w-a-y down… to a "Snail-Race" in which participants go as slow as possible but must maintain constant motion up the hill. The last one up the hill is crowned the winner. Saturday night consisted of a potluck and video show celebrating "The Big 40" with a tribute to the Pioneers of Sand Racing at Dumont Dunes OHV Area. (text continues below)
With nice sunny weather on Sunday morning, participants moved from the hill climbs to the sand drags on the flat terrain at the base of Banshee Hill.. Spectators lined up to watch sand fly high during the drag races, as participants in high-horse-powered vehicles competed for the best time down the 100 yard track.
Awards were given out for the hill climbs and sand drags, as well as best engineered vehicle, best appearing, a hard luck award, a fools award, and a longest distance travelled award.
The Las Vegas Jeep Club was formed in the mid-1960s by various off-road enthusiasts, some of them members of the Sheriff's Jeep Posse. As popularity of the club grew over the next several years, the club opened the competition up to all four-wheel drive vehicles, not just Jeeps. Because the majority of the vehicles are modified with bigger tires, modified chassis, and high-horse-powered engines, the vehicles are not street legal, which drew the club to Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Area.
Presidents Day Weekend is the unofficial end of the riding season at Dumont, as temperatures can exceed 120 degrees F in the summer. Dumont Dunes is located approximately 35 miles north of Baker, California on Highway 127, adjacent to Death Valley National Park.
- Rusty Gates, outdoor recreation planner, BLM Barstow Office (Feb. 22, 2012)