Trail Hero 2018: Tale of the Double Sammy Trail Ride
Story and Photos by Don McNeilly
Originally Published in Issue 24 of 4Low Magazine
If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend the Trail Hero Event, I highly recommend it. The event is located at the Sand Hollow State Park in Hurricane, Utah. It is a fantastic, family-friendly event that focuses on helping our Military Veterans.
Every day the event starts off with a guided trail ride on trails from mild to wild. Trail ride participants are encouraged to donate a seat to a Veteran with physical or mental disabilities. The intent is to allow others who would not be able to navigate the trails on their own the ability to enjoy the thrill and beauty that off-roading at Sand Hollow State Park offers.
Sand Hollow has some of the best rock crawling trails in the country along with some gorgeous coral colored sand dunes.
This year after stopping by to see all the extreme machines lining up for the trail rides I took off to one of my favorite trails, Double Sammy. Double Sammy is close to the entrance tunnel, just up the sand dunes on the left-hand side. My first impression of the first rock obstacle was, “wow, that’s steep.” This year it was even more of a challenge, a huge rainstorm came in the day before, so the wet and sandy rocks become a factor in rock climbing on the steep rocky trail. Traction now became a bit more difficult.
There were two Toyota FJ Cruisers on the run that morning and I was pulling for them to have a good showing since I own one as well. When the first one started up the climb it looked good but the wet and sandy rocks proved to be a factor with the traction and sent him back down the hill.
On another attempt and with some additional effort and wheel speed, he was able to make it up the slippery climb.
The other FJ wasn’t quite as lucky. He tried a few times and was sent back down the hill. Frustrated he nailed the throttle, with the front tires in the air as he was determined to make it to the top. He did finally make it but it was at the expense of his rear diff as it popped and was leaking as he came to a stop. Luckily, he was able to get back off the trail with some help and limped back to the vendor area.
Watching the different vehicles make their way up the steep, slippery climb was very entertaining as they all made it one after the other.
Even the ladies got into the action and did a great job. It’s always nice to see the whole family get involved in the sport of four-wheeling.
One of the cool things about Double Sammy is there are multiple lines and the obstacles just keep coming one after the other which makes it that much more of a blast to run. There is no time to get bored.
This trail winds its way through the rocks and climbs to the top where there is a well-known obstacle called “The Chute”. It is very steep with a ledge at the top and if you don’t straddle the start of the chute just right you will slip into the crack. This nice red Jeep made it look easy as he made it up the chute in one shot.
There was a good crowd watching. The next in line was a new JL Jeep Wrangler.
Unfortunately, the JL fell victim to the slippery sandy rocks and possibly a wrong line and his new Jeep fell into the crack on the driver’s side. The guide and participants worked together to make sure the driver was ok first and foremost. They helped get the Jeep out of the crack with minimal damage by putting another Jeep at the top with a winch to pull the JL forward, out of the crack, and back down the “Chute.”.
Get your reservations now for accommodations for next year’s Trail Hero event, dates have been announced as October 1st – 5th at Sand Hollow State Park and the surrounding area near Hurricane, Utah. www.thetrailhero.com