The King of the Hammers in Southern California is always on our calendar and this year was no different. It shouldn’t matter if it’s dusty, cold, and muddy. If you’re an off-road racing fan or just a truck enthusiast, this is one event that you have to experience. We rolled through on Monday to get a quick hit before the huge crowds made their way to Hammertown and the surrounding areas. Be aware that this year, before you can get into Hammertown, you will need to provide proof that you’ve recently tested negative for COVID-19, or optionally you can take one at the entrance. Anything outside of Hammertown doesn’t require a COVID-19 test, but wearing masks and social distancing must be practiced at all times as precautions to prevent spreading the coronavirus.

We took our COVID-19 tests at the entrance and clumsily shoved the swabs in our nostrils, poked our brains, put the swab into a solution, and then put a couple of drops into a stick that would tell you if you are positive or negative within a few minutes. We showed our test results at the gate, got our wristbands, and off we went to explore Hammertown.

A slew of vendors was out displaying, and most notably, Ford was out there showing off the new Bronco. It was apparent that the colossal booth showcasing Ford’s new bucking stallion is a part of their big marketing push to dethrone the Jeep Wrangler as off-roading’s king of the hill. The new Bronco also looks like it will be a fun adventure rig that would have no trouble with all sorts of terrain. Ford also unveiled their trio of 4400 unlimited class Broncos with KOH Champions Loren Healy and Jason Scherer and Vaughn Gittin, Jr. So, a visit to Hammertown is your chance to get up close and personal with the most anticipated new off-road rig. We can’t wait to test one out on the trails later this year.

The most anticipated nighttime event of the week showcases some of the most insane rock crawling and bouncing on the West Coast. The Holley EFi Shootout presented by King and Action Sports Canopies draws thousands of fans from Hammertown and the surrounding encampments to Chocolate Thunder to watch these purpose-built rigs go over terrain that you would never imagine a vehicle going through. Pictures and video don’t do this event justice and it’s something you need to experience in person. But, check it out here:

The King of the Hammers is a weeklong frenzy of desert racing, rock crawling and bouncing, camping, and having a good time with friends and family at Means Dry Lake in Johnson Valley — it started on Jan. 28 and continues through Feb. 6. Check out their site for all the info. www.ultra4racing.com