Johnson Valley is home to some of the best rockcrawling trails in California. There are several hammer trails, including Claw Hammer, Jack Hammer, and Sledge Hammer. In July, Brad Kilby of Onboard Air hit Sledge Hammer with his brother, Charles in his TJ-7. Along for the ride was Jim Johnson in his yellow CJ-7 and Mike Duncan and Dennis Hogue from Four X Doctor.
Sleghammer is approximately 3/4 of a mile long and consists mostly of large, sharp rocks. It's constant hardcore rockcrawling without much relief anywhere along the way.
Some folks can drive the trail in only an hour. However, depending on breakage, experience, and size of the group, others may take all day.
Brad says "If you come out unscathed, consider yourself lucky. If you do the trail without any sidewall punctures, you're doing pretty good. Expect breakage. Be glad when you don't break anything."
To run Sledge Hammer, you'll need at least 33" tires and dual lockers. Brad says a few guys with limited slips in the front have made it through, but it depends on the driver and the condition of the trail.
If you make it out to Sledge Hammer, be sure to check out the mailbox at the end of the trail. Drop in a card, a club sticker, or look inside for someone else's. You might just find a local shop to fix what you broke on the way out!
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