The First Annual Trail Hero SXS Rally
2019 Will Be A Year To Remember
It was a successful first year at the Trail Hero SXS Rally. The people, the vehicles, the trails, the views—simply incredible. Each day offered a different element to the event; giving a little twist that helped keep things interesting and exciting all throughout the week. Trail Hero was a great opportunity for everybody. For some, it was a way of escaping the mundane of everyday life. Others relished in taking a break from their always-on-the-go lifestyles. For everyone, it was an experience that will not soon be forgotten.
The event teed off in competitive fashion with a golf tournament hosted on Sand Hollow Resort’s Links Course. The full-length, 3,600-yard, par 36 course blends perfectly with the desert’s natural sand dunes and rock formations. Rich Kline started the contest with a speech that was short and to the point. Casually approaching the mic with a beer in hand, he announced that the event would be held in the same manner—not to be taken too seriously, just to have fun, because after all, that’s what everyone was there for. How does a golf tournament tie into a UTV Rally you ask? It doesn’t, but when you were mere minutes from Sand Hollow Resort and they have one of the best golf courses in the state, you take advantage. At the end, ample golf balls were lost, there was no shortage of fun, and the time came to get cleaned up for the kick off party. After just a short jot down the road, the festivities went underway.
Sand Hollow Off-Road played host to the 2019 Trail Hero Kick Off Party and Opening Ceremonies. While some registered for trails and planned out their week, old friends gathered to chew the fat while enjoying cold drinks and delicious food. The stories of past events and rides were endless and probably slightly embellished, but in the true nature of this event, everyone laughed and had a great time. Again Rich Kline climbed atop a 44-inch tall tire to address the crowd. Rich is a man of few words, and although he is the face of Trail Hero, he expressed that it is not his. “I may be the face, but without an army of volunteers, vendors and participants, none of this would be possible,” said Rich.
In the days that followed, everyone was off the tees and into the dirt. Early in the mornings, as the sun began to surface over the mountains and light crept over the hills, so did the roar of engines. One by one people gathered, including well-known racers, Dustin Jones, Branden Sims, Cody Currie, and the Romo crew. Even many of the event’s sponsors came out to join the fun. Some folks were smart enough to prep the night before where others made last minute adjustments and gathered provisions for the day. It wasn’t long before everyone was huddled at the common meeting area by the water and vendor station where entry to most of the trails began.
Multiple runs were in sight; each with their own difficulty rating ranging anywhere from one as the easiest and fifteen as the hardest. One of which was Double Sammy. Marked as the second hardest trail of the event, it offered a variety of terrain and very little time between features. By that, we mean there was no dull moments. Mostly incline, the trail constantly challenged drivers. Many of the obstacles were steep, corners were tight, the rocks were huge, and if that wasn’t enough to test individual driver skill, all of it was covered in loose sand. Fortunately, when the trail ended and drivers had to trek back, they were offered a different path—the dunes. The area wasn’t coined with the name Sand Hollow for nothing. It was a lot easier, faster, and a different kind of fun traversing mountains of sand to get back down by the water.
Meanwhile, others had already begun to venture toward different horizons. Two great journeys awaited our ambitious drivers. Both the West and East Rim trails rides. Either of which trail would take the bigger part of half the day. The East Rim trail was a 23.2 mile scenic two-track trail with several ledgy areas and a sand dune crossing. For less experienced drivers, the East Rim trail offered a lighter run. This was an opportunity for people with less experience to get some practice in.
The West Rim trail was a little more difficult than East Rim with a rating of six and in some areas eight. It was one of the most popular trails in Trail Hero’s arsenal for its versatility. It allowed various kinds of vehicles to travel in a pack because there was a main easy road for stock vehicles and throughout the trail offered many side paths for drivers that wanted to push their limits. The trail started out easy and had progressively gotten harder as drivers pushed onward. As each obstacle got more and more complicated, groups were known to have helped each other out—coaching and encouraging other drivers to get through the more difficult areas—as is the UTV culture.
Trail riding wasn’t the only excitement held at Trail Hero. Many shows took place for people to either spectate or participate in, like the HCR Suspension SandCross SXS event. This event consisted of two parts and any body was able to participate. With all proceeds being donated to a charitable cause, the first part of the event was a straight up time trials competition. It was test of the driver’s own capability to race and prove to be the fastest. The second part was running the same course, with a time trial theme, but there was to be one passenger armed with a paintball gun that would shoot targets throughout the course. It was like a cowboy mounted shooting, but instead of a horse, there were UTVs.
The award for the most wild event of Trail Hero had to go out to what is known as Trail Breaker. Being among the highest difficulty ratings on terrain that had never yet been broken by a vehicle, nobody was sure how the vehicles would perform on this course being rated at 14, but everyone was anxious to find out. Reluctantly, a lot of the vehicles made it through, but not without the course putting up a fight.
At the end of each day was a bonfire party at Sand Hollow Beach. The bonfire was open to the public—a blessing for some as they jumped into the water after a long day of riding. From sunrise to past sundown, the event had tons of things going on. Whether you were a participant or a spectator, there were loads of fun to be had.
Overall, the turnout this year for the event had been incredible. Each time an event like this happens the side by side industry adapts, and fortunately it’s been going in the right direction. As many more people join in on the action, there has been a growth in the offroad community. People are learning different kinds of driving that they’ve never experienced before all while creating long lasting friends.The camaraderie that had been built at Trail Hero was something to be noted.
To finish off such a great and memorable first year, all the sponsors joined together and started activities in downtown Hurricane, Utah. There was live music, catered dinner, and raffles. The vendors did an outstanding job at setting up and really showing everyone what had rolled out this year for consumers. If you missed out this year, be sure to get in on the action in 2020. Some of the most gorgeous views and best trails lay all over this land. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!