Trip Planner: It’s Hammers Time!

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King of the Hammers

2017 King of the Hammers Event, an Off-Roader’s & Ford Trucks Fan’s Dream Party, Kicks Off Feb. 3 in SoCal

Off road enthusiasts have long enjoyed events like the Baja 1000 and the Dakar Rally. But while those races have been around for a long time, one of the newer kids on the block might trump them both. King of the Hammers debuted in 2007, but it’s one of the fastest-growing off-road races/events/parties out there. This year’s event, put on by Ultra4 Racing, kicks off Feb. 3 and runs through Feb. 10 in Johnson Valley, California.

King of Hammers

The appeal lies in the fact that KOH isn’t just another race. It’s an entire week of camping out, hanging with your buddies, and watching events that showcase everything from UTVs and dirt bikes to Ford Broncos on steroids. (And, of course, there’s the infamous and hilarious “Extreme Barbie-Jeep Race,” which we here at Ford Truck Enthusiasts will be participating in this year!) It all leads up to the main event, “Ultra4,” featuring some of the wildest vehicles on earth, like #Brocky (pictured in top photo), a purpose-built Bronco driven by Vaughn Gittin Jr. that debuted at last year’s KOH.

Since it’s debut, King of the Hammers has grown from 12 teams to over 300. This year, Ultra4 expects over 35,000 spectators, with another half-million watching the action online. Seven qualifying races take place throughout the year as a means of assembling the best of the best for this event. And in the case of the Ultra4 class, anything goes. The only rule is that all cars must be capable of four-wheel drive.

Terrain varies greatly throughout the course, challenging both driver and machine. From crawling up rocky terrain to blasting through the desert at 100-plus miles per hour. And even if you don’t have a wild machine like #Brocky, rest assured that spectating is almost as much fun. Probably the most fun you can have for $20, at least.

If you don’t believe us, take a few minutes and watch some highlights from last year’s KOH.

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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