How much off-road goodness can be packed into one event? These guys seem to be pretty close to answering that question.
King of the Hammers is what happens when a group of friends that is passionate about off-roading gets carried away. They turn their weekend trip into an all-day event with hundreds of drivers and hundreds of thousands of spectators. The event takes place in Johnson Valley, in San Bernardino County, CA and the start/finish is at “Hammertown.” It’s kind of like a Burning Man for four-wheel-drive nerds.
KotH consists of multiple classes including moto and UTV, but the halo car of the event is the Ultra4. It’s an unlimited class with 4-wheel-drive being the only requirement. The end result is entries that end up looking like a trophy truck, rock crawler and an open-wheel buggy were all smashed together. Colloquially known as “rock racers,” the machines produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 horsepower, have loads of suspension travel for flying over desert obstacles, and the ability to rock hop with extremely low gearing when it gets technical.
It’s not uncommon to see Ultra4 drivers winching their rigs up steep sections. This year’s event saw Shannon Campbell take first with a final time of 6:46:04.