Red or Green?

Four Wheeler|August 2020

Red or Green?
We return to New Mexico’s Chile Challenge
Brian Sumner

It has been a few years since we last covered the annual Chile Challenge put on by the Las Cruces 4-Wheel Drive Club (LC4WDC), and in 2019 we were anxious to get back to check out some different trails. The family-friendly event takes place near Caballo, New Mexico, and utilizes a network of trails through the washes and ridges of the Caballo Mountains, offering a wide range of options from scenic to impossible vertical ledges. The event is surrounded by farms that grow chile peppers and local eateries where you will no doubt hear the question, “Red or green?” This refers to what type of chile sauce you would like on your meal. The chile peppers start out as green and will turn red the later they are picked. But enough about food. As delicious as it is, we were in New Mexico for the rocks!

The first trail we lined up for was the Narrows, a Level 6 hard trail on the LC4WDC’s scale of 1 to 10. A steep descent adjacent to an interstate off-ramp dropped our group into the start of the canyon. Right away we could tell how this trail got its name. The canyon walls closed in just as the rocks started to make things fun.

Picking your line became important, as large rocks occupied the center of the canyon. As we cleared one, another was there to bite the first victim in our group, a Jeep JK that high-centered square on the rock. Some careful jacking and rock placement enabled the Jeep to avoid driveshaft damage and continue.

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August 2020