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Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari
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Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari

Before the Tierra Del Sol Four Wheel Drive Club existed, Southern California was undergoing quite a change. [1] “With the end of World War I came the rapid popularity of automobiles” which garnered a lot of visitors from across the country who wanted to experience the California lifestyle. Because of the growth of the population, many citizens became concerned about preserving what little land they had left. In 1928, in order to protect some of the land, Guy Fleming [1] “started promoting the adoption of Borrego as a State Park” and by 1941, “the Anza Borrego Park System was established.”

Anza-Borrego State Park

To accommodate visitors to the new recreational area, the Borrego-Salton Seaway, also known as S22, was constructed in 1957. Even with the roads, people were still driving alongside on the desert trails and by 1962, the exploration beyond the paved roads lead to the creation of Tierra Del Sol (TDS), a club formed by Roy Pruitt and Bozzy Willis which explored the [1] “notches, hills and valleys” of the Anza Borrego Desert.

By 1963, Pruitt and Willis put on the first annual Desert Safari, a two day excursion of exploration, adventure and off-roading in the [1] “Great Southern California Badlands of Imperial Co.” During its first couple years, the Desert Safari was exactly what you would imagine. Families in their 4x4’s trudge along the treacherous trails of the Anza Borrego Desert in a single file line. The participants camped, ate and explored together; it was a great chance to test their off-roading skills and meet off-road enthusiasts alike.

Old School Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari

Today, the Desert Safari has grown into one of the most epic outdoor adventures in Southern California. In its 56th year, the TDS Desert Safari will host a three day event with raffles, vendors and even a Sunday breakfast for all of its participants. TDS is all about creating a great environment and a one of a kind experience for its participants. [2] “That is a wonderful aspect of Tierra Del Sol where so many different personalities can work together and form close personal relationships even though we have seen one another at their worst, sunburned, dirty, mad, disgruntled, embarrassed, worried and bone tired; and yet we can still laugh, share stories of our problems and look forward with anticipation to the next set of experiences on the trail.”

Motorcycle USA at Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari
CT Racing at Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari
Rockstar Performance Garage at Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari
Orba at Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari

The upcoming Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari takes place March 3-5. Participants will meet at the 4x4 Training Center at the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area on County Highway S22 in Thermal, CA. Everyone with an off-road vehicle is invited to attend but they do warn that certain large vehicles may have a tough time getting through the trails without some body damage.  If you can’t make it to this off-road excursion, the TDS hosts many other events such as the Baja Beaches & Whale Run, C4WDA Convention and King of the Hammers.

For help preparing your Side by Side/UTV for a long trip through the Anza Borrego desert, visit www.SideBySideUTVParts.com to find all of the quality parts you need.


[1] Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari (n.d.). History of Tierra Del Sol and Desert Safari. [Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari Online Biography]. Retrieved on 01/16/2018 from https://tdsdesertsafari.com/

[2]Tierra Del Sol 4x4 (n.d.). About Us. [Tierra Del Sol 4x4 Online Biography]. Retrieved on 01/16/2018 from http://tds4x4.com/about-us/

Photo Credit

Four Wheeler Network. Old School Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari Photo. http://www.fourwheeler.com/events/154-1207-50th-annual-tierra-del-sol-desert-safari/photo-03.html

Mormon Historic Sites. Anza-Borrego State Park. http://mormonhistoricsites.org/anza-borrego-desert-state-park-california/

Motorcycle USA. Motorcycle USA at Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari.  http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/2011/05/article/2011-tierra-del-sol-desert-safari/

Off-Road.com. Main Page. http://www.off-road.com/trails-events/trails/54th-annual-tierra-del-sol-desert-safari-54407.html

Orba. Orba at Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari. http://www.orba.biz/orba-joins-coalition-to-defend-ocotillo-wells-svra/

Rockstar Performance Garage. Rockstar Performance Garage at Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari. http://www.rockstarperformancegarage.com/tierra-del-sol-2/

S&S Offroad Magazine. CT Racing at Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari. https://ssorm.com/2015/08/24/readers-off-road-desert-toys/

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