Autocar - - DRIVE -

RUBICON SPRINGS The fi­nal few hun­dred metres be­fore camp are be­wil­der­ing as you’re forced to plot a course over a se­verely slop­ing rock bed dot­ted with nar­row sluices. It feels like putting an Aven­ta­dor up an an­cient NCP at times, but there’s a beer wait­ing at the other side, so we plough on.

OB­SER­VA­TION POINT It’s all about breakover and ap­proach an­gles here be­cause the fi­nal stint to the spec­tac­u­lar views of Ob­ser­va­tion Point is like some­thing from Su­per Mario. Our Jeep’s short over­hangs help end­lessly.

CADIL­LAC HILL The tough­est ob­sta­cle we’ll tackle on this trip. Hope­lessly steep, with wet rocks, un­ex­pected gul­lies and jut­ting tree roots – we’ve got both dif­fer­en­tials locked. The or­der of the day is a blend of pa­tience and know­ing when to main­tain mo­men­tum with the en­gine’s torque. The Wran­gler feels close to rolling over at times, but maybe that’s just our nerves.

LAKE TA­HOE EN­TRANCE Wran­gler bar­rels along th­ese smoother, lake­flanked roads with a dust trail that must be vis­i­ble from space. The lazy, in­di­rect steer­ing is at its most con­spic­u­ous here, but progress never feels un­ruly and the sus­pen­sion eas­ily mops up cor­ru­ga­tions.

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