Welcome to Gear Grinders 4 Wheel Drive Club!

Established in 1971 and located in Ridgecrest, California, we are a family oriented group of four-wheelers dedicated to promoting responsible off-road fun and protecting our natural resources.Our club takes pride in its support of Tread Lightly on Public lands. We are comprised of outgoing, fun loving, patriotic and responsible members who share the same love of off-roading and the outdoors. Guests are always welcome, so contact us if you will be in the area.  We’ll let you know where we are going and when.

Giving ample time for mine exploration before leaving, there should be time to visit Lookout City and/or other nearby routes. Weather and trail use, can make easy obstacle into more challenging obstacles. Stock and slightly modified vehicles can expect body damage and/or getting stuck in the rocks. Stock SUVs are not advised. Please remember that mine exploration is optional and at your own risk. This was an active mine operation, so, PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS. Bring flashlights. CHILDREN MUST BE WATCHED CLOSELY AT ALL TIMES AND PETS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN INTO THE MINE. From the entrance, it is an easy stand-up walk of about 300ft to the first "explosive storage room" (empty except for work benches) and the first "ore chute" is beyond that. For the adventurous, there is a second entrance/exit climbing several well-built wooden ladders to several landing, where you change to the next ladder. (It is somewhat intimidating to stand at the bottom and look up at these ladders.) Caution should be exercised if you explore the mine and extreme caution should be used near the ore car platforms outside the main entrance. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT MINE EXPLORATION IS AT YOUR OWN RISK.


Short wheel-base (less than 100") vehicles should have 33" tires. Long wheel-base vehicles should have 35" tires. All vehicles must have at least a rear locking differential if taking the most challenging obstacles up the canyons to the Defense Mine. Undercarriage and body damage is possible. This run follows the Minietta Mine Road and two side canyons enroute to Stone Canyon until its closure just below Waterfall #1. The route provides several rocky and scenic miles with the challenges of Waterfall "Zero" and Cummins Cutoff. Just below Waterfall #1, there is a sharp right onto the Defense Mine Road, which is scenic, historical and somewhat challenging.