Moab Bronco Off-Roadeo

Bronco Sep 25, 2023

When Ford announced the new generation of Broncos, they also announced something else pretty cool - the Bronco Off-Roadeo experience. Designed as a way for new Bronco owners to become familiar with their rides and the capabilities of the Bronco, a ticket was included with the purchase of a new Bronco. Kind of a cool idea.

I had planned on putting in an order for a Bronco, but given the long lead times, I was also shopping around for used ones that had all of the features I was looking to order. When I eventually found my Bronco, it was just about everything I wanted, so I jumped on the deal. I accepted that by buying used, I'd lose out on the Off-Roadeo experience, but figured that since I saved so much cash, it was worth it.

However, one day I got curious, and decided to call up the Off-Roadeo and see if they offered any kind of discount for folks like me that had bought used. Talking to them, they explained that the ticket was actually tied to the VIN of the Bronco, and not the buyer. They took my VIN, and after some checking, determined that the credit associated with my Bronco had never been used by the previous owner, so if I wanted to come down, I was welcome to. SWEET.

I immediately began making plans. I live close enough to Moab that I thought it would be fun to head out to somewhere I was unlikely to drive my Bronco to, so my wife and I started to make plans to head out to New Hampshire. Pretty quickly though, we started to add up the cost of flights and a hotel… and my trip to Moab was scheduled later that night.

I drove down to Moab the night before, and stayed in a hotel just south of town. After breakfast, I made my way through town, and eventually out to the Red Cliffs Lodge where the Off-Roadeo basecamp was. After checking in, this place was like a candy store for a Bronco fan like me. There was the obvious gift shop with nothing but Bronco swag. Luckily for my wallet, I restrained myself, and didn't go too nuts. One of the real treats in the building though, was all of the assorted Bronco memorabilia and decor.

Everywhere you looked, were photos of Broncos. Furniture made from Bronco tailgates. Hoods hanging on the wall, painted in various '66-'77 Bronco colors. Posters of each generation of Bronco. Books, models, documents, etc. I was loving it.

Eventually, everyone in the group was checked in, and we gathered around the center display, a new 6th gen Bronco. We were introduced to our guides for the day, who took some time to go over some basics of the vehicle, some guidelines for the drive we were about to take, and some basic intro to off road driving.

We then went down to the parking area, and were greeted by a line of Broncos ready to take us on our way. There were several trim levels available, from Base to Badlands, and I ended up in a Wildtrak for the day. As I was the only one in the group that was traveling solo, I was given the lead Bronco, with our guide, Jamie riding shotgun. We soon left Red Cliffs, and were on our way to the Dome Plateau trail.

The stable.

Once on trail, we took things slow initially, giving the group time to get familiar with things. For some in our group, this was their first time driving a 4x4 off-road. At several points, Jamie and our other guide would stop and take time to coach each vehicle up or down an obstacle, and no matter how nervous someone was, these guys were patient and did great helping folks through.

Each driver was given the opportunity to get their Bronco into off-camber situations, and into positions where it was pretty easy to demonstrate just how useful a locking differential can be. For those in the Badlands models, they got to help demonstrate the advantage of having a stabilizer-bar disconnect.

We continued following Dome Plateau around for a while, having fun stopping at each obstacle and taking turns watching each other work through them. Occasionally pitching the trucks up onto three wheels so everyone could get a chance getting their own flexy hero shots.

At several points along the way, our guides took time to answer questions, as well as cover topics like basic recovery, preparing for trips, and Tread Lightly principles. Riding with Jamie was great, as I got to pepper him with all sorts of questions throughout the day. I may have annoyed him, but the dude was so knowledgeable, I had to take advantage of it. He's also an I4WDTA certified trainer, so he knows what he's talking about.

After several hours out on the trail, including some time spent just taking a break and enjoying the scenery, we eventually made it back to the lodge. When we arrived, there was live music and a pretty good dinner waiting for us. After eating, we wandered around a bit more looking at the various bits of Bronco stuff, said our goodbyes, and went on our way.

I returned to my hotel room, pretty happy about how the day went, and like a kid that had just spent the day at Disneyland, I crashed pretty much as soon as my head hit the pillow.

On the drive home the next morning, I decided to take the scenic route, and pulled off of highway 191 onto Ten Mile Road. I wasn't quite ready to take pavement yet, so I just meandered along, slowly (and not so slowly in some points. Baja mode is fun) making my way back up to Green River. After a few hours of playing around, it was time to head back home, and get ready to get back to work the next day. I eventually got back to the pavement, aired up the tires, then headed home for real.

The Off-Roadeo was a great experience that I'd recommend to any Bronco owner. These machines are built to have fun and do incredible things - not just to cruise around town in. So if anything, you owe it to your Bronco to learn how to get them dirty. Is Off-Roadeo all of the training you'll need. No, but it's definitely a good start for a lot of people, and enough to get a taste of what you can do. From there, find yourself an off-road club, make some friends, and get outside. Lots of times, clubs put together training events where more experienced members are more than willing to help you learn the ropes, and have some fun out there.