*This article was originally created by Derek. All the photos and content are authorized by Derek and Joe. Many thanks to Derek@vspro09 and Joe@40gladiator for sharing such great content and stunning pictures with us!
Welcome back, trail folks! 😎Our trail leader of this month is Derek@vspro09, one of Lasfit trail ambassadors, a great content creator, an offroading enthusiast, and a lovely father, helping people get over that initial hurdle is something he's happy to do.
Let's follow Derek and learn a little more about how Derek hit an epic adventure along the shore of Lake Superior in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula over 130 miles in just 2 days!✌
I got into off-roading and overlanding kind of by accident. During the pandemic, I took some of my kids camping and we were hooked! But the car we had was too small so I started looking for something with more space. I ended up with a Lexus GX470 and after learning more about the platform started to equip it to do more remote camping.
First I enjoy getting out and seeing rustic places, and my children really enjoy coming along! I've made some really cool friends along the way and have started to build a local community of outdoor enthusiasts.
One of the most difficult things about getting into this hobby is the absolutely huge learning curve. I've had some great people help me out and I'd like to think I'm returning the favor by making free group rides open to anyone where you can learn about your rigs capability in an environment where you aren't alone far from the nearest paved road.
Helping others figure this hobby out is a lot of fun! I'm no pro by a long shot, but helping people get over that initial hurdle is something I'm happy to do.
I heard about this trail from a forum post for land cruiser owners. After I talked to the original poster he told me about how beautiful the north coast of the UP is and shared some spots with me. The sand road was originally a resupply route for the life-saving stations along the coast of Lake Superior, but after everything became automated it turned into a wonderful remote camping area!
The coolest moment I think was when we first pulled into our campsite, we had seen pictures of the area and satellite views, but finally finding the spot and seeing it was amazing.
The trail is sandy and hugs the shoreline, with numerous options to head deeper into the woods. The scariest moment for us was probably trying to cross some deep water holes, we walked them but the base wasn't as solid as we thought and one of the trucks had water into the cab.
The trail to the campsite is easy, you will need to air your tires down to 15 psi or so to get through the sand, and you will need an air compressor to air up after you leave. The trails around whitefish point are easy or hard depending on your route, lots of sand and water crossings.
Giveaway was so fun!🎁
Joe was the winner of the giveaway for the pod lights. Lake Superior is famous for its rock hunting, so each member chose a similar-sized rock and we had my son draw one blind. The winner got the pods. Joe's putting them on his jeep gladiator and is overjoyed because his stock lighting is very insufficient!
Watching the sun sink low into superior while sitting around the fire with my oldest boys was incredible.
Anyone can get to the campsite with aired-down tires and 4x4, but exploring the forest trails you will want ground clearance and all terrains. Solo campers would be advised to prepare for self recoveries. Longer trucks may struggle on the tight trails.
Tires are the most important, as they are the connection between your truck and the terrain! After that protecting your vehicle with good skids makes off-roading much more enjoyable. We ended up running forest trails at night and good lighting was hugely important.
Getting caught out in the UP at night on unfamiliar trails can be very scary. You're miles from the nearest person and missing an obstacle or issue in the trail can lead to damage, stranding you. Having good lighting enabled us to keep a good pace and avoid potential issues.
Loving my Lasfit light bar. My Install isn’t the prettiest but the damn things work well and are affordable, which is all I want out of my equipment. I definitely recommend the lightbar, it provided a ton of light and absolutely lit up the trail. I could see every bump, hole, and obstacle. My next upgrade will be sideshot pods so I can see more on the sides of the truck.
Eventually, I'll map out a route that follows the coast of Lake Superior from whitefish point all the way west to the end of the lake.
Editor's Notice: September 2-4 Derek will go back to Lake Superior! All rigs and experience levels are welcome to join the trail.
Here's the detailed Trail Info Derek provided to us for anyone who gets interested in this trail as reference👇:
Name of the trail:
Starts at whitefish point, we ended around the two hearted river but you could travel even further
Best time of year to go:
Late July after the black flies have died out
Beautiful views of Lake Superior, rustic campsites on the beach, lots of cool historical lighthouses
No major hill climbs, lots of small ones
Phone Numbers for local help:
Don't expect to have cell service. Make a plan with friends or family to check in when you do get service
Tire Pressure Advice:
Rig requirements (Example, must be 4x4 with lift kit, or standard 4x4):
4x4, all terrain tires help. All water crossings are avoidable by doubling back and going around but a lift helps. Traction boards or a winch are recommended if solo.
Black flies can be bad June-early July. Lots of routes can have water puddles that aren't deep, always walk them first to check depth.
Questions or Comments? Leave them below!😀