Rock crawling championship returns to Farmington
Leading up to the event, officials plan to resurrect the downtown Fall Crawl and put on a car show to attract people to Main Street
FARMINGTON — Competitors from more than a dozen states will show off their skills during the World Extreme Rock Grand National Championship on Sept.10 and 11 at Chokecherry Canyon.
Since 2001, W.E. Rock has hosted events across the country but one has not taken place in Farmington since 2009.
Rock crawling is a form of off-road driving that involves maneuvering a vehicle over harsh terrains such as boulders.
Promoter Rick "Big Rich" Klein said he expects about 40 competitors, including professional drivers, to compete in the championships, which will take place in the Brown Springs portion of Chokecherry Canyon in the Glade Run Recreation Area.
Competitors will include drivers who have met certain safety requirements. The professional drivers have competed in other W.E. Rock events in the country. Leading up to the championships, W.E. Rock hosted four events in the western U.S. and four events in the eastern portion of the country.
This year’s western rock crawls have taken competitors to areas like Thompson’s Ranch in Congress, Ariz.; Three Peaks Recreation Area in Cedar City, Utah; Donner Ski Ranch in Norden, Calif.; and Broken Boulder Farms in Goldendale, Wash.
Klein said Chokecherry Canyon’s terrain is a different type of rock formation than many other places the drivers compete. He said it is less prone to moving beneath the wheels of the vehicles.
"It stays consistent for everyone," Klein said.
The tall, steep obstacles also provide a technical challenge and a thrill for spectators, he said.
"It’s an absolutely fantastic spectator sport," Klein said, adding that the event will be family oriented.
Leading up to the event, there will be a car show and downtown Fall Crawl on Main Street on Friday evening. The crawl will coincide with the monthly gallery walk, and Main Street will be closed starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday to accommodate the two events.
During the downtown event, four-wheel drive vehicles will be displayed along Main Street between Wall and Auburn avenues. A show and shine competition from 6 to 9 p.m. invites owners of four-wheel drive and off-road vehicles to show off their cars.
Competitors should arrive starting at 5 p.m. and enter through Orchard Avenue. Winners will receive a free spectator pass to the grand national championships.
Vehicle owners will also have the opportunity to test their vehicles' suspension capabilities using the CliffHangers Four Wheel Drive Club's flex ramp.
The Fall Crawl was previously an annual event showcasing four-wheel drive and off-road vehicles, but it's been about 10 years since the last one, according to Michael Bulloch, coordinator at the Farmington Downtown Association.
With the rock crawling competition coming back to Farmington, the Fall Crawl is also being resurrected. He said the ultimate goal is "roll out the red carpet" for W.E. Rock and encourage the competition to return to Farmington in the future and possibly make the city the "home of the grand nationals."
"It should be a lot of fun," Bulloch said.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.
If you go
What: World Extreme Rock Grand National Championship
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 10 and Sept. 11
Where: Chokecherry Canyon in the Glade Run Recreational Area, accessible from Piñon Hills Boulevard
Cost: $15 for adults for one day and $25 for a two-day pass. $5 for children ages 8 to 15. Free for children younger than 8.
Information: Go to werocklive.com