Recently, I was invited by Jeep and the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs to join them for a guy’s weekend in Palm Springs with James (Mantripping.com), Mike (TheGentlemanRacer.com) and Josh, who arranged our camping trip to Joshua Tree last year and drove out just to hang with us. The plan was to explore and off-road through Joshua Tree National Park during the day and party and get a little drink on at night. You can read more about our stay at the Hard Rock Hotel here.
Jeep provided us with their mid-sized Cherokee Overland SUV for the weekend. To be honest, at first glance, I had my reservations. It would be interesting to see how it would hold up to the rugged terrain of Joshua and how we four slightly larger than average guys would feel after. But it’s a Jeep and having more balls than brains, we decided to really put it to the test.
The Overland trim package is Jeep’s most luxurious with a leather galore, a killer sound system and every electronic gizmo you can imagine. I was pleasantly surprised that there was more interior space than I expected. I’m 6′ 5″ and I fit comfortably in the front seat, which is a rarity. The panoramic roof also made the interior seem more spacious.
We left the Hard Rock Hotel and headed for the Berdoo Trail. Rated as moderate to difficult, we felt this would be a good test for the durability of the Cherokee. The ratings weren’t lying. This normally challenging trail was even more so due to the heavy rains that battered California this winter. If you don’t have 4×4, skid plates, and decent clearance, don’t attempt it. The Jeep handled itself fabulously. There was only one section of the trail we had to backtrack and find an alternate path.
Leaving the Berdoo Trail, we picked up the Geology Trail which is a sandy, but far less challenging trail that took us through the heart of Joshua Tree. For me, this was the most enjoyable part of the drive. We switched from 4-low into ‘sand mode’ and toured through the park in luxurious comfort. It was a thrill for me to really get deep into Joshua Tree and see sites that most people never get a chance to see.
All decked out, our Jeep Cherokee Overland comes in at a little over $42,000. You’d be hard-pressed to find another vehicle that combines the smooth, comfortable ride in the city with the legendary Jeep toughness when you feel a little more adventurous.
Thanks to Jeep for letting me cross another item off my bucket list.