In our never-ending search for new trails we haven't explored, we found ourselves about an hour south of where Interstate 5 ends at the U.S. border. We were running with the Tijuana-based Club Zopilotos down to Jacume, just east of Longo and before La Romurosa. We first met up with the Zopilotos crew at Tierra del Sol, and after watching them in action we knew we had to get down to their local trails to experience a day of wheeling south of the border. We spent the day wheeling a small part of an ejido, or area of private land that the public has been allowed to use. It started at the end of a granite mine that was filled with giant drivetrain-disintegrating boulders that have claimed more than a couple vehicles' guts. Beyond the rock mine are trails that made us long for the days of an undeveloped Southern California, which would probably have very similar terrain to what we experienced in Baja if it hadn't already been buried in a billion tons of concrete. If you're looking to do some wheeling down this way and want some advice on trails, you might try contacting some of the most responsible guys we've ever had the pleasure to run with at www.zopilotos4x4.com. Julio Verduzco's '73 Blazer has seen its fair share of trails. The ('73 titled) frame carried a '76 K5 cab with a cut-down Hummer front clip. The staple Chevy 14-bolt axle was packed with a spool and placed in the rear, while a matching eight-lug 10-bolt with a Lock-Rite resides up front. Both are fed power from a 350 engine and TH400 tranny and turn 35-inch BFGs. If all that doesn't do it, Julio has a Warn 9,000-pound winch tucked up in the front framerails.Julio Verduzco's '73 Blazer has seen its fair share of trails. The ('73 titled) frame carr Jose Monroy's '97 TJ came out packed to full human-carrying capacity. It's hard enough to sit in the back of those things on the highway, and we can't imagine how uncomfortable that back seat might be after a full day of wheelstands, hanging 33-inch tires in the air like it was going out of style.Jose Monroy's '97 TJ came out packed to full human-carrying capacity. It's hard enough to We love seeing older rigs on hard-core trails. And we think we can rightfully call an '83 Toyota truck a classic now, no matter how much American car buffs scoff at that notion. Rene Gribe's turquoise Toy was churning 35-inch Xterrains with a spooled rear and Detroit-Locked front axles. It's a good thing too, because otherwise this bobtail Toy would have been going nowhere since he spent much of the day on two wheels.We love seeing older rigs on hard-core trails. And we think we can rightfully call an '83 When we met Oscar Velez at the '06 Tierra del Sol, his '85 Toyota was still very clean and apparently unused, because just months later it looked like this. Under what's left of that wasted cab are dual transfer cases and front and rear spools in Toyota axles mounted on All Pro leaves, being turned by a 4.3L Chevy engine. As you could probably guess, a body swap is coming soon.When we met Oscar Velez at the '06 Tierra del Sol, his '85 Toyota was still very clean and Alejandro Gutierres' '94 YJ Wrangler was sporting a spring-over axle swap using Dana 44s filled with spools. His 38-inch Maxxis tires would get his YJ over most anything Alejandro aimed his YJ at. And just in case they didn't, Alejandro had a full rollcage joined to a partial exo-cage that would keep things straight. He seemed to be having a great day abusing the snot out of his Wrangler any chance he could find. We give him a thumbs-up for really romping on his YJ.Alejandro Gutierres' '94 YJ Wrangler was sporting a spring-over axle swap using Dana 44s f Omar Gutierrez's '98 TJ is sporting quite a wish list of parts. A four-speed Atlas transfer case feeds dual Dana 44 axles held on by a Rubicon Express 511/42-inch lift. Omar really showed his skills while navigating his Wrangler out of the Mini Rubicon at the old granite mine, while an exo-cage protected him just in case he fumbled. Pushing around those 35-inch MTRs was a ram assist that helped fight any steering lock due to the front and rear Detroit Lockers.Omar Gutierrez's '98 TJ is sporting quite a wish list of parts. A four-speed Atlas transfe Joe Velez is smiling because he has come to accept the fact that no matter how careful you are, you just can't keep the scratches and dents off of a rig that is driven on hard-core trails. His '85 4Runner had a seamless bob job done to not only the body but also the rear shell. It was hard to watch him scrape through passes, but we beared with it to see what he could do with a Marlin Crawler dual-transfer-case setup and 35-inch BFG Mud-Terrains.Joe Velez is smiling because he has come to accept the fact that no matter how careful you By Jerrod Jones Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!