I guess it's just not for me. After spending a day in the Stanilaus National Forest cleaning up campsites used by 4WD enthusiasts, and then visiting the 4WD destionation of Lost Lakes in the Eldorado National Forest, I have come to the conclusion that this is not my cup of tea.
Sure, I think it might be fun to navigate some of the rougher roads in the mountains, gaining access to remote locations. And I certainly enjoyed the 4WD experience of a game safari in Africa. So I get that.
But what gets me is what happens later. Because once those 4WD fans arrive at a location, it seems that they do all they can to make it less attractive: trash is one issue. So is burning any wood that isn't nailed down (and that may include local signage--seriously). And then there is the charm of trying to drive into the forest where there is no trail, leading to more campsites, more trash, and more heavily impacted areas.
That's Lost Lake above---I had to carefully position myself to avoid capturing the massive fire rings, tire tracks, and barren landscape. Well, I almost succeeded.
Oh, what fun.
I'm sure the 4WD crowd will be happy to learn I won't be joining them. I'll just stick with campgrounds--where at least there are some rules that get enforced from time to time--or the wilderness, where I can leave all evidence of humans behind. At least the 4WD kind.