Overland Open House: The Scenic Run

The Mingus Mountain scenic route…I last ran this trail at the July 2011 Open House in the topless and doorless Jeep J8. It rained the entire time. Naturally, since this year we opted to travel in the chronically hard-topped Forester Project not a single drop fell, leaving us with spectacular views across Sedona to the Mogollon Rim. Sections of the trail were a bit more challenging this year after a very wet monsoon season, but nothing a stock 4×4 can’t handle with a little care. For us, it was a fun experience re-learning how to drive with limited ground clearance, open diffs, no center diff lock, and no low range. Many thanks to Mario and Paul for leading the run and being available for spotting/recovery just-in-case, and thanks to everyone who came out to make this the largest and most exciting Open House yet.
Lined up behind Mario (AT Overland) at the air down spot just above Cottonwood

Narrow shelf roads walled in by juniper and pinion pine weave between abandoned mines as we climb the side of Mingus Mountian

The dark and muddy eastern slope of Mingus often resembles the tropics, especially at the end of monsoon season

One of the many great vehicles to visit at the Open House, parked for lunch at one of the many great camping spots on Mingus

The little Fozzy hangin’ with the big dogs

A lunch spot that does not suck (note the view, next photo)

Cottonwood, Sedona, Mogollon Rim, and thunderstorms

Regardless of ease or difficulty, there’s not much that beats pulling in from a trail run to cold beer and hot BBQ

About the Author

Chazz Layne is an adventurer, designer, and photographer based in Prescott, Arizona. Since early childhood he’s had a passion for travel and exploration, a passion which continues to fuel both his creativity and modern nomadic lifestyle. In addition to his work in design and photography, Chazz is a regular contributor to Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. You can connect with Chazz or learn more about his activities at chazzlayne.com.


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I’m a designer, photographer, author, and adventurist. I’m the lead creative at Layne Studio. I shoot photos for clients in the adventure, automotive, and outdoor industries. I write articles for travel and adventure publications. I make stuff in the Layne Workshop. I’m based out of Prescott, Arizona, but I prefer wanderlust over the comforts of home.