I Learned To Off-Road Like A Pro In Moab, Utah, Thanks To Ford’s All-Women Bronco Off-Roadeo Experience

Lifestyle Editor, ESSENCE, Dominique Fluker

I just learned how to drive in 2021, so I only had the opportunity to off-road any vehicle once Ford reached out to ESSENCE. Recently, I had the unique opportunity to go off-roading with Ford as part of their first-ever national all-women Bronco off-roadeo experience, which was all about traversing the rocky terrain in Moab, Utah at their state-of-the-art Bronco Off-Roadeo facility. The event is designed to empower and inspire women to explore off-roading in a safe and supportive environment, and although I don’t own a Bronco, owners of the truck were specifically invited to learn how to off-road it. 

Through this experience, the Ford team aims to create an empowering space where women can immerse themselves in adventure, skill-building, and the sheer thrill of off-roading while celebrating their love for exploration and the outdoors. Ford will cover all travel and accommodations, ensuring a seamless and memorable adventure.

So, I spent 8 hours learning how to off-road the 2024 Ford Bronco Badlands Sasquatch and doing tricks on the trail, like making the truck buck, tilt, and tip (safely), of course! I also was the first in our mini group to do the stunts/demonstrate and lead the pack (check out the videos). While I was utterly nervous at first, such a fun, once-in-a-lifetime experience empowered me. This unique gathering promises an unforgettable experience at our state-of-the-art Bronco Off-Roadeo facility. Led by experienced instructors, this adventure-filled event offers a hands-on opportunity to master off-road driving techniques, navigate challenging terrains, foster camaraderie among like-minded individuals, and more.

I Learned To Off-Road Like A Pro In Moab, Utah, Thanks To Ford’s All-Women Bronco Off-Roadeo Experience

Here is my experience as an off-roader visiting Moab, Utah.

What is Bronco Off-Roadeo?

Bronco Off-Roadeo is the essence of the Bronco brand. It’s an off-roading and outdoor adventure playground — located at four epic destinations across the United States — with experiences that will build your confidence, expand your skills, and encourage you to get out into the wild for years to come. Designed to challenge and excite novices and experts, Bronco Off-Roadeo will welcome you into the world of Bronco, celebrate the great outdoors and adventure-seeking lifestyle that comes with it, and ultimately inspire you to Learn It, Love It, and Live It.

The Location And Hotel: It was my first time visiting Utah, and instantly, I was enamored by the gorgeous red-stone cliffs surrounding the Colorado River. We were fortunate to stay at the tranquil Red Cliffs Lodge, which was rated the #1 place to stay in Moab by Trip Advisor for 10+ years. Its Southwestern charm and rustic beauty transported me back to one of my grandfather’s favorite western shoot-em-ups television shows, Bonanza. Interestingly enough, the Red Cliffs Lodge has served as the backdrop for dozens of classic Westerns, and it remains an operating ranch with cattle and horses. The lodge also offers horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and stunning views of America’s most breathtaking landscapes.

I Learned To Off-Road Like A Pro In Moab, Utah, Thanks To Ford’s All-Women Bronco Off-Roadeo Experience

The Car Details:
The 2024 Bronco Sasquatch Badlands is simply built for the outdoors. The Badlands Bronco can handle weather conditions with a detachable roof and a sturdy bumper. However, the perfect technology for off-roading is the most impressive, especially in Utah. 

Here are the features that helped me the most during my off-roading experience: 

The Front Stabilizer Bar Disconnect: This tool helps you get through the most challenging trail by letting you disconnect your tires by simply pressing a button. This class-exclusive design can be disconnected, regardless of articulation. 

Off-Road Hero Switches: Conveniently accessible from the dash, the switches were easy to access and navigate. Including front-locking and rear-locking differential, available Trail Turn Assist, and available sway-bar disconnect.

Electronic Front- and Rear-Locking Differentials: Hard-core off-roading requires hard-core hardware. With both “lockers” engaged, each wheel spins with the same speed and torque.

I Learned To Off-Road Like A Pro In Moab, Utah, Thanks To Ford’s All-Women Bronco Off-Roadeo Experience

Here’s What I Learned [ORX Training Course]: 

The 8-hour day started with an orientation and introduction to all the drivers who traveled across the country to participate. The detailed orientation included spatial awareness of the trail, trail etiquette, and how to sit and hold the wheel while off-roading. 

Next, we got schooled by our Bronco off-roading instructors, who broke down the technology inside of the vehicle that helped us navigate the rocky Utah terrain safely, like the Bronco’s ​​G.O.A.T. Modes. The Seven G.O.A.T. Modes allowed us to traverse the terrain, while the turbocharged Ecoboost® engine delivered impressive speed and torque. On the trail, when it got rocky, I could reach for the dashboard’s built-in grab handles for steep-angle access. 

Throughout the 8 hours, we stopped at challenging Dome Plateau trails to analyze them and the rocks before off-roading; we also learned how to spot each other on the trail and stopped at dazzling landmarks, like the Native American petra cliffs, La Boca Caves. 

My excellent off-roading instructor, Amanda Walden, gave ESSENCE a thorough overview of our experience: “From the beginning, we started by offering driving techniques. So that’s the placement of your hands, shuffle, steering, or push-pull steering, and then we went into an off-road seated position. After we reviewed driving techniques, we delved into the vehicle’s technology. So, the Hero Dash has an electronic locking front and rear differential. You have your GOAT modes. And within the goat modes, a little button in the middle has two different functions. It has trail control, and it also has one pedal drive,” she reflected.

I Learned To Off-Road Like A Pro In Moab, Utah, Thanks To Ford’s All-Women Bronco Off-Roadeo Experience

We also learned the importance of the Manual mode when off-roading. The manual gear is a great way to manage the Bronco. You can shift into second gear, onto the third, and maintain a slow speed. So, especially when descending an obstacle, if you go into manual one, it will stay in that very low gear, so you can manage how quickly you’re descending it.

Regarding the obstacles we tackled during the day, Walden said, “So we began today with a cross-articulation section. We also had an off-Camber situation where we were looking at the pitch and roll degree of the Bronco. And then we went right into a rock crawl situation. So that’s prolonged speeds and low gears. We also utilized the electronic locking rear or front differential to ensure we were sent 50/50 power to either tire to go over the obstacle without tearing up the terrain.”

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