The Chile Challenge is an annual event put on by the Las Cruces Four Wheel Drive Club. Every February wheelers both local and many who have driven from far off places venture to the Robledo Mountains just north west of Las Cruces to take on the trails developed by the Las Cruces 4WD Club and the Bureau of Land Management. These trails range from scenic views that a stock Jeep can run to the more extreme trails with names like Tabasco Twister and Habanero Falls. The Chile Challenge has also served as the spot for the quarterly meeting for the Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association for more than a decade.
The event is by registration only and it is not uncommon to see more than 300 rigs signed up and traversing the canyon. In previous years, the four day event has gathered around 2,500 for the event, but this year the event has been closed off to spectators. The reasoning behind this decision has to do with the Beauru of Land Management having concerns about the impact of the environment caused by the large number of people who normally attend the event.
The Las Cruces Four Wheel Drive Club has put together a great event that owes much of it’s success to the great landscape that surrounds Las Cruces and the fact that members of the LCFWDC have volunteered their time and effort to lead the rides and organize this annual event. The proceeds from the event are donated to organizations that help keep access to trails open for further use. This includes the Blue Ribbon Coalition and the Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association’s Land Access Fund.