Sat, Jan 25, 2020

PCA-SDR Cayenne/Macan Off-Road Adventure Tour 1/25

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

About this event

Saturday January 25th, 2020

Cayenne/Macan Off-road Adventure Tour

The PCA-SDR is heading to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for its next Cayenne/Macan Off-Road Adventure Tour!

The Tour's plan is to enjoy a half day of off-road driving along a route that consists of varying terrain of mostly single car-width dirt and rock trails with some wider sand wash areas.  The trails are very scenic especially during the rainy season and will mostly require very low speeds to manage due to the tight turns, uneven surfaces, steep grades, and slippery rocks or deep dirt/sand.  You can expect your Cayenne or Macan to get dusty and possibly a little muddy depending on trail and weather conditions, but the intention of this drive is to experience your Porsche SUV off the pavement, without anything getting damaged.  This event will give you the comfort through direct experience in your vehicle to manage its off-road technologic functions, and safely and more predictably drive off-pavement trails, which the Cayenne and Macan do with impressive ease.  You will get to experience your vehicle's climbing ability, its traction management in slippery conditions, its ability to descend down steep grades in control, and experience the feel of driving on deep loose dirt roads at speed.  The event is a great opportunity to get outdoors and see some scenic back country with the whole family.

The event will have about 2.5 - 3 hours of off-road driving which will include a couple stops for pictures, enjoying the view with friends and family, and for exploring along the way.  After the drive we will meet up at a local diner for lunch where we can all hang out and share stories of the drive.  The lunch is not provided by the Club; you will order and pay your own meal.

This event will be limited to Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Macan SUVs.  Required equipment should include good tires with plenty of tread.  All season or off-road tires are definitely preferred, as low profile high-performance street tires pose a greater risk of wheel damage or a flat tire from hitting sharp rocks, and have a higher chance of getting stuck trying to climb the trail's uphill traction-limited stretches.  The roads are primarily narrow rutted dirt roads with areas of deep loose dirt and sand.  Portions of the trails will have steep elevations with protruding rocks that will require more precise vehicle placement to ensure proper clearance.  It is possible that in these areas, if your placement is not precise, or speed is too high, that your vehicle could bottom out against the rocks.  Additionally, there are a few areas where the vegetation may rub the bottom or sides of your vehicle.  These situations should not result in your vehicle having a catastrophic problem, but if you have concerns about the trails, please contact the event organizer.  Recognize that this event is not a gentle drive along a flat dirt road that any vehicle could handle!  These trails require four-wheel drive with increased clearance, attributes which the Cayenne and Macan possess.  

If rains have preceded the event there may be areas of mud which can sometimes be avoided if desired.  Other than the three technical areas, the trails are not overly difficult to drive on, especially thanks to Porsche's Traction Control programming, but an attentive driver is still necessary to avoid obstacles that could be of harm, like protruding big rocks that you may bottom out on or scrape an exhaust pipe, or thick paint-scratching twigs.  If all goes favorably, at the end of the trail drive, a healthy car wash session or two should be all that is needed to return your Porsche SUV to its garage queen status and remove any evidence of its off-roading adventures, with only your pictures and memory of the experience remaining!  

We will communicate with each other during the drive using FRS type radios/walkie-talkies.  If you do not have an FRS radio, please consider buying some.  Inexpensive versions, such as these, will be adequate for our needs: 

Inexpensive FRS Radios

But if you plan to do this kind of event more in the future, then it might be worth buying higher quality radios such as these:

Midland GTX Radios

If you have any spare FRS radios, please bring them along just in case someone does not have a radio to use.  Set your FRS radios to use channel 07, with privacy code/CTCSS code 01 (not DSC).  If you're not sure how to set them up, bring your radios and we'll help you dial them in before the drive!

The event is rain or shine, but if rains have been occurring in the days leading up to the event, the trails may get muddy and slippery and may limit passage of vehicles with limited ground clearance and street/road focused tires and wheels.  And since this trail will be more challenging in general due to its planned uphill nature, please examine your equipment accordingly.  If you have any trail or equipment concerns about your Cayenne or Macan, please contact the event organizer to discuss!

If you are coming from out of town or even out of CA, staying in the town of Julian or Borrego Springs would put you close to the start and finish of the event.  Other close by hotels would be in the town of Ramona.

Saturday January 25, 2020 General Planned Schedule: 

8:00AM meet at Dudley’s Bakery ( ) in Santa Ysabel outside of Ramona off Old Julian Highway 78 for coffee and drinks and snacks, and to use the restroom!  Address: 30218 CA-78 (Julian Rd), Santa Ysabel, CA 92070.  The Bakery opens at 8:00AM.

Please get everything organized and be ready to depart before the briefing starts at 8:15 SHARP.

8:15AM SHARP-8:40AM Tour briefing, participant introductions, radio checks, and waiver signing in parking lot on the West side of the building.  Set your FRS Radios using channel 7, privacy code 01.

8:45AM Pull out of Dudley’s heading North on the scenic Hwy 79 to trailhead.

12:00PM Depart for lunch.

12:30PM  Lunch!  

A detailed scheduled and map will be emailed out the week prior to the drive.

Around 2.5-3 hours of Off-road driving is planned.  The planned schedule and route may change depending on the weather and trail conditions - that's what makes this is an adventure!

Event requirements


This event is limited to Porsche Cayennes or Macans of any generation.  A full tank of gas should work for the entire day including the drive to and from home within San Diego.  For reference, my '11 Cayenne Turbo uses 5/8 tank of gas for the entire drive, including my 1 hour drive to Dudley's from home, plus my 1.5 hour drive back home at the end of the event.

All-terrain tires on smaller diameter wheels are preferred for decreased puncture risks, but good condition all-season tires even on 20-inch diameter wheels will be adequate.  Old tires with little to no tread depth will likely result in you getting stuck or needing a tire change.  Please check your tires since our goal is to drive, not have to change tires along the trail!!  Tire inflation at the lower "partial load" setting is recommended as airing down to a setting lower than "partial load" should not be necessary for this event.  

Low-profile summer street-type tires and wheels 21" or larger in diameter with minimal sidewall protection may work if you are a careful driver, but they do have a higher risk of punctures or even wheel damage from the rocky terrain that we encounter.  The softer tread compound can also get "chipped" apart from the rocky terrain.  Due to it being the rainy season, if it's muddy due to recent rains leading up to the event, summer street-focused tires will have a higher chance of getting your vehicle stuck on the trails we are planning to run.

Off-road driving experience is not necessary as we hope to aid new drivers to help manage any situations that may be uncertain.  And thanks to the Porsche off-road programming and control systems, challenging terrain can usually be passed with only careful slow driving and good vehicle placement.  The group will be led along the trails by a lead car, so following the vehicle ahead of you will facilitate avoidance of obstacles and help you recognize where to go, if this is all a very new experience for you.  Overall the trails can be handled by any version of Cayenne or Macan that is carefully driven with good condition tires that have decent tread remaining.

The driver should have a working knowledge of the Off-road programming features specified on your Cayenne or Macan.  The owner's manual is the best place to familiarize yourself on the suspension settings, Off-road programming settings, and other features like Porsche Hill Control/Hill Descent.  Read up before the event, or email the event organizer and ask any questions you might have.  Since we are traveling off the road, we will want to be using our Porsches' Off-road mode.  In a Macan, that means just pressing the off-road program button on the console.  The Cayennes have more capable and complicated off-road systems and depending on the trail conditions, we will likely be using the maximal level of off-road features to make the drive easier: that includes off-road mode, locking the center differential, and if equipped, locking the rear differential as well.

A well-maintained vehicle is essential, which includes:

  1. Tires in good condition with tire pressures set at the lower partial load setting; the full load setting may work, but will be less comfortable on the bumps and have a tendency to slide off or launch loose rocks and may have reduced traction compared to the lower pressure setting of the partial load range.  Make sure valve stem caps are installed and if you happen to have a full-sized spare tire, please bring it just in case!
  2. Fluids at proper levels, as steep grades will angle the vehicle and if fluids are low, this may cause issues or distracting warnings at a minimum.
  3. No known suspension or chassis control faults: we will be utilizing and possibly needing the traction control wizardry of your Porsche, so properly functioning vehicle systems are important!  If you have a suspension or chassis system fault, get it rectified prior to the event as you do not want to be stuck with no way to get home.  This is especially important for vehicles with air suspension. 
  4. Due to the bumps and ruts, remove or restrain all loose items, inside and outside!

While there is no "technical inspection" requirement to participate in this event, the following self inspection must be performed so that any problems can be addressed before showing up at the event:

  1. Check all surfaces of your tires to ensure you do not have a nail or screw, or other object piercing your tire's tread.  You may need a helper, as you need to check the visible area of your tires' treads, then roll your vehicle forward and repeat, to ensure you visualize all tread surfaces of all four tires to ensure there are no objects in the tread, and there are no visible areas of sidewall cracking or bulging.  Do this check the week before the event, and again the night before to ensure you're ready.
  2. Ensure there are no fluid leaks, especially coolant leaks.  Cayennes of various generations and models have their individual cooling system weaknesses and these need to be addressed so you are not stranded due to a preventable mechanical issue.
  3. If you have air suspension on Cayennes, use the center console switch to ensure you can raise the vehicle to High Level 2/Special Terrain Level without any system faults.  On Macans equipped with air suspension, click the console button to ensure the vehicle can raise itself without any faults.
  4. On Cayennes, using the center console switch, engage Off-Road Mode 1 to ensure it engages without any dash warnings.  Next, on vehicles with this ability (Base, S, GTS, Turbo, TurboS), click the same center console switch forward again to engage the Off-Road Mode 2 (the center differential lock) to confirm it works, again without any dash warnings.  Drive straight forward for 10-20 feet, then turn off Off-road Mode 2, then Mode 1, and ensure no errors arise throughout this testing process.  

If you have any questions about the above, please contact the event organizer for assistance!  

This is a special kind of PCA SDR event since the whole family can come along for the drive.  If minors will be attending the event, which they are absolutely encouraged to do, a Waiver for Minors must be signed by both parents.  If only one parent will be actually attending the event, download the waiver PDF, print it using a color printer, and have both parents sign the waiver, and bring it to be turned in at the 8:15am tour briefing at the Dudley's parking lot.  Both parents need to sign the waiver for any minors in attendance.

Entries (17)

Dennis Walsh
George Coppus
Jason McClure
Armand Gastelo
Chris Richardson
Ulysses Carino
Joseph Wiest
John Mooney

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Ranchita, CA


Off Road organized by

PCA - San Diego Region

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Event over!