If you’ve followed off-road racing for more than a minute, there are a few names that are synonymous with the sport. Stewart, Jones, Hall, Thompson, and Millen are just a few that quickly come to mind. The Millen family has always interested me because of their passion for racing. Whether it was Rod dominating the Mickey Thompson Stadium Series and Pike’s Peak, Rhys tearing it up in Formula D, or Ryan racing in Baja, the Millens push the limits and train hard in order to win. With that years of training and practices comes knowledge and experience, neither of which can be gained by picking up a book or putting a few miles under your belt.
When I first heard about Millen Adventures, it was the name that caught my attention. Could it be the same Millen family or was it somebody else? A quick glance at the site and seeing the outline of an airborne FJ Cruiser was all I needed to confirm my suspicion. It was the same Millen family. Millen Adventures is a new startup created by Ryan Millen. Ryan, who is an accomplished racer with both Baja 1000 and Taupo 1000 finishes, started Millen Adventures because of his love and passion for off-road driving and the incredible places you explore and experience in the process.
Millen knows that one of the greatest barriers people have to hitting the trails or exploring the road less traveled is their comfort and skill level as a driver. Many 4×4 owners have been off-road just have a handful of times and aren’t fully aware of what their vehicles can accomplish. By offering professionally guided tours of remote locations in the Southwest and Baja, Millen is able share his own experience with drivers in order to help them overcome those obstacles through driver training exercises and support.
For each trip, Millen Adventures provides everything you need to have a great time including accommodations, food, training, and even mechanical support via a fully outfitted chase truck. While it may sound like the adventures are more suited for novice drivers and first timers, that isn’t the case. There is definitely something for every skill and experience level. Millen has routes and training exercises that will put a smile on the face of even the most accomplished drivers. While it isn’t the Rubicon or Steelbender, it’s using your 4×4 to get out there and explore a large amount of trail in a condensed period of time and in a supported environment.
We caught up with Ryan Millen after they just completed their most recent Palms Spring to Vegas trip on August 11th. Designed for those looking for a little adventure and to escape the daily grind of city life, the trip takes you from Palm Springs to Las Vegas. Ditching the concrete super slab for the dirt backroads, Millen wants guests to experience the rugged beauty the Southern California terrain has to offer. Using your own off-road vehicle, guests head out early in the morning from Palm Springs and embark on a full day adventure finishing in Las Vegas.
Some of the trip’s highlights include routes through the backside of Big Bear, Johnson Valley OHV, Barstow OHV, Baker and State Line. There is even a lunch stop at the infamous Slash X Ranch Cafe. The trip lasts a full day and returns the following day via the highway after an overnight in Vegas. A modest $250 gets you a trip that includes professional guides, mechanical support including spare tires and parts, and GPS information and radio rental.
Millen said the most recent trip consisted of a pretty diverse group of drivers from a variety of backgrounds. Some were first time off-roaders while others had logged quite a few miles in the dirt. One thing was consistent though, they all had a blast. Some are already talking about doing some of the other trips he has scheduled for the fall like Big Bear and Baja. The next Palm Springs to Vegas trip leaves September 14th. While you’re on their website, be sure to check out the Baja California trip coming up at the end of September.
Whether your an avid wheeler looking for adventure or new to off-road driving and looking to tackle the dirt with some support and training, Millen Adventures is a great place to start. Not only are the logistics and support already taken care of, you have a world class driver with years of off-road and racing experience leading the way.