Rim Country 4 Wheelers is an off-road Jeep and 4WD club in Payson, AZ, making off-road excursions to enjoy the natural beauty of what is considered to be the geographic center of Arizona.
With a population of about 20,000 you might be surprised to learn that Payson, AZ is a town full of off-road trailing enthusiasts. Located in Tonto National Forest and easily within reach of Apache-Sitegreaves National Forest and Coconino National Forest, with access to hundreds of diverse Jeep trails to explore.
What makes RC4W standout from other clubs is the trails have more to offer than other areas. The majority of the trails have historical points of interest, making the runs far more interesting than just dirt roads.
As Bob Markin puts it,
“I enjoy the diversity of the rides we go on. Sometimes they are more challenging; sometimes, they are less challenging. As we take weekly trips, depending on my mood, I can pick or choose when to go. In addition, there is a significant amount of history to the area, thus a lot to learn. The scenery and photographic opportunities are plentiful, adding to the exploring experience.”
It started when several like-minded friends and acquaintances of different experience levels that came together in 1997 to form Rim Country 4 Wheelers. Being located in Payson, AZ, with some of the most beautiful scenery, near historical sites and access to hundreds of amazing trails, certainly gives Jeep and 4WD enthusiasts something to talk about. The founders loved going on the trail runs and exploring the variety of trails available in the area. This is the reason this club was never going to be a boring club that only focused on business. The founders wanted to create a tightly-knit community of like-minded individuals who love to explore the natural landscape that these beautiful Arizona forests provide. RC4W trail leaders will draw attention to different points of interest as they progress through the ride.
RC4W club members are always eager to help new members and visitors that are less experienced. Drivers with less experience are always positioned between more experienced drivers so they can learn by watching the Jeep in front which helps them learn how to pick their line on the trail. The experienced members also help as spotters at difficult points on the trail to provide advice and direction for the less experienced whenever necessary. This makes it easier for new members and visitors to learn and ensures that nobody gets left behind.
Club member Russ Russell describes his experience of interacting with the rich history of the region while going on trail runs with the club:
“Often, we visit old cabins in the area along with Native American ruins. In addition, many historical sites were left behind from the early settlers, i.e., Camp Reno, Battle of Big Dry Wash, etc.”
Rim Country 4 Wheelers make every attempt to run a week-long trip to Moab, UT, or Silverton, CO, once a year on its annual rides. RC4W always aims to provide a complete experience for its members, rides ranging from the desert to the high country in the Ponderosa Pines, visiting places that not everyone can experience unless you have someone to guide you. This is why RC4W offering a unique opportunity to new off road enthusiasts.
More Than Just An Off-Road Trail Club
Today, Rim Country 4 Wheelers is more than a mere social group it is a family. The club members help each other on projects that require assistance, from minor upgrades and repairs on their vehicles to building out a full rig and everything in between.
RC4W welcomes all Jeep and 4WD enthusiasts to the club and has formal club meetings on the fourth Thursday of each month. With 99% of club members retired, the club runs weekly trails every Wednesday when the trails are less crowded, making it perfect for inexperienced off-road drivers to learn from the more experienced.
RC4W has also become an integral part of the community in Payson, AZ, participating in the town’s annual Christmas Parade, with all the Jeeps fully decorated. The lead Jeep pulls a fully ornate trailer and displays all the toys collected for Toys for Tots. Individual members of the club also band together to make donations for the lesser privileged children through Shop With A Hero program for kids.
Always Looking To Help New Members
The club is always welcoming to new and prospective members. Non-members can attend any of the runs as a guest. Prior to a trail ride the members conduct an informal interview of guests to determine whether the vehicle is adequately equipped to handle the trail. Besides the weekly runs on Wednesdays, RC4W runs on weekends as needed for special occasions and to accommodate guests.
The club is always open to new members. If you’re looking to experience the best of what Arizona has to offer Rim Country 4 Wheelers is right here to welcome you!
“Leave no trace” and “We leave no one behind” are mantras that RC4W abides by. If you would like to learn more about Rim Country 4 Wheelers and how to join, check out RC4W’s website and Facebook page.