Jeep Cherokee Overland12:20:00 PM
When I first saw the Deep Cherry Red Overland we had for our off-road trip with Jeep I have to admit I was surprised. I expected we would have had a Wrangler or at least the Trailhawk version of the Cherokee, as opposed to the luxurious Overland trim package full of supple leather and loaded with options. But a quick check showed that those options included skid plates, it is still a Jeep after all and we planned on using it like one.
We left the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown Palm Springs early in the morning and made our way towards Berdoo Canyon which would take from the Coachella Valley into Joshua Tree National Park. Around town, the Overland was quiet, smooth and comfortable, even packed with four big guys and all our gear. The cooled seats are amazing on hot days and glass panoramic roof made the Cherokee feel much larger inside.
The first part of Berdoo Canyon is fairly straightforward, the old paved road had washed away but much of the original path is still there. After a few miles, the old road dead ends and it becomes a trail through an ever tightening canyon.
We took the opportunity to try the hill descent control while tackling a sandy slope, the Overland has a 2-speed Active Drive II 4-wheel drive system with low-range that works well, the only difference from the Trailhawk is a locking rear differential not offered on the Overland. However, as we discovered the lack of a locking differential didn't slow us down one bit.
As we made our way up the canyon we came to a point that looked as if it looked like we might have to turn around. But after walking the trail I decided to give it a shot and made it up without an issue. This Cherokee was keeping up with the best 4X4s on the trail and we were doing it in perfect Luxury.
After making up the canyon the trail smoothed out into a sandy creekbed, we selected "sand mode" and kept driving down the road to Joshua Tree. The best part about having a vehicle like the Overland is that you can drive it every day to work in perfect luxury and comfort and on the weekends take it on an incredible adventure.
We made our way down into Joshua Tree where we stopped to take some pictures of the rugged natural beauty. At this point, the trail had given way to a maintained dirt road. As we were stopped we met several people headed towards the canyon to take the trail back down and out of the park.
Our Cherokee with all the options was just over $42,000, which put's it at the top end of its segment, but I have yet to find a more capable and luxurious 4X4 in the mid-size SUV class. While it is smaller than the Grand Cherokee it really is the perfect size for parking and getting around town, yet it still offers ample cargo space and proved itself on the trail.
I want to thank Jeep for loaning us the Cherokee for the weekend and James at ManTripping.com and Greg from SuburbanMen.com
Check out more of my photos from Joshua Tree Below: