New Mexico Jeep Group is a welcoming, passionate, family friendly, and active Jeep group. If you live in New Mexico and are into Jeeping, you need to get to know these folks.
During the planning and research phase of my 13 state – 2 country – 11 month long trip, I ran across the New Mexico Jeep Group Facebook group and reached out to them…
Am I ever glad that I did.
Oh yeah, about my trip this year…
As my regular readers know, I’m currently on my “Western Mountain Loop” trip in 2018.
When I reached out to them, they not only welcomed me with open arms, they flooded me with photos of some of their own epic adventures and exploits. The kind of photos that make you want to grab your keys join in on the fun.
There were so many photos sent my way it was hard to pick just a few to include in the article. If you sent me one and I didn’t include it I apologize, I think I must have received about 100! But I grabbed a few to use in this article, hope you enjoy them.
Check this out…
If I called the “Land of Enchantment” home, there is no question that I’d be an active member. Heck, Kokopelli himself would probably be a member.
If you live there and are into the Jeep life, I highly suggest you connect with them. Like right now.
But first, their story…
New Mexico Jeep Group: Origins
The spark, that lit the flame, happened in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 24th, 2012.
It was on this day that four Jeepers, who had met online at Jeep Wrangler Forum, got together in person for the first time and became the nucleus of what would soon become the New Mexico Jeep Group.
Founders Fred Hawkins, Jay Gilson, Troy Houbaugh, and Michael Little met up at a restaurant and simply talked about creating some sort of drama free group that could just go out and have fun wheeling together.
Most of them had previously been part of other clubs and organizations and didn’t want any part of the drama and club politics that typically come along with running this kind of organization. (For anyone who has ever founded or run a Jeep club or group, you know this is a tough challenge.)
In short, these four guys were just Jeepers that wanted to have fun.
Impressively enough, considering their current numbers and over 6 years of existence, they have done very well to steer clear of all that nonsense.
The New Mexico Jeep Group officially formed in 2013 and they held their first official meet and greet in Albuquerque later that year in September.
In September of 2016, they did something that I personally admire. They started a New Mexico Jeep Group Ladies Only Chapter.
But never despise humble beginnings.
Today, this organization boasts nearly 1800 members on their Facebook group alone. (As of this writing.)
Now in 2018, the New Mexico Jeep Group is a vibrant community of Jeepers from all over the State of New Mexico.
They are all about sharing photos, working with charities, sharing experiences, humor and of course, getting together to wheel.
New Mexico Jeep Group: Purpose
The New Mexico Jeep Group is a non-profit off-road community established by Jeepers for Jeepers. This is evident the first time you speak with any one of their members.
They are rabidly passionate about Jeeping and even more so about serving the community in which they live. Actively partnering with charitable organizations is one of the ways they give back to the community.
And they’ve got this down to a science.
A prime example of this is when they got together to raise money for K9 units and first responders. In their first year of doing this they raised over $12,000.
In 2017 they raised over $20,000 for these organizations. Talk about having an impact on your local community!
Or how about the time the New Mexico Jeep Group pulled Santa in a Fire Truck and made their Jeeps the reindeer? What a great idea right? Check this out.
How can you not love these folks?
But that is not all.
The New Mexico Jeep Group also works with the Bureau of Land Management, the Park Service, and other organizations.
In 2017 the Forest Service was forced to close numerous single track, 2 track, and ATV trails due to someone sabotaging the trails with sharp spikes.
Members of the New Mexico Jeep group along with several other organizations volunteered to WALK over 20 miles of trails to clear the dangerous spikes. Immediately after this volunteer effort, all of the previously closed trails were reopened.
The beauty of all this, is that these weren’t even Jeep trails!
The members of the New Mexico Jeep Group were just volunteering because they truly believe it is important to work together to keep ALL of New Mexico’s trail systems open for use by everyone.
How cool is that?
New Mexico Jeep Group: Membership
Every Jeeper in New Mexico is welcome to join!
The New Mexico Jeep Group is all about promoting a fun, safe, family friendly, ethical, and environmentally responsible environment for Jeep enthusiasts.
There are no dues or fees for membership.
However a “Supporting Membership” is available for a nominal annual fee of $40.
Supporting members receive special incentives each year and help to keep the New Mexico Jeep Group completing their purpose.
In addition, supporting members receive:
- Access to the members only area of the website
- Group vendor discounts
- Two waterproof UV protected stickers
- One year individual membership to NMOHVA ($20.00 value)
- 50% off membership to TreadLightly ($50-$100 value)
- A limited edition New Mexico Jeep Group Challenge coin (while supplies last)
- 4 limited edition New Mexico Jeep Group 16oz cups provided by New Mexico Jeep Builders (while supplies last)
Interested in becoming a supporting member? You can become a supporting member here.
It is important to note that all New Mexico Jeep Group members are prohibited from engaging in any illegal activity while on, or at, New Mexico Jeep Group functions. Failure to comply with this rule may be grounds for immediate removal or suspension.
New Mexico Jeep Group: Activities
This is a busy group!
One of the things I really like about the New Mexico Jeep Group is their level of activities. Because why would you want to be part of a Jeep group that isn’t active right?
To give you an idea of numbers. Their 3 last monthly trail rides had 42/71/44 rigs come out for those events!
On their monthly meet and greets they’ll typically have 50 Jeeps and 80-100+ folks that attend each month!
The New Mexico Jeep Group focuses on the following activities:
- Monthly meet and greets with a different vendor sponsor each month
- Monthly trail ride the weekend after the meet and greet event
- Movie premier nights where they rent out an entire theatre for the members to big release movies
- Organized off-road events
- Overnight trips
- Charitable events
- Fundraising events
- End of the year BBQ and Camp Out (October)
New Mexico Jeep Group: Closing Thoughts
I asked Fred Hawkins, one of the Founders of the New Mexico Jeep Group, who answered my questions for the purposes of this interview if he had anything that he’d like to add. He said, and I paraphrase:
Our common passion is Jeeps, all models from 1941 to present. If you are a current, past, or future Jeep owner/enthusiast you are welcome to join! If you like to talk about Jeeps, work on Jeeps we’d love to have you as part of our membership. Whether you are into running some of the most demanding trails in the country or mall-crawling makes no difference. All Jeep enthusiasts are welcome in the New Mexico Jeep Group. Come hang out with us and meet some fellow Jeepers.
Personally, if you are in the Land of Enchantment and are into Jeeps, I’d highly encourage you to get involved with the New Mexico Jeep Group. You can check out their main website here.
I plan on hanging out with them on my Western Mountain Loop Trip sometime later this month.
Can’t wait to meet these fine Jeep folks who are having an impact all over the state of New Mexico.
Until next time, keep it dirty and wheels side down.