A yellow 2021 Ford Bronco is shown kicking up sand after leaving a Ford dealer.

No Bulls, Just Broncos: The Bronco Off-Roadeo

When I first ventured off-road in my Jeep Wrangler, I never imagined so much thought or preparation could go into answering the call of the wild. Naively, I thought off-roading was nothing more than exploring a trail in the woods with friends, ending the day around a campfire with a few stories to tell. While I was right about the campfire and the stories, I was entirely wrong about everything else. Off-roading is more than answering the call of the wild on a whim; it requires knowing your vehicle and how it handles, exploring route options, preparing your rig, and planning for the best and worst scenarios.

While I’ve since traded in my two-door Wrangler, I’ll eventually get behind the wheel of the legendary Bronco. Of course, Ford dealers across the country are thrilled with what the Bronco has done to excite drivers. Still, America’s automotive pioneer is taking that excitement one step further by educating Bronco owners on the best ways to get the most out of these iconic SUVs. It’s known as Bronco Off-Roadeo, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that prepares you for every adventure.

Welcome to the Bronco Off-Roadeo

One of the unique aspects of the off-road realm is that experienced off-roaders are always looking to push their rigs to the extremes, testing how far they can go. While most drivers never experience the full capacity of what their cars, trucks, and SUVs can do, off-roaders bask in the thrill of discovering new capabilities or how a modification can impact performance. It’s a constant learning process that Bronco kickstarts with a hands-on, once-in-a-lifetime learning experience known as Bronco Off-Roadeo.

Bronco Off-Roadeo held its first event in the summer of 2021 at Grey Wolf Ranch in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. The event was such a success that Ford added three additional locations–Moab, Nevada, and New Hampshire–to give more drivers the opportunity to test the limits of their Broncos and Bronco Sports with the help of expert off-roaders. So, what can you expect from the 10-hour course?

What to Expect

The Ford Bronco rolls off the factory floor ready for adventure, but for inexperienced off-roaders, the SUV can be intimidating to navigate. Ford equips the SUV with advanced features like Trail Control, One-Pedal Drive, Trail Turn Assist, and a Terrain Management System with G.O.A.T. or “Goes Over Any type of Terrain” Modes. But how do you know when to use the correct mode or rely on certain trail-assist tools?

A yellow 2021 Ford Bronco is shown from the side on a sand dune.

Hands-On Training

Every Bronco Off-Roadeo begins with a 90-minute introduction to the Bronco and Bronco Sport. The hands-on tutorial provides insights into the various drive modes and how they tailor the Bronco’s performance to the situation or your driving preferences. Bronco owners also get a closer look at unique features like One-Pedal Drive, Trail Turn Assist, and Trail Control and how these tools can transform every experience on the trail by improving handling, acting as low-speed cruise control, or optimizing your focus. You’ll even gain insights into the importance of front and rear differential lockers and a firsthand look at how the 360-degree camera system operates.

As experts highlight these features and integrated technologies like the Bronco’s Trail Maps, you’ll also learn more about etiquette on the trail and recovery techniques for various situations. For example, off-road experts will show you why hi-lift jacks are popular and when they’re best employed. Likewise, you’ll learn about other recovery gear like winches, recovery straps, and tow ropes. More importantly, the Bronco Off-Roadeo instructors will show you where to attach and how to rig and operate the gear safely.

Plenty of Trail Time

After the 90-minute introduction to the Bronco’s features, the Bronco Off-Roadeo moves to the trail to put you behind the wheel and apply what you learned. These two and four-hour curated trail drives will challenge your skills and give you a glimpse into your Bronco or Bronco Sport’s capability. You’ll learn essential lessons like “slow is smooth and smooth is stable,” how to evaluate upcoming situations for optimal performance, and the benefits of making small rather than quick or reactive movements.

Where It’s Offered

Bronco Off-Roadeo debuted in 2021 in the Texas Hill Country at Grey Wolf Ranch in Horseshoe Bay. The venue’s rugged Texas landscape gives drivers in the southern United States ample opportunities to put their Broncos to the test. But what if you aren’t close to Texas? Ford offers three unique options in Moab, Nevada, and New Hampshire.

“We wanted each location to be epic, to be picturesque, to build great memories, and we needed them to be challenging, but we also needed a challenge that was driveable for all skill levels,” Bryan Guldi, Bronco Experiences Marketing Manager, said “And it’s not just off-roading. We want people to come out and learn everything they can about their Bronco and have a blast. Then you can do all these things while you’re out there–rock climbing, fishing, rafting, mountain biking, you name it.”

The Bronco Off-Roadeo offers it all, expanding its lineup from Texas to Moab. With its Mars-like landscape offering everything from trail runs and mountain biking to river rafting, Moab is the ultimate destination for off-roaders. Bronco Off-Roadeo attendees can enjoy it all from the comfort of Red Cliffs Lodge, which serves as a basecamp for the one-day course. For those who can’t make it to Moab, the Bronco Off-Roadeo is also offered minutes off the Las Vegas strip between the Great Basin and Mojave Deserts on Mt. Potosi. The venue is renowned for Baja-style racing, with rock shelves and a harsh landscape that will put your Bronco to the test.

East coast drivers also have an opportunity to explore their Bronco’s capability with Bronco Off-Roadeo New Hampshire. With Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford serving as basecamp, the New Hampshire event offers breathtaking views of the Belknap Mountains and Lake Winnipesaukee. It also gives you a front-row seat to the renowned ORX training course that will take you through the mountains and over steep climbs.

Who Can Attend

Every purchase of a 2021 Bronco, 2021 Bronco Sport First Edition, 2022 Bronco Sport Badlands, or 2023 Bronco Sport includes a complimentary visit to the Bronco Off-Roadeo. In addition, those who have a qualifying Bronco or Bronco Sport on order can also attend the Bronco Off-Roadeo before their SUVs are delivered. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about pushing your Bronco or Bronco Sport to the limits since the Bronco Off-Roadeo event includes a Bronco or Bronco Sport to drive.

In addition, your Bronco Off-Roadeo experience includes the 10-hour course, lunch, and dinner. You’ll also have access to Trail Guide experts and fellow Bronco owners, with the event wrapping up with a campfire and s’mores, weather permitting. Although travel and lodging are not included in the event, Bronco Off-Roadeo encourages you to experience everything the locations offer with lodging discounts and other experiences like kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, and more.

A yellow 2021 Ford Bronco is shown on a dusty trail.

Building a Lifestyle Brand With Bronco

As a Wrangler owner, I became part of the Jeep community, where owners often show solidarity with the Jeep wave. It’s a feeling that’s hard to give up because few automakers have built this type of community or lifestyle. Fortunately, Ford recognizes this and the Bronco’s impact on the American automotive landscape throughout history. As a result, Ford is diligently working to establish the Bronco as a lifestyle brand with events like Bronco Off-Roadeo.

Driving a Bronco isn’t just about owning a trail-ready SUV that’s always ready for adventure. It’s also about owning an icon and joining a family of adventurers that appreciate the Bronco as much as you do. This community and events like Bronco Off-Roadeo entice more drivers to Ford’s beloved SUV and establish a rapidly expanding community. In doing so, the Bronco is gaining an edge over the competition and proving the Wrangler isn’t the only SUV capable of answering the call of the wild or meeting fellow drivers with a smile and friendly wave.