The KOH Survival Guide: 2018 Edition

Need the 4-1-1 on attending King of the Hammers? We’ve got you covered on everything from directions to schedules and essential items you’ll need on the lakebed.

Getting There

King of the Hammers is located at Means Dry Lake, in Johnson Valley, California. Depending on what direction you are traveling along Highway 247, you will be turning off the pavement at Boone Road. Heading North on Boone Road, which is a maintained dirt road, you will wind back and forth until you reach the entry gate. Hammertown is just a straight shot after you pass through the gate.

KOH map

Navigating Hammertown

We suggest downloading this map image ahead of time for quick reference while you’re out there. Remember, there is no cell phone coverage in Johnson Valley, and WiFi hotspots are not 100% reliable. You can pick up a free copy of our latest issue of Driving Line at the Nitto and Monster Energy booths!

Hammertown Map

Course Map

Here is a link to instructions on how to obtain a course map. Follow the instructions on the page to download the app and purchase the course maps. Doing this ahead of time allows you to use the maps without cell phone reception. 

Wayland and Shannon Campbell

What To Bring

We’ve compiled a short list of both essential things you’ll need to survive King of the Hammers, as well as a list of optional items you might consider bringing for your time in Johnson Valley.

Must Haves

  • A good flashlight or headlamp
  • Camera
  • Comfortable shoes/boots that can take a beating
  • Sunglasses
  • Layers of clothing to take off and put on
  • Hat/Beanie
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Hydro-flask or large water bottle
  • Toilet paper
  • Small backpack

Optional Items To Consider

  • Cooler
  • Bandana
  • Camp chair
  • Moisturizing lotion (it’s very dry and dusty in the desert)
  • Baby wipes
  • Firewood
  • Space heater
  • HotHands hand warmers
  • Cash for good deals at the vendor booths
  • Pitbike or bicycle for getting around Hammertown easily

Vaughn Gitten Jr at Wild West Motorsports park

Event Schedule

Here is a comprehensive schedule of events throughout KOH week.

Friday February 2, 2018—Opening Day

  • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration Opens—Big Tent
  • 9 a.m. Pre-Running Opens
  • 9 a.m. Tech Opens at Factor 55 Tech Tent. All new 4400-4800 must tech by Tech close on Monday.

Saturday February 3, 2018—4600 & UTV Qualifying—Schampa King of The Motos Part 1

  • a.m.-4 p.m. Continue Registration and Pre-Running
  • 10 a.m. Qualifying Driver Meeting for Pro-Comp 4600/4900-UTV—Big Tent
  • 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 4600 & UTV Qualifying—Jeep Proving Grounds Short Course
  • 3 p.m. KOM Spectator Maps at Schampa
  • 4 p.m. Mandatory Schampa King of the Motos Riders Meeting—Big Tent
  • 6 p.m. Schampa King of the Motos Part 1

Sunday February 4, 2018—Schampa King of the Motos Parts 2 and 3—KOH Kick Off Party

  • a.m. Schampa King of the Motos Part 2
  • 10:30 a.m. Schampa King of The Motos Part 3
  • 6 p.m. Currie Event Kickoff/Party—Currie Booth
  • 6 p.m. KOM Awards Ceremony—Jumbotron

Monday February 5, 2018—4500 & 4800 Qualifying—Holley EFI Shootout Presented by KMC, King & Action Sports Canopies

  • Pre-Running Day
  • 9 a.m. Mandatory 4500 & 4800 Drivers Meeting for Qualifying—Big Tent
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 4500 & 4800 Qualifying—Jeep Proving Grounds Short Course
  • Noon-8 p.m. Vendor Hours in Hammertown
  • 4:30 p.m. 4400 Mandatory Drivers Meeting for Qualifying—Big Tent 
  • 5 p.m. Mandatory Drivers Meeting for Shootout—Big Tent 
  • 6 p.m. Holley EFI Shootout Presented by KMC, King & Action Sports Canopies

Tuesday February 6, 2018—4400 Qualifying

  • Noon-6 p.m. UTV Tech and Contingency EMC May Tech As Well—Hammertown 
  • Noon-8 p.m. Vendor Hours in Hammertown
  • 3:45 p.m. Awards Ceremony for Shootout Participants Before Power Hour
  • 4 p.m. Axial R/C practice in Hammertown—Axial Booth
  • 5 p.m. Close of Qualifying
  • 6 p.m. Mandatory Drivers Meeting for All KOH UTV Racers
  • 6:30 p.m. Axial R/C races in Hammertown—Axial Booth

Wednesday February 7, 2018—Can-Am KOH UTV Race Presented by HCR

  • 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Can-Am KOH UTV Race Presented by HCR
  • Noon-6 p.m. EMC Tech and Contingency—Hammertown
  • Noon-8 p.m. Vendor Hours in Hammertown
  • 4 p.m. Axial R/C Practice in Hammertown—Axial Booth
  • 6 p.m. KMC Belly Flop Contest—KMC Booth
  • 6 p.m. Mandatory Drivers Meeting for Smittybilt Every Man Challenge Race—Big Tent 
  • 6:30 p.m. Axial R/C Races in Hammertown—Axial Booth
  • 8 p.m. King Shocks Party—King Shocks Booth

Thursday February 8, 2018—Smittybilt Every Man Challenge

  • 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Smittybilt Every Man Challenge Race
  • Noon-7 p.m. KOH Tech and Contingency in Hammertown
  • Noon–8 p.m. Vendor Hours in Hammertown 
  • 4 p.m. Axial R/C Practice in Hammertown—Axial Booth
  • 6 p.m. Monster Energy Volunteer Dinner 
  • 6:30 p.m. Axial R/C Races in Hammertown—Axial Booth
  • 7 p.m. Mandatory Drivers Meeting for KOH—Big Tent 
  • 7 p.m. Rigid We Own the Night Poker Run—See Rigid Booth
  • 8 p.m. Volunteer Staffing Meeting 

Friday February 9, 2018—Nitto King of The Hammers Powered by Optima Batteries

  • 6 a.m. Driver Line Up 2018 Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by Optima
  • Noon–8 p.m. Vendor Hours in Hammertown
  • 8 a.m.–10 p.m. 2018 Nitto King of the Hammers Powered by Optima Batteries

Saturday February 10, 2018—Closing Ceremonies—Genright KOH Experience—Axial Altra 5K

  • 9 a.m. Awards Ceremony UTV—KOH—EMC—Big Tent
  • 10:30 a.m. KOH The Experience With Genright—Hammertown 
  • 11 a.m. Axial ALTRA 5K and Adventure R/C Crawl 

Derek West powering through the rocks

2018 KOH Coverage and Galleries

You won’t want to miss this! Check out Driving Line's KOH page for all the coverage you need. But why wait until after it's over? We've got plenty of cool stuff to check out from last year's KOH.

Find out how King of the Hammers was created and how it's changed over the years.

First timer? We've got your crash course right here.

Want to know what it takes to prepare for the toughest one-day race on earth? We asked some of the top racers in Ultra4 how they do it:

The 2018 King of the Hammers is sure to be one for the books, with young racers giving everything they've got to claim the throne, and veteran Kings charging hard for another chance at glory. With three laps and hundreds of miles over the roughest terrain in North America, find out what goes into the anatomy of a KOH-winning tire.

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