Welcome to the

at MERUS Adventure™ Park

What is the TrailRecon Challenge?

The TrailRecon Challenge is an off-road/ overlanding challenge created by MERUS Adventure™ park owner Dirk van Reenen and Brad Kowitz of TrailRecon.

This is an incredible 3-day 2 night journey to test your skills and equipment in one of most beautiful canyons in North America, Palo Duro Canyon. The challenge can be run on one of two routes; The Challenge or the Extreme Challenge.

You will descend 850 feet into the earth and navigate through 4 geological layers of exposed dirt, sand, rock, stone, and the legendary “red dirt” and face more obstacles than you can count along the way with some of the most incredibly beautiful scenery in Texas through Palo Duro Canyon.

The prize!

When you complete the challenge you will receive your one-of-a-kind SERIALIZED Coin and Badge to show the world that you completed one of the most epic off-road challenges in America. These are high-quality metal and stand out compared to other badges in size, color, and quality.

This is also your chance to earn your challenge coin that you can pull out and throw down if you ever run across Brad on the trail:)

Watch Brad and Dirk's adventure

on the TrailRecon Extreme Challenge

Play Video

Things to See and Experience Along the Way

As you navigate the challenge you have opportunities to see incredible sites including a 120-year-old logging cable system, large pieces of petrified wood, hoodoos, purple dirt from the aquatic era when the canyon was underwater, and you can stop by and explore one of our caves along the route and see the spectacular earth below the surface of the canyon.

improving Your Skill and experience

One thing we constantly hear at Merus from visitors from across the country is how much their skill improves from running our trails for 2-3 days. We have designed and built these trails to be a fully engaging experience. Our trails have obstacle after obstacle after obstacle to keep the fun and adrenaline flowing and create a one-of-a-kind experience.

Both routes take 3 days and 2 nights to complete with a total trail running time of around 15 hrs for the Challenge and 19 hrs for the Extreme Challenge.

Running either one of these challenges will greatly increase your level of skill and experience due to the vast number of obstacles and challenges along the way.

Camping and lodging

You can choose to camp along the route overlanding style or you can stay at an RV site, Glamping site, or Cabin. If you don’t want to haul all your gear on the trails and run lighter, choose to set up a base camp on the Rim of the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon. We also have full hookup RV spots available on the rim.

We allow 10 rigs to run the TrailRecon Challenge each weekend on either a Thursday-Saturday or Friday-Sunday timeline. You can also opt to “run with others” and we can connect individuals together to run the routes together (which is recommended) to be able to spot each other, help with recoveries, and build some epic new friendships.

Available Dates

Booking Your Challenge Trip

How it Works

  • Book the available weekend you want to run the challenge. It’s a 3 day, 2 night challenge and you can either book a Thursday to Saturday or Friday to Sunday

  • Once you book we will send you an email with all the info you need to get prepped for your trip.

  • GAIA GPS will be required for this challenge! We will send out maps prior to your arrival.

  • You will be required to map your route on GAIA to prove your completion and adherence to the trail routes

  • Plan your route to MERUS Adventure™ Park

  • Show up by 9:30 AM on your first day to check in and get briefed

  • Get ready for fun and adventure

What's Included

  • Your park access

  • Off-road passes for 3 days

  • 2 nights of camping (glamping, cabins, or RV spaces are additional)

  • Your Serialized Badge and Coin if you complete the challenge

  • And 50% off park recovery should you need it

The Price

Ready to Book the TrailRecon Challenge?

Ready to Book the TrailRecon Extreme Challenge?

All ticket sales are final and refunds cannot be issued. Store credit can be offered in the event you cannot make your reservation.

Check Out More of TrailRecon

at MERUS Adventure™ Park

Based on 258 reviews
dan perrin
dan perrin
July 7, 2023.
Awesome park, really fun
Samuel Painter
Samuel Painter
July 7, 2023.
Great off road park! Beautiful scenery!
James Pritchard
James Pritchard
June 12, 2023.
Went out here with a group of friends with a very diverse group of vehicles, two Jeeps, one Tundra, One Tacoma, an F150 and two Land Rovers (one of which had no low range!!) and we had a great time. At some point we took a wrong turn and ended up on a black trail when we intended on only going on green and blue trails. It was rough but using teamwork we made it through! We camped two nights and the Merus staff did everything to brief us on their safety measures and accommodations. The lady at the front desk was very helpful and extremely knowledgeable. If you're looking for a great place to camp and wheel, anything from mild to wild, look no further than Merus!!
Stephen Kick
Stephen Kick
June 11, 2023.
Awesome trip. Guide on the Green tour was great. Definitely going back.
June 8, 2023.
This place is amazing. It has trails that fit any rig from stock to buggy and everything in between. I attended the Texas Toyota Takeover and spent 4 days in the park and may have seen a 10th of the park. Check the website for details about amenities. There is an office building near the front gate that has 2 bathrooms with shower open 24/7 if you’re doing a primitive camp. There are other off-road parks that say they are the best in Texas but this place will soon become the number one spot. Highly recommend spending a few days out there. You won’t regret it.
David Slaten
David Slaten
June 7, 2023.
An amazing place to escape the urban grind and drive as challenging of a 4WD trail as you wish to explore. The staff are incredibly friendly and focused on creating a great learning and adventurous environment.
June 6, 2023.
Merus is absolutely amazing and it's getting better every time I visit. New facilities, camp grounds, cabins, glamping, hiking trails and off road trails are popping up every couple months. Great atmosphere and friendly staff. Thank you Merus crew for opening and maintaining such a wonderful place and allowing people to truly experience Palo Duro Canyon without litter, without trash, and without obnoxious noise. Instead you get peaceful nature, clean facilities, no litter, and beautiful landscape. This place is truly amazing and I am excited to come back very soon.
Kasey Harris
Kasey Harris
May 29, 2023.
Attended MAP’s first Adventure Her event and had the best time ever. The scenery and place is mesmerizing. Gorgeous canyons. Even though it rained and was cold and windy the first night, the staff and owners were extremely present and attentive to help provide anyone with assistance following the storm. They even gave my friend an additional air mattress to borrow. The Jeep trails are pristine and dedicated only to off road vehicles (no bikes or motorcycles). There were 101 classes, spotters and safety protocols that made the weekend feel fun but safe. Absolutely will be at this place again and again. Can’t wait for their new camping sites to open!

Questions you might have

We limit the spots available every week for the TrailRecon Challenge to 10 rigs. To ensure you have a space available, registration is required.

The cost of registration includes camping fees at our designated camping locations that are part of the TrailRecon Challenge and TrailRecon Extreme Challenge. These locations will be marked on your map prior to you starting the challenges. Optional upgrades at one of our glamping sites, cabins, or RV hook-up slots are available for an additional cost. 

Part of both the TrailRecon Challenge and the TrailRecon Extreme Challenge is the overlanding experience. However, you will have the choice to set up a base camp or to overland and stay at a different location each night. 

Plan to bring as much water as you think you’ll need. Should you run out and need more, we can provide a few gallons.

We get it, there’s nothing better than gathering around the campfire after a day on the trails. However, MERUS Adventure™ is currently observing a strict fire ban. Propane cooktops are permitted and acceptable. NO WOOD, CHARCOAL, OR NATURAL BURNING FIRES ARE ALLOWED. 

In addition, we ask that smokers be prepared to distinguish their cigarettes/cigars in their vehicle. This park is precious to us and we work hard daily to protect it. If you are found to violate these rules, you will be reminded once then asked to leave the park on repeated instances. 

Absolutely! We love having pets and furry family at the park. The canyon does provide many natural hazards, in addition to the many vehicles at this event. So for the safety of the animal, we do require pets to be leashed and in your full control at all times.

Open alcoholic beverages and consumption are prohibited in off-road-vehicles during use on trails, in public parking areas. Alcohol consumption is allowed in designated camping and event areas only. Violators will be asked to leave the event.

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