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There are many ways to get there. Wherever you’re going really, but specifically, to School Bus Canyon, which isn’t really called that officially anyway. You could probably get there in a Subaru, I’m sure someone has done it. Getting there is half the fun. As is stopping along the way to look at ruined mines, wild burros or play in the sand. One thing you can’t get there in, however, is a school bus.
The route to School Bus Canyon starts off highway 447 north of Pyramid Lake.
For a full guide on how to get to Scholl Bus Canyon with GPS tracks, check out the post we have on the website that has directions, GPS tracks, photos, video and more.
For this trip we have three very cool and very different off road vehicles. Sadly, only one of them is mine…

3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

Third Gen Tacoma
We had my 2017 Tacoma TRD Off Road and if you’ve been following this channel you’ll know that it’s, what I like to call, tastefully modified.

Modified Polaris RZR XP4 1000

Polaris RZR on the Rubicon
We also have my dad’s RZR which is he’s modified to monster mode. Here’s a video of the RZR running the Rubicon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LucfmOE50x4

Ford Bronco Outerbanks Edition with ARB Kit

Ford Bronco Outer Banks ARB EditionAnd we have this is a 2021 Ford Bronco Outer Banks Edition that was on loan from ARB for a video we shot for 4Wheel Parts. You can view that video and read the article Harry wrote on The Dirt, the 4 Wheel Parts Blog. This Bronco has everything ARB makes for the new Ford Bronco added on.

Which is Best?

Now, the lead for this video is kind of a joke, but in all seriousness, there are pros and cons to each of these three vehicles for trips like this.
The RZR XP4 1000 is fast, and fun and can get you to School Bus Canyon in the shortest amount of time with the biggest grin and there’s nothing conceivable that could block your path. On the other hand, It’s cold, or hot, noisy and dusty and requires a tow vehicle and trailer, which means you have to start and finish in the same place.
The 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma is comfortable and capable and has a lot of storage in the bed for gear, food and toys. But back seat space is cramped due to the pickup truck format and the wheelbase and hangovers are long making breakeover and approach/departure angles worse.
The new Ford Bronco has all the benefits of a compact SUV like our old 4Runner, with the added benefit of newer design with longer wheel base, infinite upgradeability and modularity, amazing ecoboost power and the ability to run 35 inch tires from the factory. This one has the added benefit of being fully equipped with everything that ARB makes for the Bronco platform.
On the other hand, cargo space is extremely limited, there’s no rear access without opening the tire door and lifting the glass and 35 inch tires, like ten gallon hats, don’t make you no cowboy.
The Bronco has a lot of cool tech, like a front facing camera and 365 view camera, and turbos and a 10 speed transmission, and lane keep assist and auto high beams and adaptive cruise control. It all works really well, but can be overwhelming unless you read the directions, and we don’t do that kind of thing around here.
Fortunately all these vehicles do pretty well in the sand so we had some fun scooting across the sandy section crossing the lake bed.
I will note one other cool feature of the Bronco is the trail turn assist. When that’s on and you crank the wheel to lock, it brakes the inside tire and cuts your turning radius way way down.
Our old Bronco was notorious for having an amazingly tight turning radius, so this is a necessary feature for the new Bronco as well as a huge advantage any time you’re 4 wheeling.
The first stop is the MGL Mine site. The kids love climbing around on this and exploring the ruins and structures here. It’s also a perfect place to stop for lunch and it’s about half way to the School Busses.

Rock Crawling in the Ford Bronco, RZR and Tacoma

Here you can see that just because the bronco has bigger tires, and shorter overhangs, it doesn’t necessarily have better approach and departure angles than the Tacoma because the Tacoma has more suspension lift. This isn’t a knock on the Bronco at all, just pointing out that there are more considerations.
Ford Bronco Approach and departure angles
Danielle drove the Tacoma all day, including through the one rock crawling obstacle, which was the gnarliest thing she’s driven through in this vehicle. She did really well and I’m super stoked.
The RZR has so much clearance that line choice and driving skill isn’t much of an issue here. Just mash the pedal and hold on.
The RZR in Unstopable
The Tacoma on the other hand took more consideration. Danielle had it on MTS mode and you can see that traction control feature working when the wheels slip slightly here and there.
Note here how the truck still has a few inches of clearance above that rock for the slider.
The Bronco has a full compliment of steel armor from ARB including skid plates underneath as well as a Bronco Summit front bumper and Zenith rear bumper for the Bronco, as well as these ARB Zenith sliders. So I wasn’t too too worried about major damage.
New Ford Bronco Rock Crawling
At the same time, this is a vehicle they built for pictures and video, so I’m sure they don’t want a bunch of scratches and dents in the merchandise…
And so I ended up hitting the slider…
It’ll buff out…
In the end every vehicle did really well and was super fun in it’s own way on the road to School Bus Canyon. The RZR was a favorite with the kids. Everyone loved the Bronco, because it’s rad. And red. And there’s just something about the Tacoma.
Will I be trading my Tacoma for a Bronco? Probably not. Even if I could get my hands on one, I don’t think it would work for us, great though it may be.
Ford Bronco vs. Toyota Tacoma vs. Polaris RZR
What do you think? Which would you rather have for exploring the back roads of Nevada?
Happy Trails
-M

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