Hunter: Once I started attending Junior Development camps at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, it was clear that I would be at a huge disadvantage if I could not ride a Supercross track regularly. That was in 2011/2012. The property that would eventually become Hilltop Ranch was already in our family, as a potential new location for the family business. As my dad was walking the property one day, he had a vision: “let’s build a supercross starting hill, and maybe a first and second straight.” In 2013 we all attended the Manchester SX race and came back with big ideas and plans.
Things got more serious when we brought in C&K Contractors from the UK to complete what my dad had accomplished to that point. We needed more dirt, and had truckloads brought to the site to build-up the features we wanted. Our friend Andy Weaver provided some of the heavy equipment and a water truck for the build, and by mid-summer 2013, we had a true SX track.
As a family, we learned quickly that a project like this does not happen overnight. After the straightaways and turns were built, we moved on to building the starting hill and coach’s tower. By Fall 2013, I was able to start doing full-on SX training out here.
Another thing we learned is that “it’s never done.” One phase ends, and after a few weeks or months of riding it, you want to add something, or build-up something else. We’re comfortable with that (now), and just finished a rework of the second straight, which turned out amazing.
As far as we know, we have the first-and-only, independently owned and operated BMX Supercross track in the US—perhaps even the world. We want people to feel welcomed and right at home.
The Ranch house was remodeled in 2013. It is totally furnished with two full bathrooms, one master bedroom with a king bed, one bedroom with two double beds and a bunk room which currently has one double bed and a set of bunks. The bunk room will eventually sleep seven or eight.
There’s a fully-equipped kitchen, so guests staying on the property can prepare and cook their own meals, instead of eating out. The house has two furnished living areas, and a laundry room with washer and dryer. And, of course, some of the best riding in the US, right out back. It truly is a is a home away from home! Coming soon: a full gym.
When the track and Ranch House are rented together as a package deal, the guests have full privacy to come and go, train and rest, as they please.
—Joel and Regina Pelham