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Old 07-07-2010, 02:23 PM   #1
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Colorado Trails Help!

Hello,

I am planning a trip to Colorado in early August to visit In-Laws.... Well... At least some good can come from this... I want to plan an overnight offroad trip but I am not familiar enough with the trails around there. I plan to leave from Canon City (West of Pueblo) for this trip. It is not necessary, but I would like to end up near Grand Junction at the end of day two (more in-laws live there). I don't want anything that will damage the vehicle, but I want to have fun at the same time (I am willing to risk SLIGHT damage). Any ideas on trails or routes to take would be GREATLY appreciated. It would be neat if we could find a trail leading to a hidden lake or waterfall, or something like that. I will have my wife and 2 small children with me (2 and 4 yrs old). I have been checking www.traildamage.com for trails, but I don't really know the area enough to plan a overnight camping trip. Thanks again for any ideas!

P.S. I have a 2010 tacoma double cab off road with a 3" front and 1" rear lift and Nitto Trail Grappler tires.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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i just heard of a really great trail called wheeler lake. its a hidden lake and waterfall! its not too hard, i wanted to try it... if u go get a hold of me ill join Ya! i think its up north... but ur travelin from pueblo to junction? thats a long ways... so many choices... somewhere on i70 probly would be ur best bet if not wheeler lake. im down for anywhere if u want company?
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
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I'm not to sure about wheeler lake trail... Everything at http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=40 sounds good, except one part which says:

"You'll then pass through the valley with low brush and trees scratching and scraping at your vehicle. If you're worried about your paint or plastic windows this isn't a good area to be in!"

I don't mind risking scratches, but this sounds like it is garanteed to scratch your truck...

I don't mind anyone joining us, but you must be family friendly, and also we may stop several times thoughout the day... If we come across a nice place for the kids to get out and play (like a small stream or lake). We plan on bringing sleds just in case we come across some snow at higher elevations, so we would be stopping there too for some sledding... Again I don't mind someone coming if they don't mind the stops. With 2 little kids we need to break it up a bit.

I'm not sure I am willing to tackle anything above a 4 rating (or maybe 5 depending on how the others are) at www.traildamage.com. I kinda thought Chinns Lake looked like it might be a good place to camp overnight near the lake. Has anyone done that trail? Here is the link to it:
http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=207

P.S. The dates are not definite, but right now we plan on starting our 2 day trail ride on Monday, August 2.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:54 AM   #4
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Just head into the Salida, Buena Vista area but I would buy a guide book because the trails down there can get pretty gnarly. Hit us up in a thread when you come out Im sure some of us would wheel with you.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:11 AM   #5
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Also check out www.staythetrail.org for downloadable maps. And http://bushducks.com/tripreps/passopen.htm for trail conditions. There are a couple of wheeling spots there by Canyon, if you want to go on the Sun before you head up to junction or want to get a beer to get away from the in-laws, let me know!
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:08 PM   #6
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Also look for Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails book. It is a very good trail book with pics and great trail descriptions. You kind need to take the trail difficulties with a grain of salt though, I think he wrote the book with offroad novices in mind.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:16 PM   #7
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there are a ton of trails between here and there. Several groups of 4-wheelers that organize out of this area. Shoot me a PM if you want links and more.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:19 PM   #8
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http://hicountry4wheelers.com/ a good bunch in this area. Mostly Jeep guys but good source of info.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:37 AM   #9
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Navy:
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I appreciate all the help guys! I think I am going to get that Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails book. It looks pretty good. I was talking with my father-in-law, and he tried to plan a trip for me... But I think his idea of off roading is just driving on any dirt road (not quite the same as mine... I want something that you NEED 4x4 to traverse).

Here is what he suggested... Let me know what you think... I don't think it is quite as agressive as I want, but I don't know the area either...

He said: From Canon City, take Shelf Road to Cripple Creek... then go noth to Hwy 24 to Hartsel... Then take 285 North to Hwy 22 (Weston Pass?) Take that to Hwy 7 to Hwy 24 to Leadville... Then go West to Co Rd 105 (Hagerman Pass?) to Basalt...

From what I looked at that looks WAY TO EASY, but it is really hard to plan a trip with online information only... Maybe you guys will know. Does this sound like fun? or just like a long trip down a dirt road? Hopefully when I get that Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails book I will be able to plan a little better.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:55 PM   #10
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I haven't done hagerman but it looks ok. Weston is pretty but a 2wd road, Mosquito pass is way better! I would suggest head west on hwy 50 to Old Monarch pass, then you have a few options, Waunita to cumberland pass or Tomichi pass to Hancock pass to Cumberland, or take Hancock to tincup pass. They all will take you to Tincup then camp at Taylor reservoir where you can camp for day 1.
Day 2 head to Glenwood Springs via Taylor pass to Aspen or Taylor pass to pearl pass to gothic road to schofield pass or Italian creek road to Kebler pass.
Lots of options! I know it sounds confusing but once you get the book and see the maps you will totally understand.
Kenney
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:04 PM   #11
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Just to rub it in I just responded with my cell phone while I am here!
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:07 PM   #12
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keep us updated i can prob meet up and hit the trail with you
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:16 PM   #13
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Navy:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06rubi View Post
Just to rub it in I just responded with my cell phone while I am here!
Aww Man! I can't wait... I wish there were more places like that where i'm from... That looks like a nice place to camp. I ordered the book through Amazon... $23 including shipping it was mailed out today, and it says it should arrive on Tuesday... I think this is the first time I have ever looked forward to visiting the in-laws!
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06rubi View Post
I haven't done hagerman but it looks ok. Weston is pretty but a 2wd road, Mosquito pass is way better! I would suggest head west on hwy 50 to Old Monarch pass, then you have a few options, Waunita to cumberland pass or Tomichi pass to Hancock pass to Cumberland, or take Hancock to tincup pass. They all will take you to Tincup then camp at Taylor reservoir where you can camp for day 1.
Day 2 head to Glenwood Springs via Taylor pass to Aspen or Taylor pass to pearl pass to gothic road to schofield pass or Italian creek road to Kebler pass.
Lots of options! I know it sounds confusing but once you get the book and see the maps you will totally understand.
Kenney

From the information on www.traildamage.com I think I like your route! That sounds a lot more like what I am wanting... A few of the descriptions cause me to have a little concern for my truck... Like the one about a deep water crossing, but I guess it would be rated tougher if it really was... Do you think I'll have any problems with my double cab trd off road 4x4? I only have a 3" lift up front and 1" in the back... So far... I am thinking I'm going your route... Can't wait for that book though.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:22 PM   #15
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Most of the "toughness" of these trails is the pucker factor of the shelf roads. Some of the turns will be tight with the wheel base.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:40 PM   #16
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Shelf Road

My wife and I unexpectedly drove on Shelf Road from Cripple Creek to Canyon City on June 20th of this year. We left out rental cabin on the outskirts of Pikes Peak Forest. I had programed the address of the place we were headed to do our rafting trip in my GPS. It was around a 30 mile drive and a little over a hour drive according to the GPS. We thought it (GPS) had sent us on a wild goose chase. It was the most spectacular road trip I have ever done!! Needless to say my wife was scared shitless because of the road and I was mad because I thought the GPS had done wrong. I gave up on making it to our rafting trip on time and enjoyed the drive. I asked my wife to take pictures and she said no. She was really scared shitless, just because of this road. We made it to Canyon City with no problems the GPS was dead right. After our rafting trip I started to go back the way we came with the GPS. I am sorry to say we had a REAL BIG fight and wound up driving a 110 miles out of the way and over two hours to get back to the rental cabin. I am planning a trip to CO without her next year.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:16 PM   #17
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Navy:
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Route Planned!!!

Okay Guys! I finally got that book and I think I have a route planned... Let me know what you think... It starts out easy because my father-in-law is going to be following in his Chevy Silverado 4x4...

August 2

Day 1 (easy day to get used to the trail ratings):
  • From Canon City, take Shelf Road to Cripple Creek.
  • Then take Co Rd 1 to Hwy 24 to Hwy 9 to Hwy 285.
  • Mosquito Pass to Leadville.
  • Depending on the trail conditions, and if time permits, we may break off of Mosquito Pass to Birdseye Gulch.
Either camp near Turquoise Lake in Leadville, or take Hagerman Pass to Basalt and camp there.




Day 2:
  • If we didn't do it on day 1, do Hagerman Pass to Basalt.
  • Hwy 82 to Aspen, then Aspen Mountain, Richmond Hill to Ashcroft Ghost Town (Eat lunch here)
  • Taylor Pass (possible camp @ Dorchester Campground after Taylor Pass if getting late)
  • Italian Creek, Reno Divide (depending on how late it gets, there are 4 possible spots to camp along this route)
Day 3:
  • From Crested Butte, take Pardise Divide
  • Devil's Punchbowl to Marble (I am a little concerned about this one, We will be going against the recomended direction, If anyone thinks this is a bad idea please let me know!)
  • Easy roads the rest of the way to Grand Junction.
If anyone is interested in doing these trails with us let me know... You just must be family friendly and be willing to stop to play along the way (we have a 2 yr old and a 4 yr old).
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:05 PM   #18
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Hey Dizzy - My suggestion is use Google to view pictures of these passes that people have taken. For example Devil's Punchbowl and Crystal Canyon is hairy. Lots of sharp loose rocks, dropoffs, single lane. NOT for beginners. For reference check this writeup on Schofield Pass which leads down to Crystal Canyon and the punchbowl.

http://flashoffroad.com/Articles/sch...ield_pass.html

You gotta know what you're doing, because this shit will eat you, your tires, your truck alive if you don't know what you're doing!
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