1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

JULY: Elk Mountains, CO

Discussion in 'Arizona' started by Buckoma, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Buckoma

    Buckoma [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Member:
    #96125
    Messages:
    666
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Buckeye, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2000 SR5 TRD 4x4 Ext Cab V6 Manual
    It's a long shot, but I figured I'd throw this out. I'm road trippin to the Elk Mountains in Colorado July 21-26, 5 nights. The Elk Mtns are similar to the San Juan's... 11,000'+ passes surrounded by 13,000'+ peaks. Mines, ghost towns, and spectacular scenery. Pit stops on the way there/back include Colorado National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, and Black Canyon National Park. This is a trip not soon forgotten for expo-oriented people.

    I'm planning on going solo regardless. Another Tacoma buddy is 50/50 but I wouldn't mind having a few vehicles. Must be 4x4 and in excellent mechanical condition. Lots of driving involved and must be able to live out of the vehicle for 6 days.

    I'll bump this every once in a while, but I realize it's hard for people to take off work for something like this.
     
  2. Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Member:
    #8614
    Messages:
    9,133
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jake
    Ahwatukee, AZ
    Vehicle:
    BSP '10 4x4 TRD Off-Road DC
    See build thread in signature
    Sounds like an awesome time. Sub'n for sure...
     
  3. Infra

    Infra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Member:
    #36238
    Messages:
    2,960
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jason
    Az
    Vehicle:
    2010 MGM DCSB 4x4 TRD OR 6spd
    CBI Bushmaster 2.0 rear bumper with swing out tire carrier & fold down camp table, CBI Moab 2.0 front bumper, Warn M8000-S, Icon 2.5 RR CDC Extended travel CO's with 700lb springs, Icon 2.5 RR CDC rear shocks, Icon hydro bumps, Total Chaos uniball UCA's, All Pro Expo leafs, U-bolt flip kit, Softopper, diff breather mod, extended rear brake lines, Grillecraft mesh grille, Elusive Elements behind grille light bar with B.A.M.F. LED light bar brackets, okLEDlightbars.com 20" double row LED light bar, Relentless Fabrication hood cb antenna mount, Wilson Silver Load CB antenna, Uniden 520 Pro XL CB radio, Wet okole seat covers, Weather tech floor liners, Weather tech in channel window deflectors, trasharoo spare tire trash bag carrier, Box Rocket 2nd gen bed rack with (2) 2 gallon gas rotopax mounted on drivers side, (2) 2 gallon water rotopax mounted on passenger side, (1) 3 gallon gas rotopax & (1) 2 gallon gas rotopax mounted on CBI swing out, Avid weld on sliders, Mattgecko LED bed light
    I'd be in but I'm pretty sure during those dates I'll still be up in Montana or Wyoming wheeling with the crew up there
     
  4. AZHornet

    AZHornet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Member:
    #35425
    Messages:
    205
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Michael
    Scottsdale AZ
    Vehicle:
    White Tacoma 4x4 AccessCab
    I have a good friend of mine in Denver whom is into offroading. Was planning on doing a 14'er...put me in as a tentative.
     
  5. Milota95

    Milota95 Mall Crawling Specialist

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Member:
    #102118
    Messages:
    1,640
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Quintin
    B.F.E
    Vehicle:
    95 tacoma 4c 2.7l
    trail gear front bumper, custom skid plates, rear bumper just little things here an there.
    this sounds awesome.. I'm sub'd
     
  6. mh.meier

    mh.meier RAGEAHOLIC

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Member:
    #65707
    Messages:
    5,320
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    MAD MIKE
    T-TOWN
    Vehicle:
    Truck Norris Silver Unicornimus Prime
    NAHBITCHTRUCKNORRISUNICORN
    If it wasn't so close to the dates for the epic2 trip
     
  7. Infra

    Infra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Member:
    #36238
    Messages:
    2,960
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jason
    Az
    Vehicle:
    2010 MGM DCSB 4x4 TRD OR 6spd
    CBI Bushmaster 2.0 rear bumper with swing out tire carrier & fold down camp table, CBI Moab 2.0 front bumper, Warn M8000-S, Icon 2.5 RR CDC Extended travel CO's with 700lb springs, Icon 2.5 RR CDC rear shocks, Icon hydro bumps, Total Chaos uniball UCA's, All Pro Expo leafs, U-bolt flip kit, Softopper, diff breather mod, extended rear brake lines, Grillecraft mesh grille, Elusive Elements behind grille light bar with B.A.M.F. LED light bar brackets, okLEDlightbars.com 20" double row LED light bar, Relentless Fabrication hood cb antenna mount, Wilson Silver Load CB antenna, Uniden 520 Pro XL CB radio, Wet okole seat covers, Weather tech floor liners, Weather tech in channel window deflectors, trasharoo spare tire trash bag carrier, Box Rocket 2nd gen bed rack with (2) 2 gallon gas rotopax mounted on drivers side, (2) 2 gallon water rotopax mounted on passenger side, (1) 3 gallon gas rotopax & (1) 2 gallon gas rotopax mounted on CBI swing out, Avid weld on sliders, Mattgecko LED bed light



    What?!? You're doing Montana and Wyoming this summer?
     
  8. Buckoma

    Buckoma [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Member:
    #96125
    Messages:
    666
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Buckeye, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2000 SR5 TRD 4x4 Ext Cab V6 Manual
    This trip is going ahead with three Tacomas so far. Leave time is early July 19th (Sat) for 5 nights, getting back the 24th (Thur) evening/night.
     
  9. snowtank

    snowtank whys the rum gone

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Member:
    #86930
    Messages:
    9,179
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    11 txpro dbcb, 08 trd sprt dbcb
    Not a whole lot yet. Just sliders , cb, tinted windows, mag light and ammo. The 08 has 6" pro comp lift .
    Dang we aee so close. Im going with infra August 9 th to yhe san j uans for 9 days of living out of the trucks and running trails. Have fun and be safe
     
  10. Buckoma

    Buckoma [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Member:
    #96125
    Messages:
    666
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Buckeye, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2000 SR5 TRD 4x4 Ext Cab V6 Manual
    After 3 previously aborted trips the Elk Mountain adventure finally launched. The trip had to be shortened to 4 nights, which made things pretty tight timewise. We stopped at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison for a few hours on the way up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Eventually we made it up to the Elk Mountains and ran Schofield Pass, which was an uncomfortably narrow rock crawling road through some horrible drop-offs. Maybe I'm loosing my nerve, but this was more than I expected. WTF must have been uttered at least 15 times. Once on the other side it turns into a graded dirt road... well deserved relief.

    Starting up the pass:
    [​IMG]

    Passing the Crystal Mill:
    [​IMG]

    A section of the Punchbowl calm enough for me to get a picture:
    [​IMG]

    Cresting the top:
    [​IMG]

    Then we moved over to Pearl Pass, 12800ft. The last report on Bushducks said it was open as of a couple days earlier. Let me just say that turned out to be a load of horseshit, it was absolutely unpassable at the very top by a 5' snowbank. Still a nice drive to the top.

    Plenty of narrow, rocky shelf road on this too:
    [​IMG]

    Crooked, but cool:
    [​IMG]

    Blocked:
    [​IMG]

    I suppose it goes without saying, but the amount of water gushing from these mountains is nothing short of amazing. Creeks, rivers, cascades, waterfalls, several dozen water crossings with some hitting the hood. Wow. Next up was the easy Paradise Basin:
    [​IMG]

    There is a tremendous amount of Aspen in the Elk Mountains (the town of Aspen in on the north side of the range). This, and the fact that it's often called the "wildflower capital of Colorado" make it extremely popular with photographers.
    [​IMG]

    Then we did Gunsight Pass. Well, 3/4 of it because it was blocked by snow as well. Not very difficult, but dozens of tight hairpin switchbacks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    By now I was starting to get a decent squeaking/grinding sound, probably from a u-joint, but I had no extra vibration or wobble yet. We decided to run the easy Cinnamon Pass through the San Juans on our way back down to AZ.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Of course the trip came with mines, ghosttowns, moose, 10,000'+ camping with glorious campfires, funky high mountain towns, and all the other cool things that come along with 4x4 exploration.

    Comparing the Elks to the San Juans... While the San Juans are harsh, massive, and majestic, the Elks more gentle contours make it a little "softer" and quite pretty. It obvious there is less 4x4 in the Elks, as the high passes tend to be a bit rougher around the edges, not snowplowed, and see less traffic. That's good and bad. I am glad to have finally reached the Elks, but they are so far, and it's hard to justify the extra distance a second time when the mighty San Juans are closer. If I ever go back, not anytime soon, it'll be in the fall to see the amazing colors the Elks are often noted for.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  11. snowtank

    snowtank whys the rum gone

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Member:
    #86930
    Messages:
    9,179
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    11 txpro dbcb, 08 trd sprt dbcb
    Not a whole lot yet. Just sliders , cb, tinted windows, mag light and ammo. The 08 has 6" pro comp lift .
    Sweet pics. Looks like it was a fun trip!
     
  12. Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Member:
    #8614
    Messages:
    9,133
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jake
    Ahwatukee, AZ
    Vehicle:
    BSP '10 4x4 TRD Off-Road DC
    See build thread in signature
    Man that looks amazing! Those roads look really narrow though, not sure if that's just the camera playing or not but I think I'd be afraid to take my truck down them if they're as narrow as they look
     
  13. Buckoma

    Buckoma [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Member:
    #96125
    Messages:
    666
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Buckeye, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2000 SR5 TRD 4x4 Ext Cab V6 Manual
    Thanks, it was a great trip.

    Most of the 4x4 trails were pretty narrow, ESPECIALLY a good section of Schofield and some of Pearl pass. What makes it scary are the incredible drop-offs of certain death, the 4-lo crawling bouncing you around, and those off camber dips that tilt you towards oblivion. "WHAT THE FUCK" was the phrase of choice every time it felt like I was 1 degree or 1 foot away from falling off, and it was repeated often. I've run Black Bear and many other shelf roads in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, but for some reason they didn't seem as bad as this. Either I'm getting weak nerves in my old age or these were some exceptionally scary sections of trail.

    To be fair, this sign was at the start (along with a couple reminders after that):
    [​IMG]

    Definitely case of a sign living up to its message, holy shit, minimal room for error.
     
  14. az_yota

    az_yota Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Member:
    #20481
    Messages:
    30
    Gender:
    Male
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    06 Taco
    ARB Front Lockers, sliders, All-Pro front bumper and other garbage.
    Very cool and nice pics. The area looks awesome, but just not a fan of those shelf roads!
     
To Top