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Visiting Colorado? This is your Local Information Thread!

Discussion in 'Colorado' started by bot102, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Jan 9, 2020 at 10:34 AM
    #1
    bot102

    bot102 [OP] The guy who ask a lot of questions

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    This thread is a work in progress!

    Greetings folks! This thread is a combination of a lot of peoples knowledge/experience. Thanks to all who have helped make this thread!

    Us Colorado TW members figured we would make a thread to help out all those who visit our state, whether be for wheeling/camping/ski'ing/ you name it! Lets be honest, BS threads move quick and peoples questions get lost before you know it.

    Also, like many things, if you have a question, chances are someone else has that same question. However, feel free to ask any questions you might have in here as well!

    Please read the below if you get nothing else from this thread!!

    Stay the Trail is EXTREMELY important, our trails are under threat from Environmental groups who are trying to close them indefinitely.


    Some rules of the trail (Granted less and less on the trails know or follow them):
    • Stay the Trail/ Leave no Trace
    • Every trail changes year to year, don't trust book ratings or old trail reports.
    • Uphill Vehicle has the right of way/ Priority.
    • Our trails are narrow, if you are near a wide spot with oncoming traffic, pull off.
    • Follow the FS MVUM rules for Dispersed Camping https://staythetrail.org/mvum/
    • You are liable for your vehicles recovery, if the state does it they will charge you.
    • Just because some else took or made a path, does not mean it legal. Illegal bypasses and going off trail cause trails to get shut down.



    Weather

    On the front range/Denver area
    Weather here in Colorado, especially in the mountains and on the front range(Denver area), is unpredictable. What we mean by the front range, is most towns/places along the eastern edge of the Rockies. Weather can change by the day or even hours. Typically, our snow months are October through April. However, we have seen snow fall all the way out into June before.

    - March is the snowiest month of the year on the front range. Some trails will be closed/unpassable.
    - Spring time is Mud/Melt season. Some trails will have Mud/Melt closures.
    - July is the hottest month of the year on the front range. Most trails will be open.

    In the mountains
    Weather in the mountains is very subjective to the area. It's hard to really say "This is what it will be an when" We can really only offer a few "constants" to what we have seen over the years. Best thing to do is check trail status and snow pack maps.

    - The vast majority of trails will be closed or unpassable during the winter months.
    - The snow pack, at higher elevations, typically hangs around until July, making many of the more difficult trails unpassable
    - Mud season will also leave many trails closed. (Please look at the Stay The Trail link below for Mud Season Trail Etiquette, here's a hint thoughupload_2020-1-9_9-43-55.jpg )
    A description of mud season from an article I will put down below
    Wheeling
    It would take a lifetime to hit every trail in CO, so we will offer some of our favorites for various levels of rig/drivers

    If you get stuck or wreck on trail, give these folks a call!
    https://co4x4rnr.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?sl=1510729475

    Technical Favorites

    (These are trails we'd recommend you at least have Skids, Sliders, 33's, Rear Locker)
    - Red Cone https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/432-red-cone
    - Hackett Gulch https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/316-hackett-gulch
    - Coney Flats https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/266-coney-flats-coney-creek
    - Middle St. Vrain https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/376-middle-st-vrain

    Average Level Favorites
    (Take the right line or bypass and you can do these trails stock. Skids and sliders recommended for harder lines/less experienced wheelers)
    - Slaughterhouse Gulch https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/463-slaughterhouse-gulch
    - Webster Pass https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/488-webster-pass
    - Pickle Gulch https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1126-pickle-gulch-blackhawk
    - Yankee Hill https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1864-yankee-hill-the-actual-hill
    - Alpine Loop (Higher Clearance than stock recommended) https://www.colorado.com/articles/colorado-scenic-byway-alpine-loop

    Stock Friendly Favorites
    (Completely stock friendly! You could probably make it in your Subaru too!)
    - Westin Pass
    - Switzerland Trail https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/474-switzerland-trail
    - Rollins Pass East https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/438-rollins-pass-east
    - Aspen Ridge https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/618-aspen-ridge

    Scenic Favorites (Various Difficulties)
    (Let's be honest, some of the most scenic trails aren't the easiest. Be sure to research these trails to see if it's something you can handle)
    - Red Cone https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/432-red-cone
    - Middle Fork Swan https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1940-middle-fork-swan-river
    - Ophir Pass https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/404-ophir-pass
    - Imogene Pass https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1408-imogene-pass
    - Black Bear Pass https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2651-black-bear-pass
    - Clear Lake https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/627-clear-lake

    Fishing
    Will get some member information later, for now, here are a few good links

    - Colorado Parks and Wildlife fishing site. A lot of good general info and licence information. https://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/Fishing.aspx

    - Colorado Fishing Atlas. Has a BUNCH of fishing spots and information on them.
    https://ndismaps.nrel.colostate.edu/index.html?app=FishingAtlas


    Comms:

    The vast majority of us out here run HAM instead of CB, though many are CB capable. We have found that HAM Radio performs much better on trail and in the mountains than CB does. Here is a link to our local Ham thread.
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/official-colorado-ham-and-cheese-thread.427834/

    Local 4x4 Shops

    Break something on your way here or while you were here? He is a list of some of our local shops and places that may be able to help you out!
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/colorado-4x4-shops-vendors.361957/


    Helpful Links:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/colorado-trail-status-closures-repairs-discussion.482224/
    https://staythetrail.org/
    https://www.coloradoinfo.com/blog/colorado-mud-season
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/
    https://www.trailsoffroad.com/
    https://staythetrail.org/mvum/
    https://co4x4rnr.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?sl=1510729475

    Helpful People:
    @In4aride - Knows the West Slope (Grand Junction area) like the back of his hand
    @CO MTN Steve - Our local fishing guy
    @Deathbysnusnu - King of Cheba Hut (Northern Colorado)
    @skier - Knowledgeable of SW Colorado
    @ColoradoTJ - If you like big boulders/hard core crawling, this is the guy to talk to
    @NYCO and @Squeaky Penguin - Been almost everywhere and wheeled almost everything in CO
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
    Kolter45, JDM, hack4875 and 13 others like this.
  2. Jan 9, 2020 at 10:41 AM
    #2
    In4aride

    In4aride www.warfabarmor.com

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    Pile of go slow parts.
    @skier is a great SW source
     
  3. Jan 9, 2020 at 10:57 AM
    #3
    dmurph1996

    dmurph1996 Terrible time to give up beer for lent...

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  4. Jan 9, 2020 at 11:19 AM
    #4
    Littles

    Littles Stupid is as stupid does

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    Stock friendly trails:
    Rollins Pass East

    Average:
    Pickle Gulch
    Yankee Hill
    Alpine Loop

    Might throw in a link to the CO ham and cheese thread too.

    Edit: Moved alpine loop to average section.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  5. Jan 9, 2020 at 2:15 PM
    #5
    CO MTN Steve

    CO MTN Steve Well-Known Member

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    RaMbLiN' CoLoRaDo
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    Lifted, Armored, needs more lights.
    Stay the Trail is extremely important, our trails are under threat from Environmental groups.

    Some rules of the trail (Granted less and less on the trails know or follow them):
    • Stay the Trail/ Leave no Trace
    • Every trail changes year to year, don't trust book ratings or old trail reports.
    • Uphill Vehicle has the right of way/ Priority.
    • Our trails are narrow, if you are near a wide spot with oncoming traffic, pull off.
    • Follow the FS MVUM rules for Dispersed Camping
    • You are liable for your vehicles recovery, if the state does it they will charge you.
    https://youtu.be/x6icPNHXKY0
    Don't be this guy

    [​IMG]
    Don't die on Black Bear Pass (One rock saved these folks)

    Guys who have explored a ton (both here and surronding area's):
    @Squeaky Penguin
    @NYCO
    Plus tons more I am embarrassed I have forgotten their TW names
     
  6. Jan 9, 2020 at 2:19 PM
    #6
    In4aride

    In4aride www.warfabarmor.com

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    Pile of go slow parts.
    Just quoting this for truth and so people read it again.
    Then stop. Think.
    And then read it again.
     
    dmurph1996, xxTacocaTxx and jubei like this.
  7. Jan 9, 2020 at 2:47 PM
    #7
    bot102

    bot102 [OP] The guy who ask a lot of questions

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    I should have reserved a post at the top of the thread for big additions like these
     
  8. Jan 9, 2020 at 3:24 PM
    #8
    NYCO

    NYCO go explore...

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  9. Jan 9, 2020 at 6:44 PM
    #9
    eurowner

    eurowner Duke Sky

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    Average Level: Hayden Pass
    Stock: Aspen Ridge
     
  10. Jan 10, 2020 at 5:58 AM
    #10
    Reddy

    Reddy Well-Known Member

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    OME 885's/Dakars/265's/belly skid

    I'm just starting to mod my second gen, hoping to be "done" in the spring, and am hoping to maybe tackle BBP in late summer, but... how gnarly is Black Bear really? Some people are like "Oh, I took my stock Tundra over it, no biggie." and then you see some guy roll a nicely-built TJ on it. I know driver ability is the key factor, but what's the reality? Is it really that dangerous?

    I'm in the Appalachians, so the Rockies are another thing entirely to me. That said, I've taken my first gen over Engineer, Cinnamon/Alpine Loop, Gore Pass, Hagerman, Weston and about half of Mosquito Pass (hadn't been open long and was pretty rough at the time), plus plenty of back country/forest service/mining roads, so I'm not too inexperienced.

    The first gen just had a 2-3" lift, good tires, no locker or armor or anything. The second gen is going to at least have skids, maybe sliders, and again a 2-3" lift. This one's a TRD OR, so e-locked and all. Should be more capable this time, but I'm leery. Any words of advice from the locals?
     
  11. Jan 10, 2020 at 6:12 AM
    #11
    NYCO

    NYCO go explore...

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    you'll be fine... the difficulty is not the issue it's usually making a mistake or letting your guard down. the trail has high consequences if you make a mistake.

    there's a waterfall optional line that you can take on the way up to add some difficulty, but the trail is not technically hard.

    once you start the descent, the room for error is greatly reduced. most of the descent is one-way traffic, but there is a section of downhill that allows for uphill traffic, so you have to watch for that since there is not much room to pass.

    once you hit the one-way, there is zero room for error. you approach the shelf which has some drops that aren't huge, but they are not straight on, so you have to take them slow. this is a spot where people let their guards down and hit a drop off-camber causing the rear end to unload quickly and over they go... longer wheel bases do not have as much of an issue here, the SUVs have to pay attention more.

    as you approach the waterfall, the trail narrows and becomes off-camber as you round a turn. this rock is slick and should not be attempted during rain or snow storms. know where the downhill edge is and where the uphill edge is. errors occur not just sliding off the trail, but also not paying attention to the uphill edge where you can easily climb a wall and tip over before you know it...

    the switchbacks going down are tight in the beginning and get wider as you get further down. the first one has a nice area to pull ahead, back up and finish the turn. the second one (first one after you cross the water, a right turn) is one of the tightest turns. the wall is close to the trail and the edge has been eroding away quickly. take your time here and use a spotter to watch your tire on the downhill edge.

    after that one, you're almost done with the hard stuff... just don't let your guard down. simple mistakes can still lead to death. when you get closer to the bridal falls pull off (this is where it becomes 2-way again), the trail gets wider and easier... don't forget to stop at the bottom and soak in some of the mist.

    go enjoy a beer in town and look back at the cliffside you just came down!
     
  12. Jan 10, 2020 at 6:39 AM
    #12
    Reddy

    Reddy Well-Known Member

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    I like anything that starts with "you'll be fine" and ends with "can still lead to death." :taco:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but from the videos I've watched, it seems like where the rocky parts step down, they not only drop off but do so at a diagonal angle. Would it be smarter then, to turn the wheels actually toward the cliff so that the front tires sort of go down the dropoff together? Then straighten out. Or would that make then rear end pretty unstable as it went over? Obviously you'd want to hug the inside a little (but not enough to climb the wall) so you had room for this maneuver, but it seems like that would be the most stable way to go down. Not having seen it in person though, it's hard to say.

    Edited to add: Thanks for the advice!
     
    Littles and xxTacocaTxx like this.
  13. Jan 10, 2020 at 7:18 AM
    #13
    NYCO

    NYCO go explore...

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    anytime you can, you always want to make a drop straight on. so anything you can do to improve your drop angle will help.

    for shorter wheelbases, it would definitely be recommended to keep an eye out for these drops and when possible, swing wide and turn into them. when you're about to make the drop, straighten the wheel out so you reduce the stress on your tie rods and other steering components. take it slow and if shit starts to get tippy to a point where it won't settle down, make sure you have an escape route and throttle out. just don't throttle off a cliff, into another vehicle or into a rock wall :D

    it's a good idea to grab one of these guys, https://www.amazon.com/Sun-Company-...eywords=angle+bubble+rv&qid=1578669108&sr=8-9, and put it inside the cab so you can monitor how off-camber you are... 35* you'll be feeling verrry tippy.. you should still be fine unless you are very top heavy. alot of our trucks can hit 40* and still remain on 3-4 tires (not recommended).

    keep in mind though, when you're making these drops, your rear end can unload (suspension) causing a tippy situation to escalate quickly into a rollover... so expect this and prepare for it.

    when in doubt, engage your canadian locker (enlist your largest buddy to hang off the back corner of the truck to keep you from flopping)
    [​IMG]
    https://youtu.be/PdHR3jB3SLg
     
    The_Black_Pearl, Winkle99 and Littles like this.
  14. Jan 10, 2020 at 8:21 AM
    #14
    In4aride

    In4aride www.warfabarmor.com

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    I think @NYCO is spot on. Basically it comes down to stop when you want to look around and be distracted - understand that you are leaning nose down almost entirely once you hit one way traffic so consider weight when taking drops and such - basically don't do dumb shit. So many flops you see are people trying to pull tire or flex to get a pic "for the gram" or distracted by other shit. Also, if you spot folks, know what's going on. Seen a ton of spotters tell people to do really stupid stuff because they don't know any better themselves.
    Like any other trail out there, being ignorant or dumb will get you in trouble.
     
    Littles likes this.
  15. Jan 10, 2020 at 12:55 PM
    #15
    Squeaky Penguin

    Squeaky Penguin Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

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    You'll be fine....

    ...as long as you have some confidence and experience behind the wheel of your rig. There's very little margin of error, as you mention.


    The biggest issue with Black Bear is it attracts all sorts of different people of varying experience. Yes, it's not technically difficult, but if you're not familiar with your rig, not familiar with driving shelf roads, scared of heights, etc. it could be deadly.
     
    Winkle99, Littles and CO MTN Steve like this.
  16. Jan 11, 2020 at 2:05 PM
    #16
    NYCO

    NYCO go explore...

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    image popped up on my desktop and figured this is relevant... view from imogene looking back at black bear...

    follow the trail up and to the left where the rock fall is, just left of the picture is the water crossing below the waterfall. the top switchback in the pic is the tightest.

    Black Bear Switchbacks.jpg
     
  17. Jan 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM
    #17
    HCJ

    HCJ Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna be up in Durango early next week. I'm sure this time of year doesn't lend itself too well to tons of dispersed camping, but figured someone could point me in the right direction for a few good nights in a state I havent explored. Feel free to PM me. Thanks in advance:hattip:
     
  18. Jan 28, 2020 at 11:07 AM
    #18
    CO MTN Steve

    CO MTN Steve Well-Known Member

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    Hope you're here to Ski, the San Juans have seen exceptional snow fall to date. @skier is down there but I wouldn't hold your breath for camping options.
     
    HCJ likes this.
  19. Jan 28, 2020 at 11:31 AM
    #19
    HCJ

    HCJ Well-Known Member

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    Actually to pick up a four wheel camper, but I could bring my skis. Didnt even think of that. Hopefully he can chime in.
     

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