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Old 08-30-2019, 05:09 PM #1
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Colorado trail suggestions?

I will be heading up to Colorado for the elk rut at RMNP, see the aspens turning, and do some trail scouting for when I'm a little more prepared next year. The plan is to go to Ouray first, Moab second, and then head to RMNP via Aspen and Leadville. I know the SW area of Colorado fairly well but it's been a long time since I went through central Colorado. I am looking for suggestions especially around Leadville and Boulder but open to any thing between Moab and Denver. Scenery is a must and while gravel gets boring not looking for body damage either.

So far I will be taking Crystal/Schofield over to Created Butte and Taylor Pass back to Aspen. Looking for alternatives to Pearl Pass since it's closed.

I really want to see the Holy Cross trail area in Leadville. Since it's a no go this year I was considering Ptarmigan/Mcallister and Mosquito Pass while in the area. Any other good trails? I may also go down to Buena Vista to look at Carnage Canyon while I'm close. Any scenic trails down there?

Boulder/RMNP area trails? So far all I have come up with is Coney Flats/Middle St Vrain.

I also plan on looking at the DCRC trails in Montrose and 21 road in Grand Junction. Any reason to look at 4runner trails here after being in Ouray?
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:12 PM #2
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So I'll start off with "STAY THE TRAIL" This is extremely fragile and over used trails. You said you didn't want body damage, but many of the trails you mention, its likely. There isn't much in the way of "trails" around RMNP, since its a national park. But Stillwater is a very nice drive to Willow Creek pass. The old supply route to get there from winding river is a bit more challenging. And Willow Creek pass is a very nice scenic drive. The store in Rand is worth a stop.
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Old 08-31-2019, 12:14 AM #3
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Buy the Charlie Wells Colorado guides. One covers the south, the other covers the north. Buy the 2019 edition, they re-drove all trails last year so the info is mostly accurate.

You need a guide like that because it applies a consistent standard to all trails. You will learn very little from forums as almost everyone uses their own measuring stick.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:01 AM #4
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Quote:
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Buy the Charlie Wells Colorado guides. One covers the south, the other covers the north. Buy the 2019 edition, they re-drove all trails last year so the info is mostly accurate.

You need a guide like that because it applies a consistent standard to all trails. You will learn very little from forums as almost everyone uses their own measuring stick.
I'm familiar with his guides and have his latest Utah guide along with an older Colorado guide. I'm also referencing Traildamage, Funtreks, JeeptheUSA, and a few other sites. The problem with most of the guides is that their ratings are biased twords Jeeps. Don't get me wrong, the 4runner is quite capable off road but it has too much body extending past the wheels to compare with a JK/JL. That's why I am looking for suggestions on this site.
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Old 09-01-2019, 01:00 PM #5
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I'm familiar with his guides and have his latest Utah guide along with an older Colorado guide. I'm also referencing Traildamage, Funtreks, JeeptheUSA, and a few other sites. The problem with most of the guides is that their ratings are biased twords Jeeps. Don't get me wrong, the 4runner is quite capable off road but it has too much body extending past the wheels to compare with a JK/JL. That's why I am looking for suggestions on this site.
Oh, ok. So you cover them all

Anything that is marked as difficult but has the SUV icon in Charlie Wells can be driven in a stock 4Runner (at least those with a locker). When it comes to trails that only have the big Jeep "hardcore" icon, then you need to figure it out on case-by-case basis. Tight brush can happen on any difficulty trail and is marked but of course conditions change. However, serious squeezes through rocks that require hardcore mods will only be present on the trails marked that way.

Charlie Wells is not really Jeep biased. He is also quite conservative, marking Elephant Hill in UT, for example, as hardcore, which it is not. But he wants to warn people of trails that require some extra care in addition to truly hardcore ones.

TrailDamage uses TJ based trail ratings. Generally, a mildly modified FJ can do up to 7 rated trails with an expert driver in a group without too much stress. I prefer to draw a line at 4-5 when solo. But, yes, it is not impossible for a TD trail from 4-5 up to be too tight for a 4R.

JeepTheUSA is the most Jeep biased of them all. However, they, too, do a good job at using a single standard. I am fine with their 3 rated trails when solo. I would consider their 3.5s at one-by-one basis, similar to the Wells hardcore ones. Their 4s and up are of no interest to me (maybe a couple).
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:05 AM #6
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:18 AM #7
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Oh, ok. So you cover them all

Anything that is marked as difficult but has the SUV icon in Charlie Wells can be driven in a stock 4Runner (at least those with a locker). When it comes to trails that only have the big Jeep "hardcore" icon, then you need to figure it out on case-by-case basis. Tight brush can happen on any difficulty trail and is marked but of course conditions change. However, serious squeezes through rocks that require hardcore mods will only be present on the trails marked that way.

Charlie Wells is not really Jeep biased. He is also quite conservative, marking Elephant Hill in UT, for example, as hardcore, which it is not. But he wants to warn people of trails that require some extra care in addition to truly hardcore ones.

TrailDamage uses TJ based trail ratings. Generally, a mildly modified FJ can do up to 7 rated trails with an expert driver in a group without too much stress. I prefer to draw a line at 4-5 when solo. But, yes, it is not impossible for a TD trail from 4-5 up to be too tight for a 4R.

JeepTheUSA is the most Jeep biased of them all. However, they, too, do a good job at using a single standard. I am fine with their 3 rated trails when solo. I would consider their 3.5s at one-by-one basis, similar to the Wells hardcore ones. Their 4s and up are of no interest to me (maybe a couple).
Thanks for the book and website breakdown. Elephant Hill is at the top of my list for Moab this year since I won't be able to do it next year in the Jeep.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:44 AM #8
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Thanks for the book and website breakdown. Elephant Hill is at the top of my list for Moab this year since I won't be able to do it next year in the Jeep.
We had a blast. Just stay centered in the Squeeze aka Dupont Narrows. If you drive your pax tire on the rock to the pax side you will slam your driver rear end on the rock you are trying to avoid on the driver side. There is enough room for a full size in there. But there are hundreds of vehicle marks on the rock!

The one spot that I found nasty was S.O.B. hill especially coming back to the EH loop. A 2dr Jeep will not notice but longer wheelbases have a hard time turning left there going out of the loop and very hard time turning right coming back to the loop. Coming back, the danger, JKUs/JLUs without huge tires included, is having your front tires make the turn without realizing the rear pax tire will go in the big hole on the pax side. That's how many axles have been snapped there per my Moab friends.

I backed up the hill to avoid said hole altogether (turning left instead of right). Even so, you still want someone to watch your pax side. I kept extra driver side to be sure and put the gas tank Shrock skid to good use.

Other than S.O.B hill, everything was straightforward and Bobby's Hole climb gave us no trouble in either direction.
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