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Old 08-07-2022, 09:41 PM   #1
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Colorado Jeep trails

Someone suggested this book for jeep trails. Any opinions?

We'll be in Ouray, Gunnison and the Creede area for most of September.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1934838268...v_lig_dp_it_im
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:59 PM   #2
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I haven't seen that particular book but there's a number of different ones available and all have good information. I may pick up a copy of this one as well since we'll be in Ouray for a couple of weeks. I've done almost all of the trails around that area but always looking for the little known.
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:38 PM   #3
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That book is by Wells and he's been around with his trail guides for many, many years. That's a new cover from the one I have but I'm sure it's good. I'd recommend it.

Also, stop at the local Visitor Centers/Chamber of Commerce for other good trail information. You can tell them what level trail you're looking for and they'll give some good recommendations and probably even handouts. They will also have good trail maps.

I notice you have a CRV which will keep you on easy trails, if that. You might want to consider renting a Jeep or taking a Jeep tour to give you a 'feel' of what's out there.

Have fun! It's a top place for us to ride and also Moab.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
That book is by Wells and he's been around with his trail guides for many, many years. That's a new cover from the one I have but I'm sure it's good. I'd recommend it.

Also, stop at the local Visitor Centers/Chamber of Commerce for other good trail information. You can tell them what level trail you're looking for and they'll give some good recommendations and probably even handouts. They will also have good trail maps.

I notice you have a CRV which will keep you on easy trails, if that. You might want to consider renting a Jeep or taking a Jeep tour to give you a 'feel' of what's out there.

Have fun! It's a top place for us to ride and also Moab.
Thanks for the ideas.

Good eyes on my listed TOAD. We do have the CRV, but on this trip, we'll be towing a Wrangler Jeep.
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Old 08-08-2022, 09:57 AM   #5
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Back in the 80s, before AL Gore invented this internet thingy, went with sister and brother-in-law to Colorado with an S-10 Blazer. We used some terrain maps for various areas. I remember looking at the map for a route we were taking. It listed roads as improved, unimproved, and Jeep trails. The improved were gravel, the unimproved were rock trails that more suitably should have been called Jeep trails, and I would not have subjected a horse or mule to those Jeep Trails.

Rented a Jeep some 20 years ago around Gunnison. Went on an "easy" trail that ended up requiring Lo range to crawl over some almost foot diameter boulders, wife was white knuckled. Good to hear you are taking a Wrangler, but I still shake my head at the older couple we ran into on the trail. They had "pulled over" at a point in the trail before they got to a switchback their vehicle could not negotiate. They were drunk as skunks, driving an Eldorado. Have no clue how they got that car that far. Worse, they were going to have to back down the mountain a good ways.
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Old 08-08-2022, 11:08 AM   #6
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Be advised that there is an excellent website by the same people that publish the Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails book.

www.funtreks.com

The information in the book (and on the website) is excellent. My only reservation is that sometimes the info hasn't been updated recently. Some of the more popular trails get a lot of traffic, and conditions have changed since the last review. Local knowledge is king.

I also use Bushduck's Colorado Pass Page for info reagarding when the trails are open.

Bushducks - Jeep Trail and Backroads Trip Reports<br>Colorado Jeep Trails and Passes - Opening Dates

Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) is a great site to find trails that are not as well know as the ones in the funtreks book. You don't have to go to 13,000' to have fun.

https://trails.colorado.gov/#activity=ohv_gt_50

The weather might be challenging at higher altitudes in September. I spent 2 weeks in Ouray in 2020, leaving on SEP 1. It snowed up high the night we left.


From Ouray, I would recommend Corkscrew to Hurricane to California to Animas Fork to Silverton as a starter. It is an exciting ride, but not normally deadly. The Alpine Loop is another great ride, but I would run down to Silverton ond out to Animas Fork to access it. Lower Engineer (AKA as Mineral Creek) is challenging, especially for newbys. On my last trip, I had some guys in near stock Jeeps that wanted to do Black Bear. I took them over Mineral Creek as a test (they all passed). Imogene Pass is my wife's favorite. It rates the same as Black Bear, but it is not as scary. Black Bear is an moderate drive with severe consquenses if you screw up. The intensity level is the same for me every time I go over Black Bear.

Gunnison wheeling is not as good as Ouray, but they do have the Devil's Punchbowl, which rivals Black Bear as being risky. Cumberland Pass, between Tin Cup and Pitkin, is easy. Tin Cup Pass, between Tin Cup and St Elmo is a fun ride. Frenchy's Restaurant in Tin Cup was a great place to eat before CVOID. The Passes north of Taylor, towards Vail and Crested Butte can be very challenging and take a long time to do. Ohio Pass is easy and very scenic. You cna start just north of Gunisson, go up past Ohio to CO 12, then into Crested butte for lunch. Slate River Road, just north of Crested Butte is easy and scenic. You can connect Slate River Rd to Washington Gulch or to Schofield Pass for a loop out of Crested Butte.

We stayed in South Fork and rode near Creede last year. Stoney Pass is nearby and is my favorite pass in the rockys. It's long - figure 4-5 hours to get to the other end. We came back via paved roads and that was long too. The Batchlor Loop and Rat Creek Rd, out of the back of Creede, is a good days ride. Lots of old mining stuff near town and a good place for a picnic on the Continental Divide at the far end of the loop. The Wheeler Geological Area is a popular trail off the highway between Creede and South Fork.

Have fun! Color me jealous.
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Old 08-08-2022, 11:11 AM   #7
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Great book!
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Old 08-08-2022, 11:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carybosse View Post
Back in the 80s, before AL Gore invented this internet thingy, went with sister and brother-in-law to Colorado with an S-10 Blazer. We used some terrain maps for various areas. I remember looking at the map for a route we were taking. It listed roads as improved, unimproved, and Jeep trails. The improved were gravel, the unimproved were rock trails that more suitably should have been called Jeep trails, and I would not have subjected a horse or mule to those Jeep Trails.

Rented a Jeep some 20 years ago around Gunnison. Went on an "easy" trail that ended up requiring Lo range to crawl over some almost foot diameter boulders, wife was white knuckled. Good to hear you are taking a Wrangler, but I still shake my head at the older couple we ran into on the trail. They had "pulled over" at a point in the trail before they got to a switchback their vehicle could not negotiate. They were drunk as skunks, driving an Eldorado. Have no clue how they got that car that far. Worse, they were going to have to back down the mountain a good ways.
lol. The CRV will get stuck just talking about anything off pavement.
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Old 08-08-2022, 12:00 PM   #9
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Perhaps you can meet someone in your campground that would let you tag along with them on a first-time ride. It's common to do. 4-wheelers are friendly.

September is a nice time to be there and we've never run into snow. The aspen colors are gorgeous against the blue sky.

Ophir Pass would be a good one to start out on. It's not technical but the scenery is awesome. You begin near Ouray and end on Hwy 145. After the ride you can easily tour Telluride - ride the free gondola for an overview and then return to Ouray via paved 62 to Ridgeway or an easy gravel route on Lost Dollar Road through pretty countryside.

You won't be alone out there.
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Old 08-08-2022, 01:52 PM   #10
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Never seen snow there - hahahaha

Aug 15, 2019 - admittedly, this one is last winters snow.

https://youtu.be/EpjqPF4lC18

Black Bear in 2020 - no snow

https://youtu.be/ipTu9liLDDU

Engineer Pass - August

https://youtu.be/Q_3F2nPAzXM

September 1, 2020 - new snow
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Old 08-18-2022, 08:58 AM   #11
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A couple years ago took DW on her first Jeep road. If you want a good “starter” Off Road trip take the Jeep Trail from Ouray to Telluride over Imogene pass. I had a Jeep Rubicon but I saw several SUVs doing it. There are many Jeep and UTV rental places in Ouray and Telluride. I formerly had a C-RV and wouldn’t take it because of rocks on that road.

I have all those Backcountry Jeep books but another handy source is the AllTrails App for iPhone. You can select whether you are hiking, biking, walking, or ORV and download the map (for no cell coverage) and use. It’s expensive at $29/yr but we use it for all of the above outdoor activities everywhere we go. Cheaper than books, and has reviews and photos.
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Old 08-18-2022, 09:22 AM   #12
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OP,
If you are going to be in Gunnison, hop over Monarch Pass and stop at the Salida Forest Service office for a map.
Just 20 miles north is Buena Vista and the 4 mile north and south Jeep, ATV. M/C recreation area on the east side of the Arkansas river. Lots of nice trails, and no "nose bleed" passes.
B.V. Chamber of Commerce sponsors the "Color Tour" every 3rd week of September when the "colors" are at their best.
I'll be tour guiding for all 4 days on my 700 Grizzly for this event.

Mike in Colorado
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Old 08-18-2022, 04:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by hogdriver View Post
A couple years ago took DW on her first Jeep road. If you want a good “starter” Off Road trip take the Jeep Trail from Ouray to Telluride over Imogene pass. I had a Jeep Rubicon but I saw several SUVs doing it. There are many Jeep and UTV rental places in Ouray and Telluride. I formerly had a C-RV and wouldn’t take it because of rocks on that road.

I have all those Backcountry Jeep books but another handy source is the AllTrails App for iPhone. You can select whether you are hiking, biking, walking, or ORV and download the map (for no cell coverage) and use. It’s expensive at $29/yr but we use it for all of the above outdoor activities everywhere we go. Cheaper than books, and has reviews and photos.
Dave,
Thanks for this info. We will be in Ouray for about a week. A couple people have suggested that trail. I updated my signature to reflect the jeep going on this trip.
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Old 08-18-2022, 04:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Flyer15015 View Post
OP,
If you are going to be in Gunnison, hop over Monarch Pass and stop at the Salida Forest Service office for a map.
Just 20 miles north is Buena Vista and the 4 mile north and south Jeep, ATV. M/C recreation area on the east side of the Arkansas river. Lots of nice trails, and no "nose bleed" passes.
B.V. Chamber of Commerce sponsors the "Color Tour" every 3rd week of September when the "colors" are at their best.
I'll be tour guiding for all 4 days on my 700 Grizzly for this event.

Mike in Colorado
Yep, We'll be in gunnison sept 23 for about 4 days before we head over to Creede. Maybe we'll run into each other?
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