I don't have my wrangler sahara yet, still waiting for granite crystal. for the last several evenings i've been watching youtube videos of people driving the roads/trails around Silverton and Telluride. i can't wait to get out there and i'm even considering just taking my Ford Sport Trac. it's a V8 with 4 wheel drive, so i assume it shouldn't have big problems, although my tires are all weather tires, not all terrain. i have a variety of questions for those of you familiar with this area. is there a "season" that the roads are open? i plan to go in late september or october. what do you do if you're going up a trail and meet another vehicle coming down the trail and there's NO room to get by each other? who has to back up? my wife will be with me. are there ANY restroom facilities up there? if not, i guess you dig a hole. can you hike up there? old mines, buildings, cabins etc are there. can you explore them? not the mines of course. can you be up there at night? can you camp up there? i assume No open fires but what about charcoal grills? i know, i need to spend more time surfing the web. Thanks and maybe i'll see some of you in september.
i ordered "Guide to Colorado Backroads.....", "Guide to Moab,UT Backroads.....", Trails Illustrated Maps by National Geographic of the Silverton/Ouray areas, Canyonlands and Moab North and South. Watch out for the rookie next year.
i know somebody has been on the Silverton area trails. i'll keep checking.
I'm going to Ouray Aug 1st my second time there, from Ouray take Yankee boy trail to top, one outhouse facility unbelievably clean and paper stocked about halfway to top.this is a good starter trail I think 12,000 ft at top shifty rock at top but just enough to get ya heart pumpin stock jeep no problem take your time coming down though low gears keep camera ready half day. Next day take Imogene pass elv 14,000 ft make sure you get a pic at top next to elevation sign and make a summer time snow ball to throw at someone. This drops down into telluride lots of abandoned mines and places around cool town and checkout the house with waterfall as you drop in, always look far ahead cause this trail is a one vehicle trail so if you see oncoming traffic find a safe place to pass cause the ledge is very scary my wife would not look down be careful couple of rail road tie bridges you are under running streams that are a little hairy. All good just some heart racing experiences of being on the side of a mountain woowy but again one vehicle width trail you are on a trail cut into the side of a mountain all the way into telluride. i would advise taking highway home this was a 6 hour trail .One trail Beware! poughkeepsie gulch you can do it in stock jeep but coming down the area from Silverton to Ouray there's a spot called the wall get a spotter to come down that part, the roll factor high and coming from Ouray you may need a winch to go up the wall everything else fun just lots of rocks and boulders if its raining forget it at wall just turn around go back 2 hours, good to run that with others. Ok last one The Famous Black Bear this is a one way trail, not that bad until you drop into telluride, all i can say is oh crap! The slope to the left with a verticle drop is enough to freak the best of the best out. you will never forget this view believe me its good to go down with someone that has done it before after that turn drop there is nothing but awesome scenery but use the lowest of lowest gear on that drop in.The year I did those trails I had a 2001 jeep unlimited all stock with BF Goodrich 32in all terrains , I did scrape off a lot of rocks on undercarriage but no damage but if you don't pay attention on the rocks all over that region something could break take your time and having no lift it shook all the fillings out of my mouth . Plan on anything happening its cold hot cold hot take warm clothes just in case a overnight breakdown, gets cold at dark. Heading up this coming sunday to spend two or three weeks up there wheeling driving from Dallas Ft worth area my motorhome and my tow vehicle 2011 4 dr Rubicon 4 inch lift 33 in tires to do it again. Good luck hope to meet ya on the trail somewhere. Oh yea take the million dollar highway drive its an awesome to come from Silverton and drop into Ouray its a 15 mph corkscrew down I did it with Rv and jeep in tow behind, that time was no fun lol. Jerry Holt (jerrytxrider)
Thanks for the input everyone. Can't wait to get out there but still waiting on the Granite Crystal color for the Sahara. So it looks like i won't make it this year and taking the Sport Trac in September is out, as my wife can't take vacation at that time. Jerry, i'm a former Houstonian, graduated from University of Houston, stayed there for about thirteen years then had to move north. my Colorado trail list is Yankee Boy, Clear Lake, Deer Creek/St. Johns, Ophir Pass, Imogene Pass, Cinnamon Pass, Corkscrew Pass, Porphyry Gulch, US Basin forest road, Animas Ghost town, Picayune gulch, Bandora mine trail, Eureka gulch and whatever is along the Alpine Loop. Black Bear Pass i've read should be avoided by 1st timers but i've also read it's not nearly as bad as some say it to be. maybe some day.
Jerry pretty much covered just rememeber uphill traffic has the right of way. I would suggest a lunch stop in Animas Fork several old buildings and mine sites to see via mineral creek and back on corkscrew gulch. If you can afford it I would really recommend going there in September with Jeep Jamboree, nice to have guides that know the roads and were to go. And nice to have a trail guide to let you know of on coming traffic via the CB.