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Old 06-24-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
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Colorado Trail Ratings Question

Sooooo...looking for some insight and advice guys. Seeing as though I am newer to Jeepin' I'm looking to gain as much knowledge and wisdom and such from the experienced crews. I have a question about the trail ratings in Colorado. I know different States use different rating numbers, but CO uses 1-10 with 1 being basically a dirt road and 10 being "better have a custom rig with 35s, big lift, don't be a dd type thing".

My Rubicon is a 2012 (used to have a Sport but traded up recently because I I have fallen in love with Jeeps and want to be more active). I've spoken with several fur by fur shops. My plan is to put a winch on and a 2.5" lift and probably wheel spacers to balance out for the added front weight. Hi-Lift will be bought at some point. Not sure when I can make this happen though, could be anywhere from 3 mos to a year before I can swing all this.

Goal is to get to know some fellow Jeepers and learn from them on the trails, but until that happens I tend to go out by myself at the moment and don't want to hit something that is out side the capabilities of Ba Ba Black Jeep.

My question is this, the shops are telling me that the Rubi is a massively capable machine. That it comes down:

- to driving capabilities and being smart in how your ride (I agree with this), they are telling me a stock Rubi should be able to handle trails all the way up to 5-6 without needing modifications.
- and several opinions have been expressed that some of the trails are not rated the way they should be for what a Rubicon can handle (meaning a trail that is rated 4-5 is actually more like a 3 for a Rubicon)

I believe in the saying "Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment...we learn by doing and our mistakes" but I want to be smart about wheeling and what trails (or levels) I should hit to gain the experience. I want more of these moments and less of these

All opinions, insight or advice is sought and welcomed. Thanks!!

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Old 06-24-2012, 03:21 PM   #2
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I tend to go out by myself at the moment



Best advice I can give you is never go out alone

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Old 06-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #3
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Best advice I can give you is never go out alone
Exactly! Rubi or not. Better safe than sorry. The Rubi is plenty capable but what about operator errors? Stuff happens? Or what about equipment failure? I'd go with at least 1 other.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Have you tried this: TrailDamage.com
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:45 PM   #5
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if your going alone then I would recommend not doing anything above a 4-5. especially a new trail. bone stock your probably pushing hard at a 6-7 and nothing above that without getting serious with upgrades.(7 is probably pushing your luck) there is safety in numbers so stay with the easy trails when you go out solo. I have heard of guys waiting days for a winch out or a tug. things happen and things break in this great source of entertainment.
it would be best to find people that have run a particular trail before so they can help with the harder spots.
I hope that helps.
happy trails, Chad
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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Thanks for the insight guys...I am much obliged

I agree, safety in numbers and definitely don't want to be stupid. I do believe in being prepared so I take emergency provisions, blankets, shovel, axe, water etc, but I hear you loud and clear.

Right now I'm targeting 2-4 trail ratings from trail damage and 4x4trails.net. But I do see a big discrepancy in the way they rate the trails. Example -4x4trails lists Jenny Creek a 7 but traildamage lists it at 4. which led to my and trying to better understand the ratings.

Going to do what I can to make the Ouray trip with Chad...
-Beau
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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I have the Charles Wells book on Northern Colorado backroads & trails, it has just easy, easier and easiest (he calls them easy medium & hard), what book is this with the number rating of hard trails ?
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:01 PM   #8
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I have the Charles Wells book on Northern Colorado backroads & trails, it has just easy, easier and easiest (he calls them easy medium & hard), what book is this with the number rating of hard trails ?
I've only been looking at traildamage.com and 4x4trails.net as well as the forest service official maps (no rating just shows you need a 4wd vehicle).

The book I was just given that have started to read is by Robert Brown "Jeep Trails to Colorado Ghost Towns". Written in the early 60s which I know is not reliable for trails now, but interesting.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:04 PM   #9
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ah, ok, I was a member of Traildamage a couple years ago, I just wasnt finding it $30/month usefull, I'll have to look again. Thank you.

I have seen the Ghost towns book, it was really good, I wonder how much of the ghost trails to the ghost towns still exist, might be fun to find out.


Edit: thanks for the link, just ordered the book, I'll have to do some planning
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:24 PM   #10
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I bought my '04 Rubi a month ago and the first two weekends I took it out, first to Yankee Hill then to Left hand Canyon. With it being bone stock I was able to do everything at both with the exception of Big Mama Hill at LFC, and that was just due to differential clearance. I did scrap on a few things but never got stuck because I was able to turn the lockers on and drag myself over. I never went alone though. Some of the stuff I was able to do a stock non-Rubi would not have been able too.

I don't have to worry about any of that anymore though, I'm rolling on a long arm kit and 35's now. Just haven't got to try it out yet
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by O_M_Jeep View Post
ah, ok, I was a member of Traildamage a couple years ago, I just wasnt finding it $30/month usefull, I'll have to look again. Thank you.

I have seen the Ghost towns book, it was really good, I wonder how much of the ghost trails to the ghost towns still exist, might be fun to find out.


Edit: thanks for the link, just ordered the book, I'll have to do some planning
Sweet We'll have to compare notes and plan an excursion. I'm game.

There is a mine up behind Alma called the Hungry Five Mine. Toured the area in my previous Jeep. Sits at 11650ft on a mountain side between Mt Bross (some good trails there) and Pennsylvania mountain. I think they called it Buckskin Gulch (aka County Road 8 - heads towards Kite Lake).

I chuckled to myself looking at it as to how much of a pansy nation we've become...these guys would hike up the side of the mountain, then climb into the belly and hack out ore all day long by candle light and run it down the side of the mountain to the mill. And we gripe about a 20 minute drive to work in our cars with radio, heat (or a/c) and have "nanny" car bing at us about seat belts and air bags.

Attached pics for perspective. The building in the lower right was Paris Mill where they drug the ore to for processing. It's a cool spot to see.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:43 PM   #12
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As some have done before and still do, ask the forum what they think about a certain trail. We are the oned that have run or are running these trails. If a member replies back that a trail requires something to get through a trail, you might make sure you have what they have suggested. Sometimes a trail is listed with a lower trail rating but requires maybe bigger tires or a lift. Just ask Chad. Remember these are the guys that have run these and might know something that a book might not know. During a run here in Buena Vista on April 1st I went on a trip up Chinaman's Gulch. During the pre trip planning there were a few Jeeps that were wanting to come along. These were stock Jeeps. Some maybe even Rubicons. After discussions here on the forum, the stock ones decided that this might noth ave been the trail for them. I recomended that id you ran Chinaman's you needed at least a 2" lift and 32" tires. Once we were done with the whold trail everyone agreed that that was the minimum neede to do that trail. Most wished that they were even bigger than that too. I guess my point on this long winded post is this.

If someone says or recomends something for a trail, please take into consideration that they just might have the best advice for that situation.

If you ever are coming up into the Buena Vista area, post me a note and maybe I can give you some local advice


Ps Jeep says HI!!!


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Old 06-24-2012, 11:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BV Jeep View Post

If someone says or recomends something for a trail, please take into consideration that they just might have the best advice for that situation.

If you ever are coming up into the Buena Vista area, post me a note and maybe I can give you some local advice


Ps Jeep says HI!!!

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Not long winded at all...it's exactly the type of knowledge I'm looking to glean from those who are experienced..those who "seen it done it have the t-shirt". It's good advice and much appreciated!

Thanks for the offer, next time I cruise through BV I will reach out

One sweet pic too
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:28 AM   #14
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+1 on taking trail advice from forum members. My experience went the other way in that I thought I would need more then just 33s but was assured by several members that I would be able to accomplish this trail. I was surprised by the capabilities of my jeep (non-rubi) and learned quite a bit about where my limits were which is helping me prioritize future mods.

Very interested in those ghost town runs. I love seeing those old abandoned ranch and mining cabins. Every time I see them it makes me think about living off the grid lol.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:40 PM   #15
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Very interested in those ghost town runs. I love seeing those old abandoned ranch and mining cabins. Every time I see them it makes me think about living off the grid lol.
I hear you on living off the grid. I'm very much more so a country boy then these stupid suburban's and cube that I currently dwell in. The goal is to get out of this in the next 5-7 years. Spent time working on the family farm and ranches growing up. Would much rather listen to the peepers and creepers chirpin' and croakin' at night while sitting on the back porch than listening to the cars roar by some city street.

The book I posted above that I got as a gift isn't too bad. Looks like there are some interesting spots. I see folks putting trips together. Perhaps I can pull some from this book, plot them out and then see who'd be interested in doing a mine trail run.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:58 PM   #16
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Id love to do A mine trail run.

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