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Old 07-09-2014, 06:51 PM   #1
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Need some help Telluride Colorado Aug 8-12

Hoping I can get some guidance from the Colorado crew.

I'll be staying in a condo in telluride from Aug 8-12th. It'll be my fiancée and I in my 3.5" Xfactor JKU jeep and her brother and dad in his stock JK Rubicon. I've looked at a few threads trying to get a game plan but thought I'd ask y'all.


Several things I've come across in multiple threads...
Alpine Loop ( Cinnamon and Engineer passes between Lake City and Silverton/Ouray)
Ophir Pass
Corkscrew
Poughkeepsie
Imogene Pass
Hurricane pass
Crystal Mill
Pearl Pass
Chinamans gulch
Scofield pass

I'm new to off-roading and the jeep "life". I have done lift and tires and believe my jeep is more capable than my driving skills. So knowing that are there trails that you'd suggest? I want something that I can continue to build my skills and feel comfortable with my jeep.

Any guidance or thoughts would be much appreciated. Thinking I'll spend my time in telluride and ouray.

Thanks!

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Old 07-09-2014, 07:10 PM   #2
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Buy this book and bring it with you. It provides excellent directions with waypoints and will help you navigate the area: 4x4 and SUV Books : Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4WD Trails (3rd Edition) Cover Price: $34.95

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Old 07-09-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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^thanks...yep it's on my list. I also have been looking at traildamage.com

But it's nice to hear some guidance for others. I find that one will rate it a nice drive and one will say its moderate and will be tough to accomplish.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:31 PM   #4
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I'd also add that Scofield Pass/Crystal Mill isn't an area that I'd recommend for a beginner. The trail is extremely narrow with only 1 spot to pass another vehicle, so you may have to back up a long way if you run into someone coming the other direction. If you visit the mill via Marble, CO, then you are looking at a very long paved road drive. There is plenty to explore in the Telluride, Ouray, Silverton area for the amount of time you have.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:54 PM   #5
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To put things in perspective the vast majority of JEEP rentals are stock jeeps. Poughkeepsie is harder I believe.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:33 PM   #6
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Thanks. I read that before and understand jeeps are pretty capable off the lot. I'm like the advice and appreciate it. Anymore would be great. There seems to be a rating of 1-10 on traildamage. I was thinking of looking at 1-5...think that's alright?
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:40 PM   #7
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Don't forget Black bear its my favorite.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:43 PM   #8
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That's one I've read to stay off of cause it rated a 6-7. What's your thoughts?
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:47 PM   #9
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Its not hard at all obstacle wise. It is just scary switch backs with 1000 foot cliffs lol. Definitely a pucker trail lol
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:50 PM   #10
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The rating is a general idea of the difficulty of the trail, the thing to keep in mind is that trails evolve over winter through erosion and run off. However, these "trails" bring in a lot of revenue, so many of them are "maintained." Good common sense, a well maintained Jeep and proper gear you'll be fine. Airing down a bit will make the ride more comfortable, fill up with gas everyday and do an inspection each night of your rig to make sure everything is good. If you're going alone leave a note with the hotel/campground each day what trails you're going to run and when you'll be back. Being prepared for the unexpected will make for an enjoyable trip. Black Bear is not hard at all more of a mental ride.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:07 PM   #11
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I did this area in a stock 2013 JKU Sport. I stayed on the Ouray side and did Ophir to Telluride and Immogene back. The Ouray to Lake city loop is pretty much an all day trip. Engineer wound up being the most difficult only because of my lack of clearance.
Common sense, take your time and enjoy the most beautiful place on earth!
Oh, and black bear? I'm still married only because my wife said NO! If I would have went I would have some guy with a very special lady that I have trained for over 20 years! LOL
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:11 PM   #12
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Lol my wife was reluctant also. Just gave her complete control of the ebrake. Anything she didn't like she could stop us.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:01 PM   #13
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If either of your jeeps is a manual transmission, you may not want to do Black Bear unless your very good with the brake, clutch and gas peddle. Just knowing that if you screw up on a couple of those switchbacks...your dead! It's easy for those who are used to that type of situation, but it's not a place to learn.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:42 PM   #14
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I keep hearing that term. What does "switchback" mean and why are they dangerous?
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:12 AM   #15
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I keep hearing that term. What does "switchback" mean and why are they dangerous?
Switchback is a sharp curve that in some cases requires you to back up, pull forward, back up, pull forward to make the turn. 5 point turn etc.

Use 4L and low gear, try not to ride the brakes, if you have a Rubi you can let the TC take you down the steep grades never touching the brakes.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:22 AM   #16
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The first picture shows what a switchback is...all the back and forth lines on a very steep mountain side. The second picture shows what happens if you screw up. HAPPY JEEPING! (and yes, that Jeep rolled 974 feet down Black Bear)



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Old 07-10-2014, 12:26 AM   #17
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You can do all the trails you listed plus black bear in a stock jeep. Poughkeepsie is the only questionable one as there is one tricky rock garden and one largish rock wall to climb, it can be done stock but you need perfect tire placement. If you're very new to jeeping I'd avoid that one unless you hook up with some other folks that know the line.

Black bear is not technically challenging, you just have to contend with pucker factor on the descent into Telluride but its totally worth it.

Switchbacks,


Click image for larger version

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Are dangerous cause you can drive off them.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:27 AM   #18
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Here's Black Bear, descent into Telluride.

- Video Tube for YouTube - iPhone/iPad
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:41 AM   #19
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I was just out there and ran some of the trails you listed with Justin and Chad from Colorado springs.
Coming from the flatlands of Florida I really didn't know to expect. First trail we done was engineer. Found it fairly easy as long as you use good tire placement. The rest that we ran were the Alpine loop, Ophir, Yankee boy basin, Corkscrew and part of Brown Mountain till the washout. All of these were easy as long as you don't mind heights, narrow roads and switchbacks.
Biggest thing is be mindful of other vehicles that could be coming your way.
Plan on all day for the alpine loop.
We also ran up to the power station on Black Bear from Telluride. Even the two way portion is very tight.
I was in a JKU with 33's and no lift.
I wish I was there right now.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:26 AM   #20
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Lol me too wayne. Op you're going to have an amazing time.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:31 AM   #21
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Actually I need to correct something. We ran Mineral Creek to reach Alpine Loop. That trail starts in Ouray. Fun Trail with a great waterfall. lots of rock climbs. One of my favorites.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:53 PM   #22
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You can do all the trails you listed plus black bear in a stock jeep. Poughkeepsie is the only questionable one as there is one tricky rock garden and one largish rock wall to climb, it can be done stock but you need perfect tire placement. If you're very new to jeeping I'd avoid that one unless you hook up with some other folks that know the line.

Black bear is not technically challenging, you just have to contend with pucker factor on the descent into Telluride but its totally worth it.

Switchbacks,

Are dangerous cause you can drive off them.
Look at that pretty blue Lj going down black bear. I miss that thing.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:16 PM   #23
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Look at that pretty blue Lj going down black bear. I miss that thing.
We need to get that white one on it for some photos now
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:39 PM   #24
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Yes we do. Talked to kate she said she wanted to start planning for Arizona either the week before or the same weekend. I'll try to talk her into ouray again.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:42 AM   #25
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You have a nice list of pass/trails. Looking at your profile I see that you are from Texas so you are traveling a long way to get to Telluride. That said, the last 4 passes on your list is almost another trip and a different area than the first on the list and you may find traveling to Pearl pass, Schofield etc may be bit of a journey from Telluride.

The others that have posted have given you great advise, and I strongly recommend the Charles Well Guide book that LJDave suggest.

Using Telluride as your base may prove to be a logistic problem, as apposed to staying in Ouray or Silverton (hwy 550). Hwy 550 is somewhat a central corridor to get to most of the trails that you want to run, and you will spend a lot of time getting to Engineers, Mineral Creek, Corkscrew, Alpine loop, Hurricane, and Poughkeepsie, they are all in the east side of 550 and there is a hell of a mountain between hwy 550 and Telluride. The only way to get to them is by Imogene, and Opher. Black Bear is one way going west and ending in Telluride.

Black Bear:
Two works that describe it is "intimidating and unforgiving". It is a grand trip and one I never miss on my trip to the area. You hve a grand view of Telluride and it will look like you are in an airplane and on long final for landing at the Telluride Airport. The trail starts at Hwy 550 only a few hundred yards from the summit of Red Mountain Pass. From there to the summit of Black Bear is a bit of a challenge, but all very doable. From the summit you will decend into Ingram basin, along Ingram Creek and then to Ingram Falls. You can see Ingram Falls (a two step falls) from Telluride. As you approach the falls, you enter a area called the "steps", as series of steps that end at Ingram falls. Each step gets more intimidating with the last step being the worse as it turns right around a blind corner and you feel like death is a high probability, you grip on the steering wheel is increased and perspiration is elevated. After you get past this part, you feel like you have conquered the trail, but you have not got to the worst part yet (yeh, hard to believe that it gets worse). You will trail between the two steps of Ingram Falls in enter a narrow shelf road that start you to the switch back porting of the trail. I should note here (for dishlander) that not all switch backs from other trails are as difficult. The description here is "unforgiving" and where most accidents in the area occur ( note horsjocky61s photos). You have two jeeps, which means that you can spot each other. Make your turns very slowly, and spot each move. Clutch pressure points, and knowing the limits of your jeep are important. As your are descending, no need for lockers, so I unlock because the turns are extremely sharp. The first 4 switchbacks are the most difficult and the first two is where most care needs to be taken. Don't try to make the turns in one turn, but do 3 point turns (or 4 or5). After those, then you can breath easy. Black Bear is not to be taken lightly, and no one will (should) criticize you if you elect not to do the trail.

The other trail that will give you difficulty is Poughkeepsie, it has many obstacles and is a difficult trail, going south on the trail, most obstacles will be on the south end as you get near Lake Como. (above Lake Como is California Pass to the east and Hurricane to the South)

Imogene is my favorite and has the most wildflowers, and water falls. It is the second highest pass in Colorado that can be driven and east of the summit is a overlook where you can look down on Corkscrew.

I suggest that you ad Yankee Boy Basin and Governs Basin (off the NE side of Imogene). Governs Basin is a bit challenging, but good.

Ill be heading up the last few day of July for my annual trip. 104% of snowfall last winter and Im expecting to see more snow that usual.

I am attaching my youtube that I put together last year. you can watch it with an anticlinal eye to get an idea of each trail. It includes a "hary" run over Imogene in the clouds. Give yourself about 11 min to watch it and adjust your screen to max and adjust for the music.

Take care and be safe. It is a great place to jeep. let me know if this helps.

Dif (aka h2ogun)

The youtube link: Telluride Ouray Offroad July 2013 - YouTube
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:28 AM   #26
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BB Open?

Is Black Bear open yet? I will be there on the 25th and want to run it.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:26 PM   #27
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Thanks Dif. Appreciate the help a lot. So a few things. I'm in a sport so no lockers. Does this change any recommendations?

Also, since I'm new to this (sorry for newbie questions), am I going to stay in 4L most of the time? Are there times I'll need to disconnect the front sway bar?
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:06 PM   #28
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From what I understand Poughkeepsie is the only one in that area where lockers would come in handy.
As far as the rest of them around the Ouray area I stayed in 4L.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:17 PM   #29
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Thanks Dif. Appreciate the help a lot. So a few things. I'm in a sport so no lockers. Does this change any recommendations? Also, since I'm new to this (sorry for newbie questions), am I going to stay in 4L most of the time? Are there times I'll need to disconnect the front sway bar?
I would suggest using 4L, it's easier on your drive tranny and brakes. Having your Sway bar disconnected isn't needed for articulation, but may smooth out the ride a bit. Same with air pressure, not so much for traction as it is for ride. Although there might be a couple spots where traction and articulation will benefit.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:20 PM   #30
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Is Black Bear open yet? I will be there on the 25th and want to run it.
This is from bushducks,com

7/5/14 - Black Bear is closed. The forest service is working on opening it this week.
7/5/14 - Open to the summit. Trail is blocked by snow shortly after the summit. There was no crew or equipment so it doesn't appear to be being worked on.

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