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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-15-2013 11:24 AM
wsw Glad you had a good time! I'm from Colorado Springs and love that area.

As to Black Bear, I did it last year with my daughter in our 97 stock Wrangler. Just had to be really careful in one area.

I'd also highly recommend the Montezuma area near Breckenridge. Saints John, Webster Pass, Swan River trails are all awesome. And you can enjoy Breck/Keystone etc. And Argentine Pass, Santa Fe Peak...all good stuff. Nice intermediate. I really like the Wells book for the rating guidance.

In addition, stuff over Hoosier Pass from Breck (Mosquito Pass and trails near Fairplay) are great as well.

I have real good luck jeeping mid-week. Lots fewer people on the trails. From August 10th through Labor Day weekend is especially dead...

Happy Trails!
07-14-2013 07:54 PM
CRolandLJ haha, that's awesome.

My wife had a great time and she had never done anything like that before.
07-14-2013 05:11 PM
DBoat That looks like good times.. I am happy for you and jealous.. just sent the wife an email with a link here to encourage her to want to go to Colorado as well
07-14-2013 01:02 PM
CRolandLJ I forgot to talk about the road trip portion. In between Creede, CO and Clayton, NM (1 tank of gas) I got a WHOPPING 19.95 MPG (on 85 octane no less). Obviously the downhill helped, and we must have had a good tail wind but this is the best I've ever gotten in a tank and I had a hard top, 2 people and a cargo area full including my rear seat.

The next tank was the windy tank and I got a whopping 14.5, more than a 5 gallon decrease because of a head wind... this perfectly describes the aerodynamics of a jeep...

Having a hard top did make a huge difference like I mentioned before. Additionally the ease of access when travelling is a huge bonus. Getting in and out of the cargo area without unzipping anything is almost worth the $850.
07-14-2013 12:56 PM
CRolandLJ The Carson trail was a LONG 4 miles. It was steep and in some parts to bumpy to be fun but lots of parts were fun, including the ghost town. You could continue on to what I believe is called Wager Gulch and the continental divide... but some weather was coming in and we didn't know what the trail contained and didn't want to get stranded. Here is my wife and jeep at the ghost town, you can see the weather coming.

in an abandoned structure



Anyway, I will likely get back up there again. My family used to camp in Creede growing up so I hope to have many more opportunities to explore up there but this was my first with my jeep. I'd highly recommend it to anyone - even the most novice jeeper, just be smart and careful.
07-14-2013 12:47 PM
CRolandLJ When the road down from Cinnamon got a little easier (basically a 2WD section on the side of a cliff) I let my wife drive. She was a little scared at first but once she got behind the wheel she had a blast. The only hard part is seeing over the steering wheel!



It was during her time driving that we saw a Honda Civic on the trail. I know I said it was basically a 2WD road on the side of a cliff but you needed a 2WD with some clearance. They looked as if they were trying to turn around and let us pass while they stood there and looked up the road.

All in all its a great day trip. We took our time (especially on the way up) and took a lot of pit stops (3 women). We began between 8 and 9 and were back in Lake City ( I highly recommend the Lake City Café) for dinner. There were several "Nice" restrooms a long the way (the permanent composting variety) and while we saw lots of other groups, we were never being held up or holding anyone up. The only disadvantage to doing the loop is the high number of rental Jeeps and rental Side by Sides and 4 wheelers you run into. The people typically didn't understand passing and yielding and I can guarantee the brake life on a rental jeep up there is next to zero because on the way down I'd be in 4 LO and some dude would pass me just hopping along looking miserable, bouncing all over the place and riding his brakes.

We didn't go to Colorado just to do the trail riding so I didn't do a lot of the side trails off of the loop or the other passes in the area. I would have loved to have done Imogene, etc and maybe even black bear (although I hear you need a little bit "bigger" of a jeep to get over one obstacle there) but we had other things to do like ride horses, fish, etc.

The one side trail we did do was the trail to Carson - a ghost town along Mills Creek outside Lake city. Pics to come.
07-14-2013 12:37 PM
CRolandLJ another view of where we're headed

and us at the pass

A curious Marmot we met along the way (these guys are everywhere above the tree line)

07-14-2013 12:35 PM
CRolandLJ We spent some time in silverton then got back on the trail across Cinnamon Pass back to the Lake City area. The first climb of this trail was the most technical we experienced. I found my skid plates a couple times on some of the bigger rocks/ledges but nothing serious. This is also when it began to sprinkle lightly so we didn't take many pictures on the way up. Here is a picture of my parents recreating a picture they took in my dads '76 CJ 5 (he still owns it, the original owner) in the mid 80's before I was around.

This is some of the trail back down from Cinnamon (the views are why you do this road)

07-14-2013 12:30 PM
CRolandLJ Around this bend is where we saw the 2WD trail blazer. He asked "where does this trail lead"

I just replied "Lake City...eventually"

07-14-2013 12:29 PM
CRolandLJ The way back down Engineer towards Silverton got interesting fast when a dude in a 2WD trailblazer was right around the first corner. Like I said before these trails weren't terrible challenging... but I was in a Jeep where I could put it in 4 lo and basically just coast down the whole way or idle up the little obstacles or steep parts here and there. Doing this thing in a full size 2WD SUV would be have been pretty interesting to say the least. We made it down to Animas where there is an old abandoned mine and the 4WD part stops (or starts depending on your direction) and its basically a bumpy dirt road down to silverton.

Here's the whole group and our view at Engineer Pass

07-14-2013 12:19 PM
CRolandLJ This trail brought up through the tree line to Engineer's Pass. This pass was my favorite view of the trip (and my favorite pic spot since I'm an Engineer), however I think I liked the Cinnamon trail itself better. The engineer pics are above (sorry, not many action shots were taken since I was the camera operator/driver...)

Here is my wife and the jeep at the top.

Edit: now having trouble with photobucket photos going directly in the text ( posted first photos from a Mac, now on PC...any suggestions)
07-13-2013 07:26 PM
CRolandLJ made the long drive home. The hard top ended up being invaluable because of some super high winds we saw in the panhandle and E. NM. The top is so much quieter than my soft top, especially in the wind, that it kept us sane on that long drive.

Anyways i know you guys want more pics and they will follow but here is my "alpine loop trip report"

We left Lake city about 8 am and went up Engineer. After some washboard dirt roads we came to the 4x4 recommended section. This first section ended up being some of the roughest we could face all day. Nothing extremely technical or difficult, just rocky and rough and a relatively shallow climb.

More to come when I get some time
07-10-2013 11:23 PM
DBoat nice pics.. keep em coming.. be safe!
07-10-2013 09:04 PM
CRolandLJ My dad's truck on a switch back (pictures make trails look so easy)


My wife and I at the top of Engineer

more to come from Cinammon, etc.

We also did a trail up to the ghost town of carson today-short but much more difficult than the loop on average (although parts of the loop were interesting...)
07-10-2013 09:02 PM
CRolandLJ Here's my LJ at the top of Engineer (also a test to see if my photobucket link works)

07-10-2013 04:25 AM
Neal5280 I upload mine to Photobucket (or equivalent) and post a link to them. Some people use Facebook too.

Glad you are enjoying my home state. Wouldn't want to live anywhere else!

Originally Posted by CRolandLJ View Post
Got that on from my phone but have man excellent shots from my DSLR on my comp. any suggestions on easy ways to upload pics?
07-10-2013 03:04 AM
Garlandxj Glad your enjoying your trip. If you have the chance stop by the Great Sand Dunes on your way back to I-25. I did it about 2 years ago and there are some great trails leading out of the back of the dunes up over the front range and bring you back into Walsenberg. I started off at 8 in the morning did the sand dunes, the trails and had a late lunch in Walsenberg before heading back to Texas. I got into Garland about 3 AM. Once you cross Texline on the way back you will be hard pressed not to turn right back around and go back to stay.
07-10-2013 12:20 AM
CRolandLJ Got that on from my phone but have man excellent shots from my DSLR on my comp. any suggestions on easy ways to upload pics?
07-10-2013 12:19 AM
CRolandLJ Attachment 270882
07-10-2013 12:06 AM
CRolandLJ Did the Alpine Loop today, had a blast.

What's the easiest way to post pics on here? It just asked me for a link...
07-03-2013 07:49 PM
Originally Posted by CRolandLJ View Post

I'm leaving Saturday
Be safe in your travels and have a great time.
07-03-2013 02:57 PM
CRolandLJ Bump

I'm leaving Saturday
07-03-2013 11:45 AM
CRolandLJ anyone (perhaps UnlimitedLJ04) know the status of the Alpine Loop, Lake City, Ouray area with the fires going on up there?
06-25-2013 12:18 AM
Originally Posted by Gold Miner View Post
I respectfully disagree. Normally I consider your advice very sage but...
I have a 2001 4.0L 3spd auto, live at close to 9K and have excellent power with stock 3.07 and 31"s (no lift). 16-18mpg no matter how I drive it.
I travel Berthoud Pass, Eisenhower, Lookout, Kenosha... you know, all the fun mtn passes. I can do 70mph up these all day/any day with ease.
Geez... maybe I have a magic Jeep OR those CAIs actually ARE all they're cracked up to be after all... at least up here where I live anyway.
First off, I've no actual experience in CO. terrain but here in IN. we still have some rough countryside.
I have a '98 4.0 5sp with 3.73's and 33's and have no issues running 75mph uphill or down staying in 5th.
As for the actual trip, if you have trouble getting through or up something, don't forget 4lo
Straps, spare, e-kit, folding shovel and some Mt Dew is my usual travel kit. Gatlinburg, TN has some pretty awesome terrain, my baby never once batted an eye at rock, mud or hill.
↑maybe useless but... :wave:
06-24-2013 11:59 PM
CRolandLJ I liked Dana's plan

But I bought a hard top since my wife has the iPad/head phones already.

I got it for 850 so...I might just keep it for the trip and resell it, we'll see. It makes some air noise right now but it's dark so ill investigate tomorrow.

I have a best top bikini top but was considering getting a spiderweb shade to use in the mountains instead so I don't have to transport the header. Any thoughts..? Does the spider shade flap at free way speeds?
05-04-2013 07:02 AM
jimmy_buckle haha a plan that can't possibly fail
05-04-2013 05:53 AM
A different approach

I have had some time to think this one through a bit more and here is my suggested plan for you.

With the money you would use for the hard top,

1) buy wife a tablet pc (iPad, etc)
2) buy wife some Dr. Dre headphones to go with the tablet (download both of your favorite tunes, games and apps
3) load up Jeep day of trip
4) take wife to favorite Italian food restaraunt the evening you are to leave (Macaroni Grill, Olive Garden, etc)
5) make sure wife orders LOTS of carbs (bread and pasta), you go light with fish, chicken and very easy on the carbs
6) leave for Colorado after dinner and head out as the sun is setting
7) make sure wife is strapped in with her favorite pillow and leaning on roll bar for support as she passes out when her blood sugar drops like a rock when the pancreas kicks in to offset the jump in blood sugar from the carbs
8) drive all night through N Tx and into Colorado before she wakes up
9) your all night drive is enhanced by the new lighting you added to the Jeep from what was left over in funds ( the difference between the cost of a hardtop and the iPad)
10) you arrive the next morning, check into the hotel after breakfast and hit the rack for a few hours
11) go out drop the top and head to the mountains and take on the trails
12) you now have a new iPad for hitting all the trail sights and directions at your fingertips
12) there are still $$ left over for other mods that will make the trip more enjoyable, SiriusXM radio; binoculars, definitely a BL, winch; new bumpers, wheels, tires, etc..
13) repeat the high carb meal for the drive home, if not, at least she has an iPad and some noise cancelling earphones to make the trip bearable.

05-02-2013 10:46 AM
Wyo Tigger 01 Gas has not been a problem for us. Start each day with a full tank. I carried a 5 gal. can on our CJ5 when we attended the 1998 0uray Jeep Jamboree. That Jeep has a 10.5 gal. tank. Never got the can off the rack. We have been back to the area several times with our '01 Tj Sport and never was concerned about running out of gas. At home in Wyoming we fill the tank as we leave town.
05-01-2013 10:19 PM
CRolandLJ Yeah i can definitely handle the soft top... but im worried about my passengers, ha.

Have any of yall had any experience or have any thoughts on carrying fuel on either the stock spare tire carrier or stock bumper? I have seen a few racks available that mount on or to the spare but that weight seems like it could be a little much for the tailgate.
05-01-2013 09:17 PM
Originally Posted by aTX427 View Post
LJ's are a bit more rare than TJ hard tops. You should expect to pay around $1,300-$1,500 for a good one, because they are not as common.
+1 I had a guy from Austin approach me at the Jeep Jamboree to try to sell was about this price or more.. they aint cheap and neither are the aftermarket ones either. Its a day up and a day back, I would suck it up and go soft top because once you are there, you are going to want to go topless as much as you can, IMHO.
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