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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so we have decided within the last two days that we are taking our 2017 JKU to Colorado for our vacation, this year (be in the Durango, Ouray, Telluride area July 23-28, 2017). However, my limited off-road 4x4 experience has been Missouri based gravel and fire roads with nothing extreme. I've been a passenger in a CJ, years ago, when my uncle dropped a tire in a tank rut on Fort Campbell and stuck us for a little while. I've seen what it takes to get out of some stuff.

SOA web site (https://soajeep.com/trail-maps-conditions/trail-conditions/) shows Black Bear as a "Difficult to Extreme." I'd love to take my wife on Black Bear and see Bridal Veil falls, but I don't want to be in over my head on it. I'm cautious and conservative with my behavior, not a big risk taker, at all.

Can someone who has traveled Black Bear in the last week or so tell me what to expect and whether we can do this without a winch? Is SOA's rating just a caution for new Jeepers (like me) or is it legit that conditions are not friendly?
 

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There's a large group from Colorado and across the Country going to be there this week.

Here's the link, I'm sure you could hook up with them. http://www.wranglerforum.com/f60/6th-annual-hooray-for-ouray-1963442.html

Black Bear itself is an relatively easy trail with expert consequences. If you're driving then drive, if you want to look at something then STOP and look. Most issues happen when people try to do both. Use 4L, try not to ride your brakes, don't panic and you'll be fine.


Start drinking water NOW and don't stop! Bring lots of water and Gatorade etc, Dehydration occurs quickly at elevation!
 

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OK, so we have decided within the last two days that we are taking our 2017 JKU to Colorado for our vacation, this year (be in the Durango, Ouray, Telluride area July 23-28, 2017). However, my limited off-road 4x4 experience has been Missouri based gravel and fire roads with nothing extreme. I've been a passenger in a CJ, years ago, when my uncle dropped a tire in a tank rut on Fort Campbell and stuck us for a little while. I've seen what it takes to get out of some stuff.

SOA web site (https://soajeep.com/trail-maps-conditions/trail-conditions/) shows Black Bear as a "Difficult to Extreme." I'd love to take my wife on Black Bear and see Bridal Veil falls, but I don't want to be in over my head on it. I'm cautious and conservative with my behavior, not a big risk taker, at all.

Can someone who has traveled Black Bear in the last week or so tell me what to expect and whether we can do this without a winch? Is SOA's rating just a caution for new Jeepers (like me) or is it legit that conditions are not friendly?
I have not run Black Bear and Imogene since August last year. As far as needing a winch on these trails...no you do not need one. Black Bear IMHO is rated as difficult only because of the short section of the "steps" and some of the switchbacks. The 2nd switchback is the most intimidating. 95% of it is easy trail. If you are afraid of heights and shelf roads these wouldn't be the trails for you. They are well worth it but they are intimidating and don't run them alone. If you wanted to see the falls off Black Bear Pass, the road out of Telluride is a two way road up to the falls. Past that going up it's one way only...coming down hill.
There are also lots of easier trails like Yankee Boy Basin and Governors Basin too. Another great easier trail is the Alpine Loop to Lake City and back. Poughkeepsie Gulch is extreme. I have not run it. I understand a winch on that trail is a must.

Taking the Jeep there is a lot of fun and you won't be sorry. Ouray is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

I'm sure others here will chime in with advise for you. Bring a jacket..it could be in the 80's in town but when you get up to 10, 11, 12, and 13,000 feet elevation it can get cold and windy. The weather can and does change quickly up there.

Have fun and be safe!! I'll be there again this August! Can't wait!

One more tip if you are not used to high elevations...besides what Sinister6 said...chew up several TUMS before you go up. It has always helped me with altitude sickness for some reason.
 

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If you're driving then drive, if you want to look at something then STOP and look.
Good advice. The road is very narrow, meaning you have no room for error. 6" on one side your rolling 2000' down, 6" on the other your tipping over and still rolling 2000' down. Focus on the road. Stop if you see something or want a picture. Then focus on the road again. This photo shows how narrow it is.



 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice! I've been a traveler to Colorado for almost 40 years (would love to find a way to live there, but lots of years in where I work, should have made the change a long time ago). Only got hit with elevation sickness one time when we busted it from Missouri to Estes Park. After arriving in EP, we made a trip up and over Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park in 6 hours. That big jump in elevation did me in. We'll have plenty of liquid and pick up more once we arrive.

I am pumped about this and taking the Jeep on our trip is making me wish we had two weeks. The place my wife works, she's critical to some processes and has no serious backup for her position. Makes it tough.

We'll take our time and lots of photos!
 

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I ran both Black Bear and Imogene last weekend. Neither are difficult, both can get you killed if you don't pay attention. Black Bear is the one that can easily get the better of you while doing a 2,3 or 4 point turn on a switchback.

Poughkeepsie is the hardest trail in Ouray, but not the state. I would not quite call it extreme. But it does have one of the few obstacles that I have needed to winch. It does have a bypass. I have not tried it since several major changes to the Jeep.
 

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I ran both Black Bear and Imogene last weekend. Neither are difficult, both can get you killed if you don't pay attention. Black Bear is the one that can easily get the better of you while doing a 2,3 or 4 point turn on a switchback.

Poughkeepsie is the hardest trail in Ouray, but not the state. I would not quite call it extreme. But it does have one of the few obstacles that I have needed to winch. It does have a bypass. I have not tried it since several major changes to the Jeep.
Pic #2 freaked me out for a second....yes it's upside down...whew.... Pic #3 is cool since id shows the GPS trail. Pic #4 is great, gives me that feeling again of "Here we go"...
 

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On poughkeepsie's wall, you don't need a winch if you pick out the right line. I made it up without having any lockers. That was 2yrs ago and the winters might have changed it some since then. Will find out in a couple more weeks. Looking forward to it.
 

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On poughkeepsie's wall, you don't need a winch if you pick out the right line. I made it up without having any lockers. That was 2yrs ago and the winters might have changed it some since then. Will find out in a couple more weeks. Looking forward to it.
Haven't found that line yet, two years in a row. I hope to get out there again to try it with the new suspension.
 

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We are going to be in Silverton last week of August, would love to find someone to do Black Bear Pass.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I don't really like this video because it looks so flat but maybe this will help you find the line next time you are there. It does show the crevice line pretty good,

https://youtu.be/lObaZKuwR5c
 

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https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMPcPR2MUPO0UqIfbWESP6dt3biBQrgzkuiyeu2 jjvw I don't really like this video because it looks so flat but maybe this will help you find the line next time you are there. It does show the crevice line pretty good,

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The link isn't working, but i'd like to see it. I think I have mostly tried to straddle the crevice.

The first time I tried the ledge, I had stock control arms and about a 2" spring lift. And I was heavily loaded up with camping gear for a week long trip. A JK on 33s walked right up on his first try.

I'm a bit more competent now and the Jeep is very different than it was then.
 

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Aren't you supposed to be on vacation again? When are you going to show me how to run Holy Cross?
 

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