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Discussion Starter #1
Going to Colorado with my Jeep club in the summer hopefully going to get 4/6 badges they have there! Anyone done any of the trails over there? Advice would be appreciated!
 

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It's been a few years, but I've run some of the trails in that area.

Ophir was fairly easy, Imogene wasn't really difficult except for some steep climbs at altitude on the Telluride side. I've also run Corkscrew/Hurricane/California Pass into Animas Forks, again not difficult except for the climbs at altitude.

On the more difficult side, there's Mineral Creek. Starts off highway 550 and eventually connects with Engineer Pass to form part of the Alpine Loop. I ran it going down on 29" Duratracs and Stu's without issue. Didn't have the disconnects installed then, but it would have been helpful.

I would not attempt Poughkeepsie in a Patriot. :)

I haven't run Black Bear, but there was a video a few years back of a Forester (small lift, larger tires) going down it, and I think someone took a Renegade and new Compass down it too, so I'm fairly sure a Patriot could do it if the trail is still in the same condition.
 

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Thanks! I’m just gunna b riding all terrains and probably gas skid plates. I’m only planning on hitting 4 trails there. Any advice?
 

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Advice:
1. Forget about "badges" and focus on having fun.
2. Spend money on the local economies. The shiriffs and environmentalists both want to close most of the Jeep roads in the state. Tourists spending money is the only reason they haven't (yet).
3. It'll snow year-round above 12000ft, so bring warm clothes including gloves (especially if you're bringing kids).
4. The vast majority of vehicle breakdowns I see (especially in the San Juans) is blown hoses; first radiator followed by power steering. The coolant makes sense since water can boil at about 175*F instead of 212*F on some of our passes but either way bring a means of dealing with blown hoses and Murphy's law says you probably won't need it.
5. Don't go the 3rd week of July.
 

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Thanks! I’m just gunna b riding all terrains and probably gas skid plates. I’m only planning on hitting 4 trails there.
Which 4 trails?
 

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3rd week of July the whole state is just lousy with Texans that have no idea what they're doing. If you're coming from Texas, ignore this post and come on up the 3rd week of July - bring money.
 

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3rd week of July the whole state is just lousy with Texans that have no idea what they're doing...
Oh, like this?

 

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Black bear, engineer pass, Imogene, and Ophir
Have you watched any videos on these trails? If not, I'd highly recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I’ve watched a couple videos of each trail. Some people I’ve talked to said I shouldn’t really have a problem. Videos just don’t give some of the things justice. I’d just like others opinions from people who have been there and done the trails
 

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The trails change every year. The first thing to go through each trail in the spring, is a 30 ton tracked dozer. Some trails have a reputation for being harder or easier, but it really does depend on the year and how much that dozer has to do to turn it back into a trail after the winter does it's damage.

I'd recommend swapping Ophir for Yankee Boy and do that first. YB is the biggest bang for the buck as far as seeing Colorado's glory. If you do YB and then for some reason can't do anything else, you'll still feel like the trip is worth it.


Imogine and Engineer are both real good long climbs. I've never summited either and not been snowed on, so definitely bring warm clothes. "Dress in layers" is the Colorado mantra.

Everyone will tell you that Black Bear is just pucker-factor tough, not technically tough, but that's only a half-truth. As I said above, it depends on the year for how technical it is, but there is never much margin for error.

The one constant challenge with Black Bear is that it's a long, long, loooonnnnggg descent. It can burn up brakes quick. Since the Patriot has that fancy hill-control you might not think it's an issue, but the hill control uses the brakes. I think you'll be ok though. Since it looks like you're coming as part of the Texan infestation, it's gonna be gridlocked so you won't be moving enough to burn up your brakes, haha!

Do you know where you'll be staying while in the San Juans? If you're in a hotel, they're all pretty good. For camping, the Ouray KOA is one of the most awesome KOAs I've ever been to and Ridgeway State Park is pretty nice too. Any campground between the KOA and Ridgeway, assume it's a nudist commune for old hippies. Seriously, there's a couple of them in there so do your research. :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks a lot! I’ll keep looking at talking to others going with us! I’ve got a lot of time to keep researching!
 

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Thanks a lot! I’ll keep looking at talking to others going with us! I’ve got a lot of time to keep researching!
About that, since the Toyota Cruiser Losers, Beemer Bikers, and 500 other clubs like yours are all gonna be here at the same time, you're gonna want to get your reservations locked down sooner rather than later. It's already most probable that you'll need to get on a waiting list right now. :surprise:
 

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I'll agree Yankee is awesome, and it's pretty easy to get to. But that also means it can be insanely crowded. Not saying not to go, just saying.

16griepm, if you really have your mind set on getting one of those badges, Ophir is by far the easiest. The biggest hazard you'll likely face is getting through the town of Ophir without getting a speeding ticket.

If you run Ophir from the Ouray side, you can loop back over Imogene if the weather is good. If it's wet, you may not want to attempt it, especially with A/S tires.

From the Telluride side, there isn't anything that steep or challenging (aside from being a shelf road) until you get to the upper section past the Tomboy site. From Tomboy to the summit there are a couple of steep sections where you'll need to maintain some momentum or you could start to spin and stall. A wet trail just makes it worse.

Oh, and you do have tow hooks, right? :)

If you want, you can check out this vid of our trip over Imogene on a perfect day.

 

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The tow hooks are installed next to the fog lights. You'll either have to cut out your lower bumper cover where the vents are, or swap in a cover that already has the openings. Installation isn't hard, but the clip that snaps into the rails can be a bit fiddly to install. It's probably more time and effort just getting the front fascia off than actually installing the hooks. I'd recommend the OEM hooks over third party offerings.

For the rear I'd recommend just getting a hitch. There's plenty of options out there for recovery accessories for them, I went with a hook but there's also shackle adapters.
 
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