IDyeti

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I'll be going thru Colorado on my way to Vegas the 2nd. week of October. Is that getting too late in the year for the loop and other trails near your travels ?
I lost the trail on black bear pass in mid-September due to snow. All depends on the year.


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TheSSBoz

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A few people have asked me some questions, so I'll repost this:

I dont know which way your coming from Lake City, Silverton, or Ouray, but I'm coming from Lake City and going up the Loop from either direction is easy.

- The entire Alpine Loops is doable in a non-SAS Bronco. There is one switchback between Engineer Pass and the Ouray turn-off (RD 17) that can be a little tricky, but it's no big deal.

- Coming from Silverton, up North to Eureka, and into Animas Forks is essentially dirt roads. I see passenger cars parked at Animas Forks occasionally.

- Going West out of Animas Forks through California Gulch is good, and getting up to Hurricane Pass to Lake Como is not too difficult, just very steep with a few tight switchbacks and nothing a stock 4x4 couldn't do.

- Going off the main trails is pretty much okay, just turn around of you get uncomfortable.
Have a backup GPS and Topo map to cross reference you location.

Local/Brocal tips:
- If possible, do the Alpine Loop in the week, and try to avoid it on the weekends. There are tons of activity on the Loop and it can get very dusty and congested, very quick. The shelf roads can freak out the flat-landers (sorry had to poke fun!) and they panic.

-Uphill has the right of way. Sometimes, based on the terrain, its not possible so whomever has the better turn out can let the other guy pass. People seem to forget this up there....

-Start early in the morning. Be on the CR 30 (Cinnamon Pass) or CR 20 (Engineer Pass) by 8am.

-Watch the weather. Shit can go sideways in a hurry. I've been in 5 inches of snow on Cinnamon Pass on Labor Day. Take a good, waterproof jacket and gloves.
Indeed all good info...if I may add a point...

Slow going though in some of mineral creek to Ouray which hasn't been mentioned yet....if you don't have the taller tires (33-35), otherwise nice having a little lift in the switchbacks there if ya end up heading that way....and understanding right of way.........
 
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ColoradoKid26

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You mentioned GPS. Will most/all GPS show the roads on the loop?
We have the Charles Wells and Matt Peterson Backroads and 4 Wheel Drive Tails book.
Also the National Geographic Telluride/Silverton/Ouray/Lake City map.
With a little luck should these be enough to navigate the region?
I'm not familiar with the others, but the Nat Geo maps are pretty good for what they are, and you should be good. I carry a few in the truck and Bronco.

I also have the On X Offroad app for my phone and that thing is amazing, with very detailed info.

Edit: I carry a Garmin Montana 610 as well as a back up.
 
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Taltyman

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As mentioned earlier about Mineral Creek. That section used to be a lot easier on the suspension. I avoid it now as it is brutally rough. Just not worth the wear and tear in my opinion.
 

TheSSBoz

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-Uphill has the right of way. Sometimes, based on the terrain, its not possible so whomever has the better turn out can let the other guy pass. People seem to forget this up there....

Haha... as I mentioned right of way I guess I skimmed your point...they surely do forget how it can work.....I was coming down mineral creek and had a guy on the shelf on mineral sitting right past a turn out I could have nearly done donuts in..... when I would have had to backup a damn mile....

He insisted he comes up there all the time...(in a rental jeep out of Ouray) and knows the rules. He wouldn't budge...mainly cause he was scared out of his mind to get near the edge..... I talked him through it thankfully....
 

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ColoradoKid26

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As mentioned earlier about Mineral Creek. That section used to be a lot easier on the suspension. I avoid it now as it is brutally rough. Just not worth the wear and tear in my opinion.
No shit!
That whole area over the past 5 years has been hammered by SxS's.

The roads to Carson and Cuba Gulch are so rough now I wont take my 4 wheeler up there.
Nellie Creek used to be a fun cruise and now it's rough as hell.
As I said in the OP the Golconda Mine used to be decent and its much rougher than I remember.

I'm thinking of at least a 2 inch lift and possibly 37's for the Juans.
I'm for sure doing a tie-rod upgrade and carrying spares.
 

TheSSBoz

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Is nellie creek the one that goes up to Uncompahgre? I agree if so, that was rougher than it was described....
 

77BroncoTX

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I was just there a couple of weeks ago we took Stoney Pass out of Silverton end camped where pole creek runs into the Rio Grande river. Several nice camp spots right there. The last mile going up to Kite lake is quite challenging if you have Sasquatch you’ll be fine. I did have to use my front locker in one section. People were also camping at Kite lake. I highly recommend Garmin in reach satellite tracker that will Bluetooth to your phone. It allows you to text up to 160 characters via satellite and also allows friends and family to track your progress.
By the way I am one of those flatlanders but I travel out west fairly often be aware of altitude. We camped at 10,500 feet and had headaches had to take Advil.
Mike
 
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ColoradoKid26

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Is nellie creek the one that goes up to Uncompahgre? I agree if so, that was rougher than it was described....
Yep.
It's funny when people in subaru's ask if they can make it to the trailhead, lol....
 

Happy

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On X Offroad looks very worth a subscription. Thanks for the good trail review.
 

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thattrue32

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Yep, lots of places.
There is great camp grounds and dispersed camping along the Alpine Loop. Burrows Park is a popular camping spot with (3) 14'ers out of that area. The Cinnamon Pass side has a lot of non-marked private land and claims in the area, so be aware of that.

Deer Lakes in between Lake City and Creede has an awesome camp ground as well.
right on thanks for the info!!
 

SubmarineNuke

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I just got back earlier this week from my trip. What a great time.

Thursday we did Ophir and Imogene coming in from Telluride.
Friday we did Engineer and Poughkeepsie (long story with Engineer rofl)
Saturday we did Black Bear, and ran into @LIVETOLEARN and he joined up with us.

My Wildtrak had a blast and made some Jeep guys really shocked at what it could do...especially the one time I lifted a wheel pretty good on Imogene on a rock I decided was in my way and I couldn't go around...I totally could, but that's not the fun part of the story.
 

Engineer Pass

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I have been going up there for last 20 years and do the Alpine Loop every year. Stoney pass is a rough alternative but well worth it. Plenty of nice campgrounds near Rio Grande Reservoir. Lake Cirt portal is best option, plus plenty of places to eat. Try looking up Wheeler Geological area near Creede. Very rough drive but views are worth the drive at the actual rock formations. Try Kips in Creede for food. Better yet, Get a hamburger at Freemons General Store in between Creede and Lake City. Don't forget to stop at North Clear Creek Falls.
 

gdp

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I like your front license plate location. Did you do that yourself or is there a bracket you bought?
 
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ColoradoKid26

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I have been going up there for last 20 years and do the Alpine Loop every year. Stoney pass is a rough alternative but well worth it. Plenty of nice campgrounds near Rio Grande Reservoir. Lake Cirt portal is best option, plus plenty of places to eat. Try looking up Wheeler Geological area near Creede. Very rough drive but views are worth the drive at the actual rock formations. Try Kips in Creede for food. Better yet, Get a hamburger at Freemons General Store in between Creede and Lake City. Don't forget to stop at North Clear Creek Falls.
Freemons has awesome burgers!
The Lake City Cafe has the BEST Shrimp and grits.

Plenty to do and see over here for sure.
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