Neal A. Tew

Trail Reviews: 3800 points
Questions Answered: 150 points
Off-Road Experience:
6+ years
Off-Road Style:
Overlanding
My Garage:
  • 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche (Stock lift, 32" tires)

My Garage (1)

2002 Chevrolet Avalanche

Lift Size: Stock
Tire Size: 32"

My Trail Reviews (35)

(within last 6 months)
Mount Princeton (09/26/2019)
Had a nice trip up and back as there were only a few parked vehicles along the way. Completed this trail again in my stock full size Chevy leading a small Overland Bound group while in the area for 14erFest.
Fourmile Area: Million Dollar View (09/25/2019)
Made a quick trip down and back while camped nearby for 14erFest. Easily completed in my stock full size Chevy in 2wd. Views will be better if traveled early in the day so the sun isn't in your face.
San Juan County Road 2 (08/07/2019)
We found it closed just below Animas Forks after coming off California Pass.
Corkscrew Pass (08/07/2019)
The Corkscrew / Hurricane / California route is one of my favorites. Scenery is amazing and this road is faster because it's less technical than something like Imogene. We experienced rain, hail, clouds and moderate traffic.
Hurricane Pass (08/07/2019)
The Corkscrew / Hurricane / California route is one of my favorites. Scenery is amazing and this road is faster because it's less technical than something like Imogene. We experienced rain, hail, clouds and moderate traffic.
California Pass (08/07/2019)
The Corkscrew / Hurricane / California route is one of my favorites. Scenery is amazing and this road is faster because it's less technical than something like Imogene. We experienced rain, hail, clouds and moderate traffic. I cut a tire on sharp rocks while pulling over for traffic.
Engineer Pass - Alpine Loop Connector (08/07/2019)
We came off California Pass to find CR2 closed just below Animas. Took this connector and Mineral Creek to get back to 550. Trail was fine in stock full size truck.
Engineer Pass (08/07/2019)
Ran just the Mineral Creek portion to get back to Ouray after finding CR2 closed. Trail was wet and a little sloppy. I was in a full size stock Chevy and I scrubbed underneath more than I would have liked because it was a little slippery. I find this to be one of the harder sections of trail for my truck in this area not including Black Bear and Poughkeepsie. I love the trail, but find it tedious if it's late in the day because it's so slow and rough.
Imogene Pass (08/06/2019)
Imogene was great fun and scenic as always maybe even more than usual because of the interesting year we've had. It was open all the way despite there still being a small sign on the Telluride end saying it was closed. Ran in my stock full size Chevy with no issues.
Hurrah Pass (08/05/2019)
Fun and scenic as always, but brutally hot on this day. Ran in my stock full size Chevy leading a few built Toyotas from Venture Overland / Overland Bound's Rocks n Rockies event.
Long Canyon (08/03/2019)
This is a great return route after Gemini Bridges. Very interesting, scenic and fun. Ran with a group of 9 from Venture Overland / Overland Bound.
Gemini Bridges (08/03/2019)
Trail in good shape with no issues other than summer heat. Ran with a group of 9 vehicles from Venture Overland /Overland Bound. Combine this with Long Canyon for a nice loop.
Mount Princeton (07/19/2019)
It never occurred to me how busy this road might be with hikers during peak season. Avoid weekends if possible. Vehicles were parked in every open space nearly the full length of the trail. Some places were very tight getting a full size truck through. Thankfully our timing was good and we got up and down without major incident. There were even 4 Pinzgauers there today.
Bald Mountain Gulch Cutoff (07/18/2019)
Entered from WP6 headed east and was followed in by a fellow on a backhoe from the little quarry nearby. He advised this was private property. While I know it's debatable whether they own the county road access, we didn't push the issue and exited the way we came.
Fourmile Area: Little Cottonwood Creek (06/30/2019)
Trail was dry and fun on this day. I enjoy doing this west to east after Bald Mtn Loop. I might avoid if muddy because of the steep sections. I led a small group two days in a row as part of the Overland Bound Buena Vista June Jam. No trail issues other than almost having a dirt bike for a hood ornament. The overlook spur mid-route is a great place for lunch.
Bald Mountain Loop (06/28/2019)
I led a small group here on both 6/28 and 6/29 as part of the Overland Bound Buena Vista June Jam. We ran counter-clockwise both days so we were uphill in the rocky sections. No real difficulties encountered and no traffic on these days! If you'd like to avoid the rocky switchbacks on the east side, just go up and back down on the west side. That would be a left at the fork on the way up. Excellent views! A great place for lunch on good weather days. After this consider going up nearby Little Cottonwood Creek trail. It makes for a fun ride.
Fourmile Area: Big Sandy (06/28/2019)
I ran this trail on 6/27 & 6/29 while leading the Overland Bound Buena Vista June Jam. Trail was dry and in good condition and could be run in 2wd in my stock full size Chevrolet. I don't know where the name "Big Sandy" originated, but the trail isn't very sandy and not nearly as much as others in Fourmile. On my second trip down, we were surprised to see a stranded Chevy Impala that appeared to have been damaged on some of the rocks perhaps the night before. There are some expansive camping areas with great views in the area of where this trail terminates on the uphill end, but they can be quite busy on the weekends during tourist season. This trail was fun and provided an alternate path back to the highway form our campsite.
Bald Mountain Gulch (06/28/2019)
I led a small group from Overland Bound Buena Vista June Jam accessing Bald Mountain Loop from the north side on 6/28 and then a new group from the south end on 6/29. Much of the trail follows a sandy wash. The rock features near the south end I suspect serve a good gatekeeper function. We had one truck follow us in up to the first little rocky spot to discontinue after that. Most of the trail is doable in 2wd, but use 4wd to be safe on the rock features. The parking at the south end on a summer weekend was crowded. The parking area at the north end was pretty vacant.
Fourmile Area: Eagles Roost (06/27/2019)
Nothing has changed since my review a month ago. This trail is fun and interesting with some good camp sites. I ran this as part of a big loop leading a small group from the Overland Bound Buena Vista June Jam.
Castle Rock Gulch (06/27/2019)
Ran this after a full day of trails leading an Overland Bound group. Trail is in good condition. Nice alternative to using CR187.
Fourmile Area: Natural Bridge (06/27/2019)
I led a small group from the Overland Bound Buena Vista June Jam on a large loop of the north side of Fourmile on this day. For this trail we ran just the top part of the loop connecting from Eagle's Nest to Seven Mile. The trail has character and was fun in 2wd in my stock full size Chevy. It was dry and in good condition.
Black Dumps (06/27/2019)
My group from Overland Bound BV June Jam ran the loop clockwise simply because the review here was run in that direction. We found the trail to be long and tedious, but that may have been more because we'd all had a full day and were ready for some grub and down time. There were some muddy ruts about 2/3 around the loop that were probably a big deal several days before. We got through with little difficulty except I dragged my rear and cracked the plastic bumper cover on my stock truck. If you thought it might be muddy, you might consider going counter clockwise to examine the mud area first. The downside to that, however, is you'd be traversing the mud slightly uphill.
Fourmile Area: Chubb Park (06/26/2019)
I led a small group from Overland Bound Buena Vista June Jam on a large loop of the north side of Fourmile on this day. We used this as a connector from Sevenmile to Lenhardy Cutoff. Road is smooth and out in the open. It's hard to resist driving too fast after having been on the tight and bumpy trails.
Fourmile Area: Lenhardy Cutoff (06/26/2019)
We ran the section from Chubb Park to CR 315 on this date as part of the Overland Bound Buena Vista June Jam. The east end is narrow and at first I wondered if we had gotten on an ATV trail. This trail apparently doesn't see near the traffic that others do. Trail was in good condition with one small fun rocky section with a bypass.
Fourmile Area: Sevenmile Creek (06/26/2019)
I led a small group from the Overland Bound Buena Vista June Jam on a larger loop of the north side of Fourmile on this day. We connected from Natural Bridge to Chubb's Park. Trail was in good condition and managed in 2wd in my stock full size.
Metberry Gulch (06/07/2019)
Trail was in good shape today as I ran this in my stock Chevy Avalanche. I tagged along with a group of Colorado FJs. I scrubbed the frame in a couple places that probably could've been avoided with a better line choice. I also scrubbed breaking over the top of Chicken Scratch hill going both up and down. I wish I had video of the climb up Tippy Notch as I got some pretty good air under the left front tire. Made it on the first try, though. I only backed up once all day and that was on a pretty steep undulating uphill that I tried an aggressive line originally.
Fourmile Area: Lenhardy Cutoff (06/03/2019)
Just out exploring and looking for good camping. Road was open and in good condition.
Fourmile Area: Shields / McGee Loop (06/03/2019)
Completed over two days using as access roads to other Four Mile areas. Found in good condition. All 2WD as far as I can remember.
Bald Mountain Loop (06/03/2019)
We did the loop in counter clockwise direction based on previous reviews. Road was dry and we encountered no difficulties. I was in a stock full-size Chevy along with a mild Tacoma and a built JKU. We.reached the top about noon along with some soft hail or graupel. Excellent views!
Bald Mountain Gulch (06/03/2019)
Traveled this a few times the last couple days. No problem in stock full size. Mostly doable in 2WD, but I kept it in 4-lo just for gearing. Road was in good condition with a few cattle supporting us.
Fourmile Area: Spanish Mills (06/03/2019)
Both in good shape other than maybe washboarding on 375. 376 has some good camping looking over Buena Vista.
Bassam Park (06/02/2019)
Used as a connector for the other trails in the area. In good condition. Encountered no difficulties.
Fourmile Area: Little Cottonwood Creek (06/02/2019)
Surprisingly fun trail that we took from Aspen Ridge to Bald Mountain Gulch. Trail in good condition with no issues. There are some fairly tight and twisty sections that kept it interesting. It would be especially interesting if driven when wet....especially uphill (west to east).
Aspen Ridge (06/02/2019)
Started from Salida and traveled up to Little Cottonwood Creek. Road was dry and in good condition.
Fourmile Area: Eagles Roost (06/02/2019)
Sandy trail with some undulating sections. There are a couple of nice camping spots under stands of Cottonwood? The largest is near the intersection with 373.