If you are new to offroading and live in the Denver, Colorado area, you are in luck! The Front Range is a paradise of jeep trails and four-wheel-drive roads of all types. Since you are a beginner, you might be wondering where to go that is suitable for your skill level and your vehicle's capabilities. There are several areas very close to Denver to explore offroad.
Here are two choice offroading locations that are close to Denver.
Yankee Hill Network
The Yankee Hill Network offers a full day’s worth of offroading on many different trails, with most of them being suitable for beginners. The most popular route is from St. Mary’s Glacier over to Central City. When taking this route, you can explore many side trails and create your own loops to maximize your trail time. A word of caution: although this area is considered very easy, the rocks are sharp, so be sure to lower the air pressure in your tires. If you start in Central City, you can explore the beautiful Loch Lomond and Chinns Lake near St. Mary’s Glacier and actually loop back onto Yankee Hill on the way back via Cumberland Gulch. The only trail to avoid in this area would be Miners Gulch.
Bill Moore 4X4 Loop and the Empire Area
There are three main trails in this network: Bill Moore Lake, Mill Creek, and Red Elephant Hill. Beginners should avoid Red Elephant Hill, but Bill Moore Lake and Mill Creek are two beautiful trails with enough challenge to bring out the sense of adventure in you. For additional scenery, and only late in the summer, be sure to check out Jones Pass.
There are so many places to go in the Denver area. Just remember if you do not feel comfortable, it is ok to turn around and try it another day. Never go alone and always consider the time of year first and foremost. Ice and deep snow can turn a fun day into a terrible day really fast if you do not have experience with it.
Gateway Trail Guides:
Yankee Hill – Main trail through the Yankee Hill Network.
Bill Moore Lake 4×4 Trail – Main trail into the Bill Moore Lake 4×4 Network.