Probably the hardest quarter mile Colorado has to offer, Upper Middle packs a 1-2-3 punch with consecutive, full throttle commitment obstacles. With a total of 6 obstacles altogether, this trail is only for the most extreme vehicles and is rarely completed without winching.
7 day forecast for Upper Middle - Rock Crawling Trail
The trailhead for Upper Middle is well marked, only about 130 yards from the end of Middle Middle. If you are unsure of the trail, or just came to watch, here is the best, and only opportunity to park your rig and walk the trail. The trail starts on your right, down a very steep and long hill. Following the road to the left will take you to BLM road 8480 and the trail exit.
If exiting Middle Middle, take a right at the T-intersection and travel east, uphill about 130 yards.
From I70, take exit 140 into Gypsum. Upon exiting the highway, reset your odometer and head north on Trail Gulch Road. The road will quickly take a left-hand sweeping turn south, and then another right-hand sweeping turn north.
There are large parking areas at 1 mile and 1.2 miles to accommodate any trailers. At 1.4 miles, continue left at the Y intersection. Follow Trail Gulch Road for another 2.5 miles, through two switchbacks till you reach the top of the bluff where there is a kiosk with a trail map of the area. From this kiosk, head east and continue on trail gulch road.
At 5.6 miles from the highway, you will pass an old cabin on your right (south) letting you know you are still in the correct area. Shortly after this cabin, at 5.9 miles, take a left turn and head north on 8474B staying on this main route till you reach 7.3 miles. At this point, you will see what may be a slightly filled pond or a dried up pond (it was dry in the summer and fall) on your right. Shortly after this pond, there is a right-hand turn onto 8488. There is a very large and open camp area here. This is the start of the GPX track to Middle Middle.
Follow this for 1.2 miles and veer left at the Y-intersection described as waypoint 2 of Middle Middle. Follow this road straight through a 4-way intersection at .55 miles. Follow this dirt track for another mile, making no deviations, until you reach the trailhead sign marking Upper Middle.
Land Use Issues
Travel along this route requires an OHV Permit for ALL vehicles, including street legal plated vehicles.
Visit the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website to read more information on how to purchase OHV registrations and permits, and the projects that the OHV Registration program funds, call (303) 791-1920, or visit one of the OHV Registration Locations.
Ran this trail on 8/10/2019. By far the most difficult trail I've run. The second waterfall is more or less daunting at first sight. Trail was an absolute blast! Our group suffered a broken u joint and a blown rear end but we all had a good time. The trailhead was really hard to find. I would recomend taking the time to download the GPS, it's really easy to get lost in this area.
Hi, I'm Ryan!
I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Patrol 16 Sasquatch Jeepers and currently own an '06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ) nicknamed "Minion".
I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and other. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure.
My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country including Colorado, Utah, Kansas, the Carolinas, AZ, and California. I love a great adventure, and love even more to share those adventures with others.
If you see the "minion" out on the trail, make sure to stop and say hello.