This 4x4 route winds in and out of the burn scar from the infamous Hayman Fire. The beginning of the trail provides access to a very popular, informal target shooting area and the spur along the top of the ridge features spectacular views of Pikes Peak and the burn area. There is one hill that can be mildly challenging for stock rigs but careful tire placement will get you through it. This is a more interesting route to the Rule Ridge trailhead than the standard county roads and you can combine this trail with other trails in the area to make a full day of offroad adventure.
Turn west from highway 67 onto FSR 343 (if you are coming from the north it's a right turn,If you are coming from the south it's a left turn). The trailhead has been improved in the last couple years and is now more direct and less prone to washouts.
From Deckers, go south on CO 67 about 11.4 miles. You will pass the turn off to Westcreek, go over the ridge and begin descending. The trail will be on your right before you reach Painted Rocks Road.
From Woodland Park, go north on CO 67 about 11.9 miles. You will pass Painted Rocks Road and Manitou Lake. The trail will be on your left before you go over the ridge to Westcreek.
Land Use Issues
This area is part of Pike-San Isabel National Forest, and as such is part of the 2011 Lawsuit where a coalition of conservation and recreation groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service over what they say is the illegal addition of 500 miles of motorized roads and trails. A settlement was reached in late 2015 that is requiring the U.S. Forest Service to re-evaluate the roads and create a new travel management plan. Over the next year, 30 roads will be partially or completely closed while this evaluation takes place over the next 5 years.
It is imperative that the OHV community let's their voices be heard on this issue. If we do nothing, those 500 miles will be shutdown. Contact the local ranger districts and let them know why the area is important to you and the history you have there.
Media Coverage On going Forest Service information,
This trail is currently part of the PSI Travel Management Plan, and there is an alternative, Alt C, that would connect this trail to Turkey Track. Please comment to the FS before Nov 4th, 2019 and support the connection of these two roads.
Calvary 4-Wheelers spent Labor Day weekend camping and 'wheeling in the Rule Ridge and Rainbow Falls areas. We ran Turkey Track Road as part of this trip on Saturday, September 1, 2019. There have been significant improvements made to the shooting area with better definition of individual sites and a lot of new fencing. The big hill at Waypoint 4 has also had significant maintenance. It now climbs in 3 or 4 steps and no longer has the big moguls in the middle of it. Finally, the northern portion of the spur on the ridge has been closed and now has a locked gate.
This is a fun trail with lots of small rolling hills. There is a fun climb at waypoint 4. We added this to our run through Missouri Gulch and Illinois Gulch. Could be done in a stock high clearance vehicle with good tire placement.
We ran Turkey Track Road on Saturday, May 27, 2017. The weather kept alternating between partly cloudy and thunderstorms with rain and light, slushy hail. They have redone the entrance to the trail making it more direct instead of curving around as it used to.
There was a fair share of shooters in the informal target range but it was not as crowded as it sometimes gets. The trail was wide open all the way through with no issues except the recent rain made the big hill a little soft and slick. One of the stock Wranglers with us needed a strap to get up, the other made it under its own power.
The views were magnificent, as always.
Turkey Track Road has reopened according to the fire's blog.
Update 4/19/2017, pm
The Turkey Track fire is now 100% contained. The area is now open to the public for recreation. We ask that the public stay out of the burned area for their safety as there is still a risk of trees falling, hot stump holes (holes where stumps are smoldering? and rolling materials. There is sill the possibility of smoke to be visible in the interior of the burn which is to be expected as we are allowing the interior hazardous fuels to burn naturally. This is to reduce the risk of severe injury to a firefighter by a falling tree. If you see smoke in the interior of the burned area, please do not call 911 to report. We ask the public to please be aware of the continued fire danger and consider not shooting on hot and dry days as well as having a fire extinguisher on hand when you do any sort of recreational activity that poses a fire risk.
Bill is an off-road enthusiast with nearly 30 years of 'wheeling experience. At one time he had a streak of about 20 years of 4-wheeling at least once a month. He likes anything from easy, dirt roads to difficult trails but stops short of extreme. Over the years he has traveled over 700 different trails, mostly in Colorado and Utah. He loves finding and exploring new areas and sharing his knowledge with others. He has been the coordinator of Calvary 4-Wheelers for many years.