Chinaman Gulch

4.9/5 (25 reviews)
Buena Vista, Colorado (Chaffee County)
Last Updated: 02/06/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

Chinaman Gulch is a very popular, difficult rock crawling trail best suited for modified vehicles. Minimal snow to the area makes it an ideal location for winter wheeling. There are many obstacles and rocks to play on along this 4wd trail, many of which provide multiple lines from easy to hard. Although not very scenic, the occasional views of the Collegiate Peaks are astonishing. This trail is a great trail for groups as the main obstacles provide enough room for vehicles to pull out of the way and watch other vehicles attempt the obstacle.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (25 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/28/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

What a trail!! How this is not a jeep badge of honor trail i don't know. We ran the trail on an an overcast and rainy day which kept the dust down but made the rocks quite slippery. As mentioned previously, this trail is fairly unrelenting with plenty of minor rocks and ledges between the big obstacles to keep you focused the entire way. Definitely agree with the difficulty rating on this one. This trail should only be attempted by experienced drivers with modified vehicles or be prepared for some body or mechanical damage. Overall, great trail and i can't wait to come back and run it again.
Trail Review: Chinaman Gulch - Jason Lonergan
Trail Review: Chinaman Gulch - Jason Lonergan
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/23/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Terrific trail, fairly unrelenting. Morning sun this time of year is brutal but makes great scenery pictures. Hard to beat clear fall morning skies in CO. We did not encounter much traffic, only one group which we let “play through”. The trail was dry and obstacle 1 and 2 look much more difficult than they are. Good ground clearance and line make for difficult, but not impossible ascents. Obstacle 2 on the way down for a 2 door makes for significant pucker given the pitch, role and slide on the loose dirt as it feels like you’re going to flop the Jeep and lay it on its side. Didn’t have the ‘jonés to try the biggest boulders on the left side of the Rock Pile but the line directly left of the tree provided enough fun for a couple of goes. You’ll need sufficient clearance or expect to pinch your track bar and drag link. Pics don’t do Whales Tail justice. Intimidating but it isn’t difficult, traction was good and a proper line makes for an easy climb, definitely a highlight of this awesome trail. The Stairs obstacle is getting really dug out at the base. The line to the right is the easiest way up, but presented some traction issues for my fellow wheelers in 4 doors. Once past the step, the obstacle doesn’t stop, there are more diff and skid plate grabbing boulders making this little section quite fun.. Heed the advice of the TrailsOffroad crew on the Chutes, straddle the gap. The 4 doors in our group did not which tested their belly skids and they struggled to get up. Between the named obstacles you will encounter some steep descents and some fun flexy sections. Overall a great trail, too bad this isn’t a Jeep Badge of Honor trail, it’s definitely worthy.
Trail Review: Chinaman Gulch - Randy Hively
Trail Review: Chinaman Gulch - Randy Hively
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/19/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Absolute banger of a trail, and very doable with open diffs, I have a 02 4runner on 315/75/16s, midtravel suspension set up and this trail definitely tested This truck but was still able to take very fun lines. WARNING!! it’s very dusty haha
Trail Review: Chinaman Gulch - Hunter Matthew Kipp
Trail Review: Chinaman Gulch - Hunter Matthew Kipp
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/23/2021

Moab ain’t got nothin on Buena Vista. Chinaman is my favorite trail, I drive down from Denver and spend the weekend running this trail two or three times a year. Over the past five years the trail has changed significantly. In 2015 I could run it in a Cherokee XJ with open differentials. Not so today. The Whales Tail, Staircase and Escalator are all many levels of difficulty above what they used to be, And the series of ledges at the entrance have become gatekeepers in their own right. Still, if you have lift, lockers, and upsized tires, this trail is all kinds of fun.
Trail Review: Chinaman Gulch - David Adams
Trail Review: Chinaman Gulch - David Adams
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/08/2020

Chinaman Gulch is classic rock crawling fun. There are obstacles to satisfy every itch, from mild to crazy. It's just a lot of fun!

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