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We headed up this route in anticipation of partaking of the dispersed caping sites at waypoint 4. I have a stock 2006 Explorer (it has a truck frame) with 8.9" clearance and Falken WilkPeak AT3W tires. I mention this because even though this trails has a technical rating of 2, I was only a mile up the road before I was desperate to get off the mountain. The root cause was the standing rainwater in the dips of the roller-coaster-styled road. This created a slick and potentially dangerous situation that required me to execute a bail out which involved a creative 7-point U-turn to get the heck outa there!
Bottom line: If you are a stock SUV owner used to technical 2 ratings, be advised that slick, muddy and standing water conditions from recent rain showers on the lower portion of this roller coaster can make for a harrowing outing. Be forewarned!
P.S. We found a nice dispersed camping site in Gray Copper Gulch in the woods just to the left of waypoint 2 of Corkscrew Pass. You can find this dispersed camping just before waypoint 2 of the adjoining Brown Mountain trail just before the creek.
Ouray County has announced that plowing operations have begun for these trails. From the county:
High Country Roads Opening Priority
May 6, 2019 Update
Crews will begin work May 6, 2019 with the goal to have all High Country Roads open by the July 4th weekend.
***Please be aware: Southwestern Colorado received an exceptional amount of snow during the 2018-2019 winter. Roads may be cleared later than usual, and dangers like avalanches may still exist into the summer months. Please use caution when venturing into these areas.***
(Note – Crew 1 and Crew 2 work concurrently)
Crew 1: Yankee Boy (Depending on snowfall, anticipated time to reach the Outhouses is 4 days.)
Crew 2: Red Mountain Town – Open the Main Loop
Crew 1: Corkscrew
Crew 2: Engineer
Crew 1: Imogene
Crew 2: Crews will move to help open Imogene after the completion of Engineer
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