Ironclads

Allenspark, Colorado (Boulder County)

Last Updated: 11/10/2020
4.5 / 5 ( 18 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 2.5 miles
Highest Elevation: 9384 feet
Duration: About 45 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Allenspark
Nearest Town w/ Services: Lyons
Official Road Name: 216.1
Management Agency: Roosevelt National Forest
District: Boulder Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Ironclads
Ironclads is situated in Arapahoe National Forest approximately one hour from Denver Colorado. Ironclads 4x4 trail offers those who might be new to off-roading or those driving a stock rig a decent challenge and the opportunity to practice line selection and tire placement without the fear of body damage or rollover. Camping is very popular along the entire trail, and in the warmer months motorcycles, ATV's and UTV's are abundant, but there are places to pull over and pass except on the steep incline and decline on the trail. The views from the summit offer beautiful mountain peak photo ops. Several other trails are nearby and can be combined with this trail to make a day of it. Highlight photo is of the step obstacle.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Ironclads

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(MODERATE - DIFFICULT)

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Trail Start (0 mi)
Trail starts on the right side.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 40.165127, -105.480001

Starting Point: Denver

To get to Ironclads trail you will need to run a short portion of Bunce School Road. From Denver take I-25 North to Highway 66 through Longmont, CO. Once you reach the town of Lyons, you will need to make a left on Highway 7 and continue heading west. Once you pass the turn off for Highway 72 (Peak-2-Peak Highway) the entrance for Bunce School Road will be on your left in approximately quarter mile. It is marked with a Point of Interest sign. Turn left and follow Bunce School Road for approximately half mile and Ironclads trailhead will be on your right.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (29)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran the trail in my 4runner and Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (neither stock). Winter conditions on the trail. We aired down to 15 psi. Made the entire loop going counter clockwise. Although, there were a couple spots I had to make a few attempts.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Stage 3 fire restrictions have been lifted as of 6am, 11/10/20. The forest is no longer fully closed. Areas within fire perimeters remain closed. See closure maps here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD844558 Expect winter conditions on trails. Some trails may be impassable due to snow.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
A new Fire in Boulder County has put this area under evacuation orders per the county Sheriff's map. Nothing official from the Forest Service yet, but I expect that to come out tomorrow morning.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
2000 Frontier, no lockers, 33's, 2" liftt, Green 1999 4Runner, rear locker, 32's, 4" lift, and Gold 2001 4Runner, no lockers, 33's, 4" lift - I've run this a few times this summer with several different guys. Always a good time. I believe the higher end rating is primarily for "The Step" a WP7. The Step is no joke. Can't quite capture it in photos, but it's pretty large and taking the left line is going to give you some pretty big wheel lift on the driver front wheel. It's a very committing line in an IFS vehicle (insert Jeep guys laughing right here). Take it easy, pick your lines, and use a spotter if you can! GO ON A WEEK DAY! This can't be said enough. I ran it really early in the morning on Saturday both times I've done it this year and was off the trail by 8am at the latest.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I ran this in a Land Cruiser 100, 33's, 2.5-inch lift with sliders and skid plates. The area was very busy with rental ATVs (as is the norm). Bunce is very busy. This was the second time I've been on this trail, but the first I time driving. (I found the first time less enjoyable as the driver apparently was unfamiliar with the slow as you can fast as you need to approach and took every opportunity to smack me in the head with the interior their Jeep). That aside, it's a great place to get out for a short trail with options ranging from moderately challenging to pretty difficult. For the most part, it's not terribly challenging with the exception of the rock ledge near the end of the loop (running the normal counter clockwise direction). The ledge ranges from about 20 to 30+ inches high with a slightly off camber approach and is wide enough to offer a number of lines. It could be a bit of a clencher for newer drivers. The rock playgrounds offer the opportunity to try more difficult terrain but are completely optional. If this trail was twice as long I would have given it 5 stars.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Really fun trail and challenging for someone relatively new to off-roading. We were able to make it through carefully picking our lines. I probably wont run this trail again until i have more under-body protection, mild lift and potentially larger tires. Ran the trail with my Tacoma (32" tires and rock sliders), made it but the ledge was a bit too close for comfort. Would strongly recommend this trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
No snow. As challenging as you want it to be.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail was perfect for a Sunday afternoon drive. No issues with a wider, full size.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Tried it 3 months ago, Now is better No snow, wet and kinda busy. Pushed my stock Xterra to the limits but this time I made it.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Lots of fun! pretty busy but everyone was courteous and moved around each other well. Looking forward to exploring this area more. Thanks do this site and peoples reviews for all the helpful information!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Went today on my Stock 02 Xterta PML done. And It was so much snow I made it not to far fron the step started bc the amount of snow. I wish I could get up but there's a hill bit ice and snow that didn't let my rig made it.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The FS has been doing a ton of mediation work along this trail to keep users on the trail, and yet there were still off trail tracks in area. Please keep your machine on the trail. Iron Clads is surprisingly dry. Getting to the playground there was one stretch of uphill snow that was extremely icy, but with momentum from the bottom it wasn't a big deal. Please refrain from creating a new path through the trees to get up the hill. The playground area was bone dry! The loop around the top was mostly snow packed and extremely icy on both ends. Use caution.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
97 Tj 3” with 33s and no lockers....Great trail for intermediate rock crawling. Prbly wouldn’t try it with a stock vehicles with any less then 33s. Perfect starter trail for those getting into rock crawling. Good for those wanting to learn line choices and basic rock crawling skills.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
My wife and I completed in less than an hour in '18 JL w/3" lift & 35s; fairly challenging, OK views (they're good, but there's much better from other trails in the area), well-maintained. Main reason I downgraded the trail is because of traffic; apparently there's a rental service (for people visiting Estes Park) that rents out 4-wheelers and other vehicles and it was very busy, even on a week-day. I can't imagine what it would be like on a weekend. We also completed T-33 site this day (see separate review) and I would recommend it much more (challenging, a great...forgive me for calling it that...crash site at the turn-around point, and very little traffic). T-33 takes much more time than Ironclads. Oh, one last thing....maybe we missed it or they've temporarily closed it...but we never saw the entrance to the optional 216A off the Ironclads loop (216) that's supposed to be more challenging.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ironclad is a fun trail. Fairly easy up to the big rock formation and then gets more challenging after that. I wouldn't recommend anything stock past that point. We had a fun group do the trail. I have a '09 Tacoma with a 3 inch lift and 33 inch tires. Our group had some Jeeps, a Hummer H3, and a lifted Silverado. Good views at the rock formations.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Great trail to start to figure out harder obstacles. The trail has loads of bypasses and there are very few obstacles that a stock 4Runner of similar couldn't get past with a bypass. We ran this in an armored 4 door Wrangler and it was loads of fun. I would highly reccomend it for drivers try to expand their skills!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
No snow on trail. Had a lot of fun, i have a 2009 jk unlimited with 2.5 inch lift and made it ok over everything. There are a couple of tough spots that are fun!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran Ironclads in the Clockwise direction. Trail is snow free. There are a few spots with water flowing on the trail. Dirt was tacky and damp. Played around on some of the playgrounds and they are plenty of fun. A lot of people were cutting off the trail near the summit where the old spur is now closed. Please do not do this. The play grounds are good fun, as is the rest of the trail complex surrounding Bunce School Road. Stay on the trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Passable all the way through. I took the loop backwards (clockwise). I did see some snow coming down from the top on the second half of the loop. Slow and steady going down in 4lo, it was no problem. 05' 4Runner, 33" K02s. There were a handful of side by sides running the trail. When I finished the Ironclads loop, I headed south on FS105 (marked 115 on TO) towards MSV. I ran into 2 stuck Jeeps, and a 3rd trying to pull one of the others out. That Jeep also got stuck, I was able to pull him back on to the dry trail. There was a sign placed by the UTV outfit advising people not to go any further. The Jeeps were high centered on ice/snow just after this sign. I took the driver of one back to Denver, CO 4x4 Rescue & Recovery were called, and deployed later that night.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I drove down from where I live in Fort Collins to run the trail at night last week. The trail was relatively snow-free except for the top loop where I ended up having to flip a U-turn due to ice and my 4LO not engaging. There was a person truck camping up before the steep portion (where you go right and its a rock face to climb or left is the bypass) and the sites looked pretty clean and ready for primitive camping this year. Overall, it is a great trail and the GPX will always be on my Garmin and phone!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Did this with a group, going clockwise on the loop (opposite of the way described here). Conditions were dry and dusty. The main obstacle is getting up the shelf. The right side (if you're going clockwise) is the easiest but probably requires stacking rocks if you don't have a rear locker, and is more rutted out than it has been in the past. The most incredible thing was watching someone else with a new Ranger Rover do it on street tires.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Super fun trail. I'd definitely watch your tire placement and carefully pick your lines if you're running a stock vehicle, but most of the obstacles are still pretty stock-friendly. I run a stock 2000 Land Cruiser on 33" Duratracs, and didn't really have any issues throughout the trail, but I did need to stack some rocks on the "step rock" obstacle, in order to avoid scraping the undercarriage. This trail was a welcome addition to Bunce School Road, especially considering that most tourists on side-by-sides weren't willing to try the Ironclads. :-)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this today coming off Bunce. Was a bit slick in spots coming down, but no issues. Fun time and continued on to T33. 2014 JKUR, 33", 3.5" lift.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail was very dry and dusty. Ruts are decently deep for a stock vehicle and there are a few areas that are quite challenging and requred a second attempt. 03 tacoma TRD extended cab stock suspension 265/75r16 open open

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Woo wee. This trail was HARD today, the final loop anyway. Everything was really rutted out and I was constantly on 3 wheels while hill climbing and descending. The biggest step (part of the loop) is really rutted out and more intense than the video shows. The final loop easily earned the "6" portion of the difficulty rating today.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
The trail was in great shape and not very dusty for as dry as it has been in Colorado. We visited on a Saturday and it was very busy with ATV and UTV traffic. Because there are not very many trail open yet, it seems that the few that are open have concentrated use. There is an ATV rental company out of Estes Park that was using the area and rental machines were abundant on the trail. If you go, please pack an extra patience to take along on your trip. Most of the rental patrons are unfamiliar with trail etiquette. Without that extra load of patience, frustration will ruin a perfectly good day.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Ran Ironclads with the NORAC crew. Trail was snowy and muddy over all. Couple sections of ice, but nothing one can't manage if they are careful. The crew ended up recovery a UTV that went off the trail about 250 feet. Just be careful when traveling the back country. Don't go alone and make sure to bring supplies if you do get stuck.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
First time on Ironclads with my FJC and RTT. Made it thru the entire trail without any close calls to the RTT. Chose to take the ledge at the end rather than the bail out as the bail out had low hanging branches for the RTT.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We ran Bunce School Road to ironclads from the Bunce School Road trailhead. Everything was 95% dry with no bad icy or snowy sections. It was super fun. Go get some!!

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Could an F150 crew cab with leveling lift, all terrains and rear locker handle this trail?
–Russell Cox (08/02/2019)
–Todd (08/03/2019)

Writer Information

Ryan Boudreau

Mapping Crew - Colorado

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.
For individual use only, not to be shared.