T-33 Plane Crash

Allenspark, Colorado (Boulder County)

Last Updated: 10/06/2018
4.9 /5 ( 9 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 5-5
(DIFFICULT )
Length: 1.8 miles
Highest Elevation: 9332 feet
Duration: About 1 hour 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Allenspark
Nearest Town w/ Services: Nederland
Official Road Name: 203
Management Agency: Arapaho National Forest
District: Boulder Ranger District
Distance:
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: T-33 Plane Crash

On June 27th, 1965 United States Airforce Major Currie and 1st Lieutenant Darby veered from their flight path in a Lockheed Martin T-33 trainer jet and crashed into the mountainside in the Arapahoe National Forest. Both crew lost their lives and what remains today are the remnants of the aircraft. This off-road trail takes you within walking distance of the somber and memorialized scene also known as "The Bunce School Road Plane Crash". Close to Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins Colorado this more difficult 4wd trail is popular to run in combination with Bunce School Road, Ironclads and Middle St. Vrain.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for T-33 Plane Crash

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
Concerns:
Summary:
Obstacles at Waypoint 4 and 5 are the hardest with no bypass. Trees at the end make full-size trucks not a good choice on this trail.

Technical Rating: 5-5
(DIFFICULT )

Rocky or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 24" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 24" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 54" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.

Read more about our rating system

Description

The road is comprised of dirt and rock with two obstacles which can not be bypassed. The majority of this trail is tight with few places to pass opposing vehicles, so always look as far ahead as possible for someone coming towards you. The obstacles can be difficult for stock vehicles. Being lifted is recommended. This is an out and back trail and is popular to run with Bunce School Road, Ironclads and Middle St. Vrain.

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0.00 mi)

Follow the narrow trail labeled Forest Service Road 203 uphill.

2. Take Trail Left (0.01 mi)

Stay left and slightly uphill.

3. Begin Rough (0.77 mi)

The rough portions of the trail begin here. You can pick and choose your lines until the next non-optional obstacle.

4. Obstacle (0.87 mi)

You can approach the obstacle from the right or left. Coming down is more tricky for stock vehicles where a rear bumper tap can happen. When descending, if your vehicle does not have much downward front axle travel or not lifted - stay left. It is common to see vehicles have their rear passenger tire in the air on the descent.

5. Off Camber Rock or Rock Garden (0.99 mi)

Optional choices here to either tackle the large boulders in the rock garden by going straight/left, or turn sharp right to put your driver tires up on a smaller boulder and be off camber into the trees on your driver side.

6. Right (1.05 mi)

Follow the trail to the right. The trail to the left leads to nowhere.

7. Obstacle - Easy Option Left (1.14 mi)

Optional easy line to the left or hard line to the right.

8. Tight in Trees (1.74 mi)

Long wheelbase rigs will have a very difficult time squeezing through the trees here.

9. End and Parking (1.80 mi)

There is room for 5 or 6 rigs to park here. The hiking trail to the wreckage is well marked. A short 5-minute walk will take you to the bulk of the wreckage that is still complete with painted markings. Pieces are scattered throughout the area. This is a memorial location where two people have died, so please leave the wreckage as you found it.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 40.138142, -105.507195

Starting Point: Nederland

To get to the T-33 Plane Crash trail you will need to run a small portion of Bunce School Road and Park Creek Trail. From Nederland: Take Highway 72 (Peak-2-Peak Highway) north. In approximately 18 miles you will reach Camp Dick on your left. Turn into Camp Dick and follow the paved road back until you reach Bunce School Road which will be on your right. Turn right and follow the trail for approximately 1 mile until you reach Park Creek Trail on your left. The trailhead is at Park Creek Trail - Waypoint 2.

Camping

Dispersed

There are only one or two less than ideal dispersed camping locations along this trail. Most people camp along the popular Bunce School Road. For designated and improved camping, this trail is just near Camp Dick which has 41 designated fee sites and vault toilets.

Camping: T-33 Plane Crash

Trail Reviews (11)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Did this bad boy with 31s and no lift on my yj. Did all the hardest lines because it's my trail rig and love to push it. Great trail and definitely a cool area to explore the plane wreck.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great time. Highly recommend. Fun rocks. Would like to go back and re-run spots to make up different lines. Plane crash is cool, but somber. The trail directions here are very complete, but an easy way for me to understand it that might help some people is: Take the road into camp dick at the sign, turn right on 105, left on 202 and shortly thereafter, right on 203. Plane crash at the end.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Agree with Seth's assessment below; can present a pleasant challenge to even an experience driver in a [very] capable vehicle...lots of fun! My wife and I completed in our '18 JL with 3" lift/35s right after completing Ironclads (and traveling between them on Bunch School Rd). This trail was much more enjoyable than Ironclads; more challenging, incredible crash site to see at turn-around point, and FAR fewer vehicles. If you are short on time, I would recommend entering this trail from the south end (via 72 to 92 to Bunce School Road) vice coming down Bunce from the north (off of Hwy 7) -- doing so you will avoid a lot of off-road traffic from renters (if desired) and save time not having to travel Bunce School Road which can be slow-going (unless you just want to do so).

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Absolute fun in an armored Wrangler, could be a bit nerve wracking in a different vehicle. We went up on the coldest Sunday in the past couple weeks in a topless and doorless 4 Door Wrangler. It was a load of fun when run with Ironclad and Bunce School road. Taking the hardest lines this trail can present a pleasant challenge an an experienced driver in a capable vehicle. It was loads of fun!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Good challenge for a lightly modified vehicle. No locker, 31's, 2.5" lift on the 4th gen 4Runner. No locker, 32's, 3.5" lift on the Frontier. If you're close to stock, get ready for some bumper scrapes. Definitely a good time working through the obstacles. Having multiple lines make it interesting and diverse for drivers with different experience levels and rigs with a range of capabilities. I realize this isn't Instagram, but I took a lot of photos to hopefully give a full flavor of what the trail has to offer.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Accessed via Bunce School Road. We were unable to make it to the top as we started too late and it got dark but made it to the off camber rock garden. Up to that point the trail was slick with streams running down it - something that provided for a tough, off-camber, muddy obstacle just prior to the .87 mile one mentioned above (.7 in?) Was a blast of a challenge for a lifted 4Runner on 33s. I was wishing I had installed sliders prior as the trees can be very tight. Had to utilize rear locking diff and atrac to make it up the muddy obstacle mentioned prior, but that may have been due to my choice of line.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail is open but there is snow on the trail at the higher elevations. The snow is still blocking the top as the off camber part near the top is slick and dangerous. Should be gone in a few nice days.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is an awesome trail. Pretty technical and tight in spots but a good challenge for my vehicle (15 Tacoma, 33s, open diffs). The wreckage is very cool. I definitely recommend this trail!!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this today following Ironclads and Bunce. Get's a bit rough as you get to the top. Was raining, which made things slick, but no dust which was a plus. Great time. 2014 JKUR, 33", 3.5" lift. Easy exit to 72 when done.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail is open and in good condition. Some snow made areas slick but nothing un-passable. Toyota Truck (locked, locked, 35”) Tacoma (open, open, 32”) FJ Cruiser (open, locked, 31”)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is one of these trails that you have to do. Why? Because it's on the unwritten list of obligatory trails that should be on your bucket list.

Questions & Answers (5)

Q: Any updates on this trail being accessible. I see ironclads is good to go, anyone been on this one yet this season?
–Adam Meyers (04/25/2019)
A: This trail is closed still. Here is the link to the Boulder Ranger District statuses https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5339508. Ironclads is still accessible this time of year. Hope that helps!
–John (04/25/2019)
Q: Hi John, i would ask you an opinion: do you think i can do this trail with a full stock ford f-150? Thanks!
–Lorenzo Redaelli (04/01/2019)
A: Hi Lorenzo, to be honest, I think a stock full size would struggle with this trail. There are tight trees as you approach the end, and waypoint 4 definitely be good to have a bit of clearance and larger tires. Hope that helps!
–John (04/01/2019)
Q: The directions say that the trail is south of Nederland when in fact it is north of Nederland.
–John Lefebvre (08/31/2018)
A: Thanks for catching that John!
–Todd (09/03/2018)
Q: Anyone ever take a fullsize truck up this trail? I have a 4dr f350 long bed 6"lift on 37s. Thanks in advance!
–Rolando (08/14/2018)
A: Ground clearance you would have no issue - its the turns through the trees at waypoint 8 which would cause a major issue.
–Todd (08/14/2018)
Q: Can you take ATVs on this trail? And is there a spot to park a truck and trailer at the trailhead?
–Dylan (06/27/2018)
A: Yes, you can take ATV on this trail. There is no designated parking location for trailers by the trailhead, but all along Bunce School there are spaces. Wherever you park, be mindful of other traffic and park with consideration. Have fun be safe out there!
–Todd (06/28/2018)

Writer Information

John

Chief Technology Officer

John is a Colorado native who's been 4 wheeling since he got his first tacoma. His original goal of 4 wheeling was to get back into the campsites the Subarus couldn't quite get to. One trip after another, and now it's pretty much consumed all of his free time. He is currently living in Laporte, CO. When he is not coding for Trails Offroad or 4 wheeling, he also enjoys hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, and mountain biking.
For individual use only, not to be shared.