My Trail Reviews (8)
(within last 6 months)
I drove over Hotel Gulch as a "shortcut" from Woodland Park to Monument following the 14erFest weekend in Buena Vista (side note--14erFest is the best autumn festival in Colorado!)
Hotel Gulch was in good condition, a few ruts but nothing a stock rig cannot handle. Color on the Rampart Range at the end of September was really, really good.
Checked on Lower John's Gulch since it's been over a year since my last update. I drove the road to the end and found that it has not changed much. It's not an exciting road, nor does it connect to another to make a loop, but it's a decent little in-out road that lets you get away from traffic, and it has good views of Pikes Peak.
My small group drove up Schofield Pass from Marble after having completed Kebler Pass from Crested Butte. My group consisted of a stock '97 Tacoma (29" A/T tires), a modified 2014 Tacoma, a modified 2019 4Runner, and a stock '03 Land Cruiser (33" A/T tires). None of us had issues (we all have 20+ years of 4x4 experience).
We found there were two slightly difficult rock ledges between Lead King Basin (WP 7) and the bridge at the bottom of the Devil's Punchbowl (WP 6). Both were approximately 16-18" high.
Uphill from the bridge (WP 6) less than 100 yards is another rock ledge and loose rocks; I slipped off my line, backed up three feet, and then successfully climbed over. The '14 Tacoma, 4Runner, and Land Cruiser were able to take a different line because they have bigger tires, so this was no problem for them.
The rock obstacle shown at WP 5 has changed a lot and is much, much flatter and simpler now. There is little risk of rocker damage.
Above the obstacle at WP 5 are two large rocks, one on the right side and one on the left side of the road. Each is approximately 20" high and 30-40" in diameter. They are separated enough that even the Land Cruiser ("full-size" width) drove between them without issue (using spotter).
Beautiful as ever, especially in Autumn colors.
The road is in decent shape; it is rocky and bumpy, with lots of water-filled potholes, but nothing difficult. I drove a 1997 Toyota Tacoma (stock with 29" A/T tires)
My small group came up Schofield Pass and turned west at WP 10 and went up and over/down the west side. The road was wet but in good condition, and it was nice to have some smooth driving after coming up the Devil's Punchbowl. We hung out at the lake (WP 9) and took sunset photos. We saw three elk (two cows and one juvenile bull).
Drove Mosquito Pass on Saturday with a small group from Colorado Land Cruisers and Ute Pass Iron Goats. We picked up a "stray" at the trailhead--a 2019 Toyota 4Runner visiting from back east! I had no issues in my stock '97 Tacoma.
I drove west to east over Weston Pass to return from Leadville after driving Mosquito Pass. Weston Pass is an easy drive. The road is in good condition--not too rutted, not a lot of washboard. One must be cautious on the west side of the pass because the road is narrower with several curves, the trees are more dense, and camping on this side seems more popular (more traffic). Overall, a good drive with great scenery. The 4Runner is a fellow who is visiting Colorado from out east. He joined us on Mosquito Pass and chose to return to Fairplay via Weston Pass.
A friend of mine posted an image of the rockslide (Sunday, 8 August on his instagram: salty_cookie_cruiser) which appears to have happened shortly prior to WP 9 (Rocky Point).
I have contacted Colorado Springs Christian 4Wheelers (the club that has a road adoption agreement with the USFS) and they're going to contact the local Ranger District about the rockslide.