Benjamin Murphy

Trail Reviews: 300 points
Questions Answered: 0 points

My Profile

Off-Road Experience:
0-1 years
Off-Road Style:
Dirt Roads/Backroads
My Garage:
  • 2007 Toyota 4Runner (3" lift, 32" tires)

My Garage (1)

2007 Toyota 4Runner

Lift Size: 3"
Tire Size: 32"

My Trail Reviews (3)

(within last 6 months)
Silver Creek (11/28/2021)
Nice short little trail with some sweet views, especially from the Nabob Mine dumps up at the top. With the absurdly minimal snowfall so far this year in the Front Range, the trail is still open all the way to the end -- although there's major ice accumulation between waypoints 8 and 10 (since the road is along the creek there) making that portion of the loop impassable, so this can only be run as an out-and-back at present (with a good parking/turnaround area at waypoint 10). Although the drive itself is short, we made a full day out of exploring all the old mine dumps and infrastructure. I definitely agree with previous reviewers that this trail is much harder than a 3. I'd say a solid 4 at least. In my 4th gen 4Runner with a 3" lift and 32" tires, I found a few sections to be particularly tricky (requiring a spotter at some points): before waypoint 3, where an exposed rock shelf on the uphill side of the road requires thoughtful tire placement; immediately after waypoint 3, where a big boulder in the middle of the road requires careful line choice; and about halfway between waypoints 3 and 4, where big rocks again require careful line selection and wheel placement (at least for rigs that are only as built up as mine). Past waypoint 4, the trail does become much easier and more worthy of the 3 rating.
Democrat Mountain (09/28/2021)
Fun climb with some awesome views, despite the MVUM restrictions. Also some cool old mining structures, if you're willing to walk down old closed forest roads. We ran this in a 4th gen 4Runner with a 3" lift. I thought the hardest part was low on the long straight-away section, where big rocks made me glad I had the extra clearance. It's worth noting that you come across the junction with FR778.2A most of the way up the long straight-away section. Although the MVUM shows that road is open to all vehicles, it is way too narrow for most highway-legal vehicles. In the 4Runner, my right side was scraping trees while my left wheels were hitting rocks that were sticking into the trail. A couple hundred yards up that trail, one of those rocks punctured the sidewall on my front driver's tire, bringing an early end to an otherwise awesome day in the mountains.
Trail Creek Road (09/23/2021)
The old structures at the Lamartine Tunnel are super cool! Some of the more interesting old mining structures I've come across in the Front Range. The road is easy until these old buildings, at waypoint 6. Past this, I thought the road was more difficult than the 2 range; there were some bigger washed out rocks between waypoints 7 and 8 that I thought were pushing the road into the 3 range. In a 4th gen 4Runner with a 3" lift, I still actually dinged the front skid plate in one place, although this was mostly a result of hubris. (For comparison, Weston Pass is rated a 2, and the upper part of this route is certainly harder than the west side of the Weston Pass road.)