Jim French


My Profile

Year Started:
Off-Road Style:
My Garage:
  • 2012 Toyota Tacoma (2.5" lift, 33" tires)

My Garage (1)

2012 Toyota Tacoma

Lift Size: 2.5"
Tire Size: 33"

My Trail Reviews (37)

(within last 6 months)
White Owl Lake (10/07/2022)
Did a quick run of this trail after completing the Transfer trail. Easy with some good views. There is a sign at waypoint 1 saying that white owl lake campground closed back in 2018.
Coffee Pot Road (10/07/2022)
2nd time using this trail as a connector to Blair Mountain and the Transfer Trail. It's long and has some traffic but the views are incredible, especially during leaf change. If you have the ability, air down, it'll make for a much more enjoyable drive. This trail has some deep corrugation.
Transfer Trail (10/06/2022)
Man, I'm really falling in love with this area. This trail is awesome. You get a great mix of technical terrain and beautiful views. Took about 2 hours to get to waypoint 16, which was mostly steep and easy shelf roads and easy unmaintained forest road. In typical Colorado fashion I got all four seasons in those 2 hours. Sunshine, rain, hail, and snow. I camped near Bowen Lake. The obstacle at waypoint 19 was much more technical than I thought it was going to be based on the pics. Having said that, it was a solid "4" in difficulty and was fun to go up. After that the trail was super muddy and sometimes covered in snow from the day before. Navigating the muddy, steep, and off camber descents was pretty exciting/challenging. Almost slid off the trail a few times. Thankfully most of the descents are short and if I had slid off the trail and gotten stuck, there were lots of options for me to winch off of or use recovery boards. (oh yeah, go prepared to self recover. I didn't see a single other vehicle while I was on this trail and there is no cell service) Some of the mud puddles were pretty deep and unavoidable, coming up past the bottom of the truck door (around 2.5' deep). Took me 2-3 hours to complete the trail from waypoint 16. As far as difficulty I'd say it's a solid 4 but only because of the obstacle at waypoint 19 and the muddy descents. Otherwise I'd say its a 3. Blair Mountain is much more challenging in my opinion due to its sections of sustained technical driving. Can not wait to combine this trail with Blair Mountain next year! Fun side note.....there were several large flocks of sheep with badass guard dogs, haha. (sorry, only took one pic towards the end of the trail.)
Bowen Lake Loop (10/06/2022)
Fun and challenging little side trail. Seemed rarely used. I would almost say it's harder than a 4 due to some washed out and rocky sections, but I won't. It's possible I was just ready to camp at that point and was feeling fatigued from the drive from Moab and then navigating the trail in the rain/snow. I bottomed out a few times. (tacoma with 31" tires and 2" lift) I'm not sure I would chose this trail to camp on again just because it was very slow going for me (solid hour to get to waypoint 11) and there is great and more easily accessible camping off of the transfer trail. Having said that the view at the lake was beautiful and I'm glad I got to explore the area. If you're looking for a slow, rocky trail with great and secluded camping, this'll do it.
Rimrocker (10/04/2022)
What a truly awesome overloading trail! Really fun, varied, and mild-moderately technical. Was mostly dry except for a fun amount of mud before and after the waypoint 52. All creek crossings were either dry or fairly low. Took about 6-7 hours for me to get from waypoint 1 to where I camped around waypoint 51. Found a phenomenal dispersed campsite. Incredible views, leaf change, and weather. The next day was about 4 hours to the end of the trail. I enjoyed every bit of it (except maybe the few miles of pavement going through Nucla), Don't expect this to be a "wheeling" trail. This is a mildly technical overloading trail and it's a lot of fun. I'm gonna say that this trail was barely a 3 in difficulty when I did it. Much less technical than the White Rim which is also rated a 3. I suppose if the creek crossings were high or the mud deeper it would then be a solid 3. Still going to say it's a 3 but its a pretty easy one as far as technical driving goes. Also, fall is the best time to do this trail in my opinion.
Mineral Bottom Road (09/20/2022)
Fun, beautiful, and in great condition
Shafer Trail (09/18/2022)
Fun, beautiful, and in good condition
White Rim (09/18/2022)
Truly an incredible trail! Epic views in every direction and the trail is technical and fun. The stars were indescribably beautiful. Spent two nights along the trail. Shafer trail to Gooseberry camp took 4 hours with multiple stops for vistas and short walks. This section of the trail is in very good condition and easy. Gooseberry to Hardscrabble camp took 6 hours with just a couple stops for vistas. Fairly straightforward and easy til the Murphy Hogback climb, then it gets more technical. The Murphy section is steep and rocky but nothing a stock vehicle in 4lo couldn’t easily do. Full size vehicles will feel a bit big. The potato bottoms were very muddy but not a problem. Recent rain would definitely change that status quickly. Now for Hardscrabble Hill. From the NPS website “Due to recent storms Hardscrabble hill is passable to modified 4wd vehicles with experienced drivers and spotters”. Here’s my take on it…..This section of the trail took some damage from a storm about a month ago. There are many deep washed out ruts requiring high clearance or stacking rocks if you don’t have the clearance. Expect steep, narrow and washed out shelf sections with loose rocks, deep ruts, and tight corners. The North side of the hill has the most damage. Vehicles with 4lo and high clearance only. I took the trail clockwise and definitely think that is the easier direction. Upheaval wash was muddy but not a problem. Rain would change that very quickly. The rest of the trail was mellow and easy. Hardscrabble camp to the top of mineral bottom took a little less than 2 hours. I don’t know if this trail was rated a 3 only if the wash is full but it is now a solid 3 or 3+ even when dry due to the trail damage. If you’re comfortable on 4’s and up, then this will be fun and no problem. If 3’s are your max, then this will be a challenge but still fun. I’m gonna say this trail rating is spot on but it is definitely harder than it was before the trail damage.
Bull Mountain Road (07/26/2022)
Easy trail to some camping spots. Looks like its used by hunters in the fall.
East Brush Creek (07/22/2022)
Very well maintained dirt road. Quite popular so expect there to be a decent amount of traffic.
Blair Mountain (07/20/2022)
This trail is absolutely incredible. This truly is a technical overlander's dream trail. The decent at waypoint 11/12 was challenging and I had to get out a scout my line a couple times. The climb at waypoint 13 is steep, rocky, and requires focus but isn't too bad. The climb through waypoints 18-22 are extremely steep, loose, and rocky with many shelves to negotiate. This was definitely the hardest part of the trail for me. Many trails have a rating based 1 or 2 short obstacles and then the rest of the trail is relatively easy. This trail has multiple challenging and sustained obstacles to negotiate. I would give this trail a solid 4, (maybe even a 5 at certain points), from waypoint 11-22. For me, this trail was more challenging than any 4 rated trail I've done in the past. But that is possibly due to the multiple, sustained obstacles. All mud bog areas were legally avoidable or not too deep to go through. I was solo so I didn't push my luck with playing in the mud too much. I would also say that the description of the trail being 2wd friendly after waypoint 26 is no longer accurate. Its not too hard at all at that point, but I definitely wouldn't say its 2wd friendly. You could do it in 2wd drive but it would not feel friendly. I switched to 2wd at waypoint 32, which is also where I camped for the night. I'd say waypoints 30, 32, and maybe 33 are the best spots for camping. After that the road gets much easier and there were many trailers, RV's, etc. The views, temps, and solitude were fantastic. This may have been the most wildflowers I have ever seen. I can't wait to go back and combine this trail with the Transfer trail.
Eagle-Thomasville Road (07/20/2022)
Very well maintained forest road with beautiful views. Just a nice, relaxing drive through the mountains. Ample camping options along much of the trail.
Nolan Creek (07/20/2022)
Great camping on this trail if you can get to it before it fills up.
Coffee Pot Road (07/20/2022)
It's a long, steep, and corrugated road to the top. Expect to have to pass people pulling trailers and 5th wheels. Once at the top the temps are cool and the wildflowers were poppin. Lots of camping opportunities and random spur trails to follow at the top. Incredible views. I was there on a Wednesday and saw several other vehicles. Probably quite crowded on the weekends.
Hagerman Pass (07/19/2022)
I really enjoyed this trail. Nothing super technical at all. A stock 4x4 with normal high clearance can do this trail for sure. Waypoint 7 is the most technical spot and appears to be more rutted out than the photo shows. Still very doable and agree with the rating. Great camping at the summit area.
Ivanhoe Lake (07/19/2022)
I enjoyed this trail but not as much as others. It was a beautiful and easy drive. The camping areas were littered with fallen dead trees and are not very nice right now. The tunnel was pretty cool.
Weston Pass (07/18/2022)
This a very beautiful drive through the mountains. Plenty of camping, though most spots are pretty close to the trail. This trail is no secret. Lots of traffic, especially considering this was a Monday. Still worth it if you're in the area.
Slaughterhouse Road (aka Slaughterhouse Gulch) (07/10/2022)
Really fun trail with a lot of optional harder lines. I took all the harder lines and never scraped (2" lift, 31" tires). The mud sections were all very doable in 4 lo. Lots of dirt bikes.
Salt Cabin Park Road (06/23/2022)
Fun side trail with some camping but limited due to the recent fire. Waypoint 4 appears to be no longer accessible. There was also a very large tree down on the trail just past waypoint 3 that was too big for my chainsaw. There are alternate side trails that will allow you to complete the loop but they are more technical and would probably make this trail a grade 3.
Old Flowers Road (06/23/2022)
Open and clear. Fun trail through an area recovering from a wildfire about 10 years ago. Lots of flowers, aspen, and young pine trees. Trail is in good condition with several areas that are a bit steep and rutted out. 4x4 and high-ish clearance needed. Not much for camping due to the fire but there are two decent spots.
Crown Point Road (06/23/2022)
Road is open and very well maintained. Most of the side trails on the north side of the road are closed (likely for the foreseeable future due to the recent fire. Ample camping next to a creek on the south side of the road if you're ok with being right on the road.
Hurley (06/23/2022)
Drove past the trailhead and the trail is closed and likely will not open anytime soon. It goes through an area that was completely incinerated by the recent fire.
Billings Lake (06/05/2022)
Really rocky/bumpy trail the entire way. I don't mind rocky sections but this one is very rocky most of the way and I had been driving trails all day. Made it to the dispersed camping section and turned around because it was getting late and i was planning on camping elsewhere. Not my fav trail but could have just been tired at that point.
Castle Rock Gulch (06/02/2022)
Extremely well maintained dirt road. Very pretty drive with some camping opportunities.
Fourmile Area: Little Cottonwood Creek (06/02/2022)
Really fun side trail. Definitely needed 4 low for the steep section. Camped at waypoint 8, view was incredible. Also camped down a side trail near waypoint 9. That spot is level and well maintained and also has a great view.
Bassam Park (06/02/2022)
Extremely smooth and well maintained dirt road.
Fourmile Area: Big Sandy (06/02/2022)
This is a really fun area. Great trails with enough obstacles to keep it interesting. Lots of dirt bikes, ate's, etc., but they were all responsible drivers. Really great camping spots too. This would be a great area to take someone that is just getting started with technical trails.
Fourmile Area: Lenhardy Cutoff (06/02/2022)
This is a really fun area. Great trails with enough obstacles to keep it interesting. Lots of dirt bikes, ate's, etc., but they were all responsible drivers. Really great camping spots too. This would be a great area to take someone that is just getting started with technical trails.
Fourmile Area: Natural Bridge (06/02/2022)
This is a really fun area. Great trails with enough obstacles to keep it interesting. Lots of dirt bikes, ate's, etc., but they were all responsible drivers. Really great camping spots too. This would be a great area to take someone that is just getting started with technical trails.
Fourmile Area: Sevenmile Creek (06/02/2022)
This is a really fun area. Great trails with enough obstacles to keep it interesting. Lots of dirt bikes, ate's, etc., but they were all responsible drivers. Really great camping spots too. This would be a great area to take someone that is just getting started with technical trails.
Cottonwood Lake (06/02/2022)
Extremely well maintained dirt road.
Fourmile Area: Shields / McGee Loop (06/02/2022)
This is a really fun area. Lots of dirt bikes, ate's, etc., but they were all responsible drivers. Really great camping spots too. This would be a great area to take someone that is just getting started with technical trails.
Mineral Basin (06/01/2022)
Easy trail with some mildly steep and rocky sections. Great camping spots towards the top if you can snag one before someone else. Open to the top if you're comfortable driving through some packed snow. Snow will probably be gone in a week.
Bald Mountain Gulch (06/01/2022)
Took this trail to waypoint 10 and then turned on little cottonwood creek. Fun and easy to that point.
Aspen Ridge (06/01/2022)
Pretty easy and popular trail. Lots of dirt bikes and razors that seemed to not be very experienced. I imagine this a great place to see the leaves change in the fall. Be prepared for a lot of people.
Black Dumps (06/01/2022)
Really fun trail. Only need 4x4 on a few short sections. There was a pretty deep muddy section that I used 4 low to get through. Its almost not technical enough to be a 3 in my opinion, but still a really fun trail.
Fourmile Area: The Castles (06/01/2022)
Well maintained access road.