My Trail Reviews (28)
(within last 6 months)
I take this road all the time to access random trails off of it, but for the first time ever I decided to go all the way into Animas Forks. I’ve been avoiding it because I figured it would be a circus, and it sure was! The ghost town is far from a ghost town in the sense that it’s like an ant hill with the number of people crawling all over it. The drive took forever because of a handful of very slow drivers with no trail etiquette. Most drivers were respectful but this area attracts drivers that have no idea what driving is like without pavement, paint, and stop lights. There was nowhere to park at Animas Forks it was so busy, but when it’s like that why would you want to park there anyway. If you’re like me you probably don’t want to drive far away into the mountains to be surrounded by more tourists than you can count. I’ll go back to what I always did and stay away from the ghost town at the end of this road.
Most of this trail was fun to drive and I enjoyed the views. Beware of the crowds though. I stopped at the Sound Democrat Mill and found that’s where the crowds congregate. During my 5 minute walkthrough of the building I got mostly blocked in. I was lucky to get out of the parking area with a 20 point turn, and got out just before another group of 5 full size vehicles made their way down the hill with no idea of the fact there was no room left to park or turn around at the bottom.
Finally made it to the top and got some cool views. This is one of those roads that really sucks when you find oncoming traffic. It's mostly a narrow shelf road with no areas to pull over for long stretches. I had the pleasure of coming head to head with a group of 4 vehicles in one of these areas on my way down which meant a ton of backing up uphill. Lots of off camber sections. Some of the switchbacks have the tightest turns I've seen. My SxS made easy work of them but actual cars/trucks will struggle with a few of these. The trail is rocky the entire way up, feels like it just goes on and on, and it climbs the entire time. When you're close to the top do yourself a favor and watch out for nails. I found a few old boards with nails in them on the trail and loose nails all over from century old ruins sliding down the mountain.
First time on this trail today. Took the SxS and found it to be a little technical in a few places. Just had to stop and pick a good line to get around some of the larger rocks. Some areas are pretty rutted out and the rocks are getting exposed more. The lake was really cool to see. Then on my way down there were very few vehicles but a ton of hikers.
Drive this and Saints John. Both were dry and very busy. There’s some deep tire tracks on the top of Saints John where someone really tore deep into the alpine tundra to illegally go around snow at some point. Very disappointing to see people do stupid things like that.
I was in the area today and another driver reported that Webster Pass is still impassible due to the lingering snow drift at the top. Be careful if you have to leave a trailer on the Highway 285 side and then drive red cone expecting to use Webster to return. You won’t be able to make it back.
Still blocked by snow in several spots
The hill was fun to climb and the views were great. Quiet day out there today.
Hiked up to Devil's Punchbowl today because I'm not taking my stock JL on this road. I've driven my SxS on it and would say to people that haven't driven this road that even though it's rated a 4, it feels much more difficult and dangerous than other trails of the same rating. I'd describe this road as: large rocks, moderate off camber (leaning you into the river), and about no spots to pull over, so be ready to drive in reverse over all of these obstacles while on a narrow shelf should you have to yield to traffic. Road is dry for the bottom half and I flew my drone up further and it looked just as dry.
A truck went off the road with a nasty fall into the Crystal River last week. Truck is still there, with its driver door swinging with the water currents. It wasn't clear to me why they went off the road where they did, unless it has moved down stream from a different area of departure. Good reminder to be careful on shelf roads like this. This road is full of tourists on rental ATVs and out of state cars that just dont realize what this road is actually like. Ran into a few vehicles that froze with the deer in the headlights look when we came head to head on this road. Luckily there are plenty of spots to pull over for passing, granted the first several of them were full of cars that parked in them because they realized the road was getting too rough, so they apparently parked and hiked the rest of the way. But even for a Monday it was packed. The Crystal Mill is now such a tourist site that it's been roped off with plenty of no trespassing signs along the road where you used to be able to walk down to the river and take pictures.
Trail is open. Beware the avalanche debris pile is a little more challenging to get through if climbing it. There's actually a lot of snow underneath the debris, and the logs are wet and loose. Climbing up this debris pile I needed 4L with my rear locker engaged at a point where tires were spinning on snow in between/underneath the logs. If you're going down the debris you wont have any problem. It's also very narrow. The rest of the trail is pretty narrow, lots of shelf driving, and I'd say most of the trail has very limited spots to pull over for opposing traffic. Only a few places had rocks that you need to look out for. At one point my front diff did hit a rock that looked totally unsuspecting. I'd rate this trail a solid 3 and not a 2 at all. If you plan on camping, be careful because there are several spots around the bottom of the switchbacks in that area that have fire rings and look like good camp sites, but a guy approached us and told us it was his private property.
Trail is open and dry. It is one of the more confusing roads in the area because there are so many side roads not marked on the MVUM, and my other GPS app for a while showed us not being on any road at all. There are a ton of spurs going in different directions so route finding is harder at times. Around the middle of this road I came across a 4 way intersection with only 2 ways marked on the MVUM, so you have to pick the best looking one and drive a ways down it to see if you are actually on the right trail.
Open and dry. Relatively easy trail with no obstacles, just a ton of rocks. I would describe the part leading down to Moon Gulch as just a rock chute.
Pretty fun and quick drive. Lots of small loose rocks but no real obstacles. Only a few other people on it today.
Fully open and not nearly as busy as I expected it to be today. Nice scenery and great views up top. Occasional medium sized rocks and deeper ruts but nothing crazy. FYI there is a popular spot to shoot guns on this trail but Clear Creek County does have a ban on shooting with their current fire ban.
Trail is fully open, dry, and was fun as always. Lots of traffic since most people with trailers access this area from the bottom of this road. I would recommend going slow because dirt bikes and SxS's are often just starting their day on this trail and will come blazing around corners. The bottom half of the trail is tight too so passing is hard.
Took this from south to north just after it finished raining in the area and it was pretty fun. Usually dry and dusty but the cooler weather and wet sand made it a nice drive. Overall easy drive with no obstacles.
First time on this today and it was good. This is one of the more notable trails in this area. It also has more climbs and descents compared to most of the trails in this immediate area. Lots of loose gravel on here, and tight in some spots because of trees very close to the road on both sides. A few areas were very rutted out from side by side traffic. Worked great for me though, my tires fit in the grooves perfectly! No obstacles, just dirt/gravel and rutted out sections.
Hit this trail on my way to Rankin. Pretty fun dirt trail with some spots a little more rutted out. Ends with a little bit of a steep loose gravel portion that seems a little tight if you had a full size vehicle.
This is one of my favorite trails in the area. The deep groove noted in Ryan's post is completely gone/filled in now. If you haven't done this before the funnest part is the steep hill around waypoint 6. It makes for a fun drive whether you're going up or down it. I use low gear when descending this part as I dont enjoy when my SxS slides down loose gravel hills uncontrollably. We ended up running a few laps on this and loved it.
This is a really fun short section. The hill is definitely quite the roller coaster. If you want to have fun on it I would advise having someone stand at the top to make sure nobody else is coming from the other side. You cannot see oncoming traffic until you are at the very top of the hill. We ran it quick but cautiously on our SxS's but last year I saw a lot of dirt bikes flying over it as a jump, so be careful. The water hole was about 10 inches deep today.
Tried out this trail today but really nothing great about it. Won't be repeating it again any time soon. Definitely a few camp sites if you want a more secluded spot though.
Fun trail as always. I personally wouldn't rate it a 4 however, it's an easy one. Waypoints 1 to 3 are just a steady descent with a few rutted out sections. Waypoints 4 to 5 have a short steep climb with some loose gravel.
I was in the area hiking and decided to stop by and see what this trail was looking like. Every camp site was full and a lot of traffic. Once I hit campsite 28 I asked some drivers coming down how far they got. They reported the gate at waypoint 3 was open but it wasnt too far after that the road became impassable due to snow. Also note that Gaunella Pass is still closed because Clear Creek County is still refusing to let non-county residents drive on roads maintained by Clear Creek County. Apparently the mere act of driving on a road in the middle of nowhere (probably paid for in part by all of us CO residents) will endanger their residents.
Overall a fun trail that allows for picking which difficulty level you want. Lots of bypasses on the bigger obstacles and a few smaller obstacles with no bypasses. Took me 2 hours total.
Ran this for the first time today and found the first half to be what I expected: driving through a campsite. The second half was more interesting. There are 2 short and steep climbs that they dont have pictured in their trail guide (of course I forgot to take a picture of them too). I made it up in 2WD for the first climb but was spinning my tires a bit. The second hill I used 4WD for. The rest of the trail from the previous hill climbs to the intersection with the Switerzland Trail was more narrow and more scenic than the first half. Pretty much had the road to myself minus a few dirt bikes.
This picture is from the first half of the trail
First time on this one today, and like a lot of other people, I was taking out the new car (JLU). As I expected, it was extremely busy. Fair amount of hikers, lots of mountain bikers, a few SxS's and ATVs, TONS of dirt bikes, and several cars.
For how busy it was, everyone was respectful, minus one Jeep that didn't know the right of way rules (or didnt care about them) and made me back down the hill I was climbing. I would normally be courteous and do that even if I have the right of way if I recently passed a good pullover spot. This time however I was far from anywhere good to pullover and be courteous. I'm glad that was the only annoying encounter I had given how many people were out there today.
As others said, it's an easy road but it's bumpy and busy. The views are nice and it was fun switch backing over and over again in the shelf areas.
Trail was dry and quiet. The top half does have a few blind corners however. We came around one the same time as another SxS did and got quite the surprise. A good reminder to check your speed as this trail has a lot of loose gravel on it and braking takes much longer. I found the bottom half of the trail to be pretty long and boring but the top half was more interesting and had nice views.