John

Chief Technology Officer
Trail Reviews: 11300 points
Questions Answered: 1500 points
Off-Road Experience:
6+ years
Off-Road Style:
Overlanding
My Garage:
  • 2019 Jeep Wrangler (4 door) (Stock lift, 33" tires)
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.

My Garage (1)

2019 Jeep Wrangler (4 door)

Lift Size: Stock
Tire Size: 33"
Bone stock JLU Rubicon...for now

My Trail Reviews (32)

(within last 6 months)
Crow Creek Road (01/10/2021)
I liked this trail a lot! This area is on my to-do list when the snow melts. Ample camping opportunities the entire way!
Pumpkin Vine Road (01/10/2021)
Basic connector road in the area. Not much to write home about, but it was awesome to do in the winter time when you're feeling the itch to get out!
Vedauwoo Road (01/10/2021)
Fun day exploring this area. Never been, but plan to return this summer to check it out! Easier trail with some awesome rock formations!
Pratt Creek (12/13/2020)
First time checking out this trail, and it was awesome! Great to see it survive the Cameron Peak fire. Cant wait to explore up here when the snow melts!
Cathedral Valley Loop (11/25/2020)
Great trail! It was a bit busy when we came out here, and the lack of camping detracts from the full 5 stars. Absolutely gorgeous and if you are in the area, highly recommended to do at least once. There were a few very deep and gnarly sandpits that I would not attempt in anything without AWD minimum. A 2wd vehicle is just asking to get stuck on this trail.
Left Hand Collet Road (11/22/2020)
This is a must-do trail in the area. At one point we saw a truck hauling a horse trailer up there, so this is an easy 3 (I recommend a 3 simply to have the transfer case as a few sections are steep). Really fun trail if you like water and geology. No camping along the middle portion of this trail but there is some camping at either end, so definitely check this out if you are looking for an overland route through the Grand Staircase-Escalante area.
Alstrom Point (11/21/2020)
Usually very busy and very windy, we managed to avoid both! Great trail for an epic camp opportunity.
Mojave Road (11/16/2020)
This trail definitely lives up to the hype! What an amazing overland route. I can't wait to come back and spend more time. We did 3 days/2 nights along this trail and it was just barely enough time to see a few side attractions. If I had all the time in the world, I would do minimum of 3 nights along the way stopping frequently to see all the cool stuff. Must do if you are in the area!
Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego (11/14/2020)
Cool trail with all the geological history but a ton of people on it made it a bit harder to enjoy.
Diablo Drop Off (11/14/2020)
We visited Anza Borrego for the first time and had a blast. We camped near Diablos Drop, and while it was windy as all hell, it sure was pretty. Great trail, but a ton more people than I am used to.
Caribou Creek (South) (10/11/2020)
This was my first time on this trail and WOAH...some of the most exposure I have ever experienced off-roading. Super narrow and off-camber made my heart race more than a few times. My recommendations - have a vehicle with good, proper off-road tires (not bald and aired down properly) and don't go alone. There were a few spots my tires were touching the sharp rocks. With bad tires, they could easily slice your sidewall. We saw one guy who called Colorado Rescue and Recovery. He had slipped off the trail and was just being supported up by a single Aspen tree. We chatted with him for about 20 minutes and made sure he had enough water and food while he waited for them to come help him out. While I had all the recovery gear, I decided not to help him because of my inexperience with the gear. This trail is to be taken very seriously and stay focused. The shelf portions on this trail are "no fall zones".
Caribou Creek (North) (10/11/2020)
Awesome day out in this area! We got some typical Colorado fall weather (sunny morning, snowy afternoon). There is a mudhole between WP 2 and 3 which is the hardest obstacle on the trail (this trail was mapped long ago, and there is no mention of it). That being said, I would not run this trail alone and/or without some sort of recovery gear. It is in the trees and has the tendency to be very muddy with a steep approach/exit. A stock vehicle with road tires would have quite a bit of trouble completing this trail at this point, so come prepared. For reference, the JL is 4" lift on 37s, the Tacoma is 3" lift on 33s.
Barbour Fork (10/04/2020)
Can't believe I have never done this trail until now! What an amazing trail so close to Denver. Great camping opportunities, technical obstacles, and when we went - some gorgeous bands of yellow and orange aspen trees. I highly recommend this trail if you have a lightly modified rig. A stock rig will probably do fine with an experienced driver with good tires. I can't wait to come back!!
Wheeler Lake (10/03/2020)
We went out to re-map this trail. It was my first time out there, and wow, what a cool trail! Flopper is not the hardest obstacle on the trail, but for me, it gave me the most anxiety. The hardest part was just after the start of bowling ball hill IMO. We met some fans of the site right before we started the trail, one in a locked 5th gen 4R on 33s and one bone stock JL 2dr Rubicon. Both made it up fine with just a bit of getting hung up and re-picking lines. For that reason, I think we are going to re-rate this trail as a low 6. Great day on the trail and we met a lot of cool people along the way. Highly recommend if you are into rock crawling. I didn't give it 5 stars personally as it was an out-and-back with limited camping. For an overlander such as myself, I don't typically seek out these kinds of trails, but glad I did it at least once!
Temple Mine (09/19/2020)
Another absolute favorite in the area. A bit of challenge and a ton of epic scenery. The mining history is super fascinating as well. I love this part of Utah!!
North Temple Wash (09/19/2020)
Unfortunately, the obstacles were graded over when we came this time but this trail is an overlanders dream trail. It is super epic meandering through the wash with towering cliffs on both sides. There are some great camping opportunities as well. This area with Temple Mine, Hidden Splendor, and Reds Canyon are trails I could run over and over again. One of the big reasons I rate all these trails 5 stars is the lack of people. Don't get me wrong, I love Moab, but the Swell is just an area that sees way less traffic, which bumps the ratings up significantly for me.
Hidden Splendor (09/19/2020)
This is a must-do in the area! The scenery here is jaw-droppingly beautiful. I would suggest this trail to anyone looking for an easy stroll through the San Rafael Swell who is looking for a relaxing and scenic drive.
Middle St. Vrain (09/13/2020)
One of my favorite harder trails in the area. I just put on a new lift kit and 37s, what better close by trail to test the new mods!
Coney Flats (Coney Creek) (09/13/2020)
Went out for the shakedown run with the new lift kit and 37s on the JL. The trail was much wetter this time around, so a bit more fun than our previous trip this summer. Overall a fun trail to get flexed out on! The 6 is no joke. We saw a TRD offroad tacoma with a lift kit and sliders (but on 31s) needing to pull line to get up WP 2.
Bear Town aka Kite Lake (08/29/2020)
This is a great spur off of Stony Pass that I highly recommend if you have the time. Great views, great technical wheeling, and an awesome lake at the top. I only give this 4 stars as it has the potential to be busy, and the camping along the way was not fantastic, at least compared to Stony Pass. Bring lunch and enjoy the top as it is pretty spectacular!
Stony Pass (08/28/2020)
This is one of my new all-time favorite overland routes! Technical driving, epic scenery, awesome (and plentiful camping), and some incredible history! It just doesn't get any better than this!! Can't wait to come back!
Old Flowers Road (08/18/2020)
Old Flowers is temporarily closed due to the Cameron Peak fire.
Hell Creek Road (08/04/2020)
This trail had some great campsites and it was awesome weaving through the big rocks. Definitely go check this one out if you are in the area!
Blair Mountain (08/01/2020)
I don't give many trails a 5-star review. There are many awesome trails, there are many scenic trails - but not many have both. Blair is an awesome, technical trail with some of the most epic scenery I have personally seen in Colorado. Wildflowers were absolutely unreal. If you like remote, technical overland camping, this trail fits the bill all day long. I can't wait to get back!
Adams Lake (08/01/2020)
Another 5-star trail in the Flat Tops. This is an absolute must-do if you are in the area. Great camping, gorgeous wildflowers, tons of fish, and overall, just a wonderful place to spend some time. I can't wait to come back!
Red Elephant Hill (07/25/2020)
Wow...what a trail! A whole different beast of a trail that I am personally used to. I have done quite a few 6 rated trails in my previous vehicle (Tacoma with open diffs), but I can safely say that I personally would not run this trail without ABSOLUTE MINIMUM 33's, armor (sliders minimum), and at least 1 locker. My JLU Rubicon (not pictured) was fully locked F/R for a good bit of trail between WP 10-18, definitely making good use of skids and sliders. Out of our group, we had a JLU Rubicon, a lifted (and pretty much fully armored besides bumpers) TRD Offroad Tacoma on 33's, and a fully armored/lifted 4th gen 4R on 33s but with open diffs. The 4R needed to use the winch quite a bit and eventually blew up some of the drivetrain trying to bump it (had to turn around shortly after WP 12). This trail is no joke. I would not go alone unless fully built and experienced, and I would personally not take an open diff vehicle up this unless you have a crazy amount of flex and/or a winch.
Coney Flats (Coney Creek) (07/18/2020)
Coney Creek is one of those trails where I love part of it and really could care less about the other part. We ran MSV to Coney Flats. The best part of this trail is the "beginning" (at pretty much the end of MSV) up to Coney Creek. This trail is no joke - the 6-6 is quite accurate IMO. I had my fiance drive while I spotted her. Fully locked and aired down, the Rubicon scraped its way to the top. Unless you have a ton of flex, vehicles without lockers will struggle on this trail. The picture imaged of the white Jeep is the worst of the trail. If you can get past that, you will have no issues getting up to the creek and through the rest of the trail back to Peak to Peak highway. After the creek crossing, this trail is not scenic with tight trees and stinky mud. It is nothing special IMO.
Middle St. Vrain (07/18/2020)
This is definitely a fun trail in the area with a good amount of challenge as well as extra activities. This was my first ever real 4x4 trail, so it's always fun to come back and see how the trail has changed (or maybe just my skills). I also love how this trail has a ton of cool hiking opportunities (Gibraltar Lakes are awesome - have yet to do Red Deer Lake). There was a surprising amount of open camp spots while passing through Saturday Morning. Met some cool 4Runner people heading up to camp and hike who were a fan of the website. Overall, it was great day. I highly recommend checking this trail out if you have a mildly built vehicle and are looking for a challenge.
Cascade North Twin (07/16/2020)
The FS gave me a call today to tell me they opened the gates to 103
Green Ridge Trail (07/16/2020)
According to the Canyon Lakes Ranger District road status table, the gate is open
Red Cone (07/12/2020)
Red Cone is one of those trails you have to do at least once if you have a capable rig. I was in a bone stock JLU Rubicon, my buddy was in a 2020 Tacoma TRD Tacoma with 33s. Both of us used our lockers to get up WP 2. After that, a few hairy spots but nothing too bad. At very minimum, I would recommend at least 33's and a vehicle with a decent amount of flex to get through - ideally a locker. This trail definitely deserves all the 5-star ratings. Truly epic area of Colorado!
Johnny Park Road (07/05/2020)
We ran this trail the Sunday after the Fourth of July, and wow...it was a ghost town! There are active fire bans in place, which is my guess of why it was so empty. Anyways, I love this trail. It has great scenery and has some fun obstacles. I had my fiance drive the entire time and made her do the hardest lines to boost her confidence. We had a great time taking in the sights and playing around in the rocks. This is one of those trails I can run several times a year and not get bored. Always something to see and always provides a fun challenge!