Cory W

Mapping Crew - Arizona and Montana
Trail Reviews: 10600 points
Questions Answered: 0 points
Off-Road Experience:
6+ years
Off-Road Style:
Dirt Roads/Backroads
My Garage:
  • 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee (4.5" lift, 32" tires)
  • 1975 Jeep CJ (4" lift, 32" tires)
  • 2002 Toyota 4Runner (3" lift, 33" tires)
Cory grew up traveling the logging roads outside Durango, CO with his dad for his woodcutting business and fell in love with everything about the outdoors. He's moved around a lot since then, from several rural areas of Southern California to Montana, Wyoming to Arizona, even living on a commercial gold mine in Nevada in for several years. In all these areas he has explored several thousand miles of old dirt roads and trails, as well as many old mines and ghost towns. Located in the Mohave Desert of AZ in the winter and the Madison River Valley of MT in the summer.

My Garage (3)

1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Lift Size: 4.5"
Tire Size: 32"
Automatic, power steering Ac and heat! And windows! So this started as wanting a more family-friendly trail rig than the old Cj below. I set out on Craigslist with a $2500 budget to put together a Jeep the family could enjoy, found a running 4.0 for $1100 bucks and hauled it home. I wish I had the pics of how it started. It was mechanically solid but beat up. Different colored doors led to the rattle can paint job which I have grown to love but would have never done if it weren't a green Jeep with red and gray doors. Old Man Emu 4.5" lift, steel wheels and a set of Chinese mud boggers and off we went. All was said and done I ended up $2600 and change into it and wish I had switched to a coil spring ride long ago. After two years of beating it on the trail, I finally gave it some love this winter and fixed all the quirks before one of them could leave me stranded out on the trail. Next step is getting rid of the Quaddra trac transfer case as the VC has made some noses I've never heard before. I stick to the easier trails for now. Think it will be locker time and maybe some 4:11's at the same time.

1975 Jeep CJ

Lift Size: 4"
Tire Size: 32"
304 cammed v8, ported heads, aluminum intake. Manual 3 speed, ratcheting rear locker open front. No power steering, power brakes, windows, heat or Ac.... but it’s fun! This rig used to be a mud bog racer in West Virginia, the seller had inherited it and couldn't look at it because of the family memories it brought up for him. It appeared to be in pretty good shape when I bought it until the inches of caked mud were washed out of the nooks and crannies over the next couple weeks and I watched the floorboards disappear. This Jeep has been all over the desert within a couple hundred miles from home and a lot of fun.

2002 Toyota 4Runner

Lift Size: 3"
Tire Size: 33"
The Montana trail rig is pretty basic. It has a lift with tires and a rear bumper with swing-away spare. The roof rack is Gobu Stealth, holding a lockbox, a Tuff Stuff Overlander tent, and an LED light bar. The rear storage has drawers and a fridge freezer combo, and that's it. The drivetrain is bone stock, though it could use a set of 4:56 or 4:88 gears.

My Trail Reviews (48)

(within last 6 months)
Temple Mine (09/20/2020)
This was my first time running this trail. Running North Temple Wash first set the tone, and I expected more, but this trail was a lot of fun and would recommend others to check out. After reading about the washout between Waypoints 10 and 11, we opted to head west from Waypoint 10 to get back to Temple Mountain Road.
North Temple Wash (09/20/2020)
This was my first time in this area. The narrow passage through the rock canyons is incredible. The trail was graded to the mines at the end of the trail with a small miners maintenance fee waiver posted at the mine portal. I wouldn't expect this trail to be regularly maintained. We camped at Waypoint 5 and will certainly return.
Hidden Splendor (09/19/2020)
This beautiful trail should be on everyone's list to check out. One could easily spend the day relaxing and enjoying the views
McKay Flat Road (09/19/2020)
Easy connector trail with wide-open views. It was cool to watch the storms build off in the distance. We ran this trail to check out Hidden Splendor; it was a dusty and windy day.
Flatiron Mountain (09/06/2020)
Another beautiful sunny day in the mountains. There was smoke on the horizon from the wildflowers, you would have never guessed that the next day it dumped a couple of inches of snow.
Freezeout Creek (09/06/2020)
Today was a beautiful warm sunny day in the mountains. Writing this the day after we traveled this trail, the high today is 32 degrees and received several inches of snow. Plan accordingly for sudden either changes this time of year.
Soap Creek (09/06/2020)
The day we ran the loop consisting of Freezeout, Flatiron, and Soap Creek Trails, windows down, sunny and warm. The next day was a high of 32 and a couple of inches of snow. Plan ahead, you never know what kind of weather can blow in. The trail was dry and easy to travel.
Jackknife (09/05/2020)
We had less smoke today than we have in the last couple of weeks. It was nice to get out on the trails, although today was a very busy day in the mountains. No complaints, beautiful views, and a nice breeze to keep the bugs away.
East Bench (09/05/2020)
Today we had a break in the smoke from the wildfires and enjoyed cruising some trails. The light was just right to see Hidde and Elk Lakes, along with some of what looks like water reflections in the Red Rock Lakes area. Goose and Otter Lake below are just as green as ever.
Cliff Lake Bench (09/04/2020)
Today was a busy day in the mountains. All the campsites we passed on the way to this trail were full and a lot of people out exploring the dusty roads. Cliff Lake Bench was a nice escape, was just us and the cows.
Big Sheep Creek Road (08/30/2020)
One of the Gem trails of the area, The Big Sheep Creek National Scenic Byway, takes you through picture-perfect creeks and mountains. An unforgettable journey that will take your breath away. Neet camping spots on the creek. Coyotes, foxes, dear, elk, and pronghorns frequent the area. A must-visit trail of the area!
Bannack Road (08/29/2020)
Awesome and easy trail to take the whole family to. And the furry family members are welcome too! We stayed at a nearby camp, which turned out to be a pleasant experience es well: no bears and very few mosquitos. The buildings, history, and legends of the ghost town are incredible. It was amazing to be able to walk in some of the opened houses and look around. The ghost town provides a lot to see, and it's probably almost impossible to take everything in in one trip, we'll be coming here again.
Bannack Bench Road (08/29/2020)
A very neat trail providing access to one of the most thought after attractions of the area - the ghost town of Bannack and further. Amazing scenery. We were somewhat lucky not to be completely smoked out, but there was enough smoke haze in the air to make the pictures not as crisp as we'd like to. Definitely will be coming back!
Medicine Lodge Road (08/29/2020)
A unique trail running through rolling hills, valleys, and mountains. The Medicine Lodge Creek is pretty and vibrant, running across the road under a cattleguard, which we did not expect. We met a lot of wildlife during the trip: pronghorns, dear, moose, and a variety of birds of prey. Will see what we encounter next year!
Flag Mine Road (08/20/2020)
Flag Mine Road has been closed due to the Ridge Fire burning 5 miles south of Hualapai State Park. The closure order and more info can be found below.
Cave Falls (08/18/2020)
An absolute treasure of a trail. The waterfalls are stunning and the views and sounds of the running water give you an incredible feeling of serenity and overwhelming beauty of the surrounding nature. Stay a night at the nearest campground and enhance your experience just as we did, you will want to come back again and again.
Horseshoe Lake (08/18/2020)
Pretty trail with beautiful forest and lake. Rowan berries turning orange in the end of August add color to the already pretty trail. Saskatoon berries are found in multitude alongside the trail as well. We were lucky to have somewhat of a "botanist" with us and were able to enjoy the edible treasures of the trail. The lake at the end of the trail is breathtaking. The weather was good, and the lake water was warm and refreshing. The stillness of the lake water reflecting the clouds and surrounding trees... Unforgettable!
West Fork Denny Creek (08/11/2020)
Very pretty trail with great campsites by the creak and a top of the world view at the end. We enjoyed the trip very much, though it was pretty "buggy" to get out of the vehicle for any extended time, so please remember your bug spray alone with your bear spray.
South Fork Madison (08/11/2020)
One of the favorites in the area, a hidden gem of a trail. The river views are picture-perfect. We enjoyed the trail a lot and were very curious about its history, and it is a lot to discover. We'll definitely come back to one of the camp spots by the river. Awesome experience.
Sawtelle Peak (08/09/2020)
We've been coming to this area over 20 years and never knew the public could drive up to the top, what an incredible view! I can't think of anywhere else someone can take a short drive on a well-maintained gravel road and enjoy views like these. Anyone traveling to Yellowstone National Park, Island Park, or Big Sky should make the one hour round trip detour and check it out.
Hebgen Lake Observation Point (07/31/2020)
Today was a beautiful day to relax in the shade and watch the clouds roll in over Hebgen Lake.
Continental Divide Road (07/26/2020)
Love the views and wildflowers. This is a fun trail that we travel a few times a year.
Led Zeppelin (07/25/2020)
The view is usually spectacular from this trail. Though the clouds limited our view, it was still a beautiful drive with all the wildflowers and green grass.
Horse Butte Peninsula (07/25/2020)
There were some pretty large ruts and mud puddles around Waypoint 4, nothing that would be impassable with a little ground clearance. We went swimming near Waypoint 6 today and were chased out by a rainstorm, a beautiful and fun day just the same.
Horse Butte Lookout (07/25/2020)
After swimming below in Hebgen Lake, we took a drive up to the lookout to watch the storm. The view from here is excellent, although not very high above the lake. The wind here can be intense, one car door open at a time, or you'll be chasing everything that isn't tucked away in compartments!
Tepee Creek (07/25/2020)
Lush green grass and colorful wildflowers, today was a beautiful day on this trail. It had rained briefly earlier today, which eliminated all the dust, and not enough to make anything muddy.
Whits Lake Road (07/25/2020)
Green grass and wildflowers, a beautiful time of year for this short trail. We started the hike to Whits Lake but quickly turned around due to an overwhelming amount of mosquitos.
Conklin Lake (07/18/2020)
We've been around this area since the late '90s, and this was the first time on this trail. I had always assumed the road through the cattle pens was private property until seeing it on the map. We decided to see where it went and were surprised how beautiful the trail was. The views are great, the campsite over Hidden Lake is the coolest one I know of in the area.
Elk Lake (07/18/2020)
Awesome trail that gives you an opportunity to dip your feet in two lakes, the Elk Lake, and the Hidden Lake, the trail is very popular with the locals. The Hidden lake at the end of the trail is one of very sought-after, and Google maps do not lead there. The hike to the lake is easy and takes you through an enchanted forest. If you are lucky to be at the lake on a still day you can see the reflection of clouds and trees in the water, multiplying the picturesque beauty of this hidden place. We were lucky to encounter cranes on both lakes on this trip. Will be coming here again!
Cottonwood Creek (07/17/2020)
Cottonwood Creek was the third trail we ran on the Gravellies today. There were a couple of deep mud ruts, one of which required four-wheel drive to get out of shortly after the cattle guard at Waypoint 3. The upper half of the trail was pretty rough and rutted. There were also a lot of downed trees that were cleared since winter, we didn't count but well over a dozen trees were cut from the road. Seeing these was an excellent reminder to get a saw in the rig, as there is still a lot of dead standing along the way that could block the path at any time. The Forest Service confirmed that this trail is again open after it was closed last year due to ber activity, and she emphasized: "for now."
Warm Springs Creek (07/17/2020)
Before today, I thought that only Cottonwood Creek Trail ran down the west side of the Mountain to Centennial Divide Trail. Warm Springs Creek will now be my goto trail when headed over the mountain. This is a beautiful trail and a much better road than Cottonwood Creek, plus the views are much prettier.
Eureka Basin (07/17/2020)
Eureka Basin in the best trail to access the Gravelly Range if coming in from I-15. We usually take Gravelly Range Drive from North Valley Road because we go in or home through Henry's Lake. Today we decided to take South Valley Road around the Red Rock Lakes and went up Eureka Basin up the Gravellies and down Johnny Ridge Trail. The grass is drying out in the lower elevations. Up high in the mountains, the grass was still green and plenty of wildflowers.
Johnny Ridge (07/17/2020)
What a great day to be out on the trails. We started our morning near Monida and went between Lima Reservoir and the Red Rock Lakes up into the Gravelly Range. Went down Cottonwood Creek to Centennial Divide, traveled north to Warm Springs Creek. Once back on top of the Gravelly's we headed south to Johnny Ridge and down the east side of the mountains to Highway 287. A storm was starting rolling in around mid-day, making it pretty windy on the south and the west side of the mountains, but calm as could be headed down the east side on Johnny Ridge. All the campsites on Johnny Ridge were full, and the road was quite busy. We aired up at McAtee Bridge along the Madison River, where a couple of curious goats came by to say hi.
Antelope Basin (07/14/2020)
Couldn't have picked a more beautiful day for a drive, perfect weather, wildflowers in bloom, very little traffic. Even were lucky enough to see a couple of moose at the end of the trail.
Standard Creek (07/12/2020)
This is always a beautiful drive. We went up Gravelly Range Drive from the Red Rock Lakes and back down into the Madison River Valley via Standard Creek. The views of the mountains and river valley below are great when heading downhill on this trail.
Henry’s Lake Overlook (07/11/2020)
Beautiful day for a drive. Perfect temps, just enough breeze to keep the bugs away, and clear skies.
Gravelly Range (07/10/2020)
We ran this trail from Ennis, MT, via Call Road and down to the Red Rock Lakes, what a beautiful day! There were a few small mud puddles between the trailhead and Waypoint 18, all easily passable in two-wheel drive. We stopped at Waypoint 32 for lunch, somewhere that we've always wanted to see but was always occupied. This spot is great, somewhat protected from the wind by the trees and a nice pond just below.
Call Road (07/09/2020)
Beautiful day, green grass, and fields full of wildflowers. There was a lot of traffic on the trail today, including some cattle. At the end of Call Road, we took Gravelly Range Drive down to the Red Rock Lakes over the Continental Divide and back out to the highway at Henrys Lake in Idaho.
Antelope Basin to Continental Divide (07/08/2020)
Beautiful day, nice and quiet. Saw a couple of moose on the trail today. The obstacle at Waypoint 2 is quite overgrown and took a could of tries to find a good line.
Trapper Bay Road (06/17/2020)
We had hoped to stop here for lunch, but someone beat us to it. The flowers are starting to bloom and the creek is still running muddy water. Beautiful weather and a nice, quiet day.
Hebgen Lake Road (06/16/2020)
We went for a hike down to the lake from the end of the trail and had lunch by the water. It was a beautiful day for a drive before the summer crowds, nice and quiet.
Whiskey Bar (06/12/2020)
One of our favorite trails along Hebgen Lake. It was windy today, but we had the trail to ourselves and the views of the snowy mountains were fantastic.
West Fork Madison (05/30/2020)
The rivers and streams were muddy and running over their banks today. Snow still tops the mountains, and yellow wildflowers cover the green grassy hillsides and fields. The aspens have just started to leaf out, providing views of the West Fork Madison we usually don't get to see. Great day for a hot pot of coffee on the camfire.
South Bench (05/30/2020)
Although it's a short trail, it's one that's often overlooked and has one of the most secluded campsites in the area.
Ghost Village (05/24/2020)
I had hoped to catch the old cabins with snow on their roofs this year; it highlights them quite a bit. Busy road this Memorial Day weekend, lots of people fishing. Still nice to drive along the river running high on its banks to see the old cabins.
Beaver Creek (05/24/2020)
We ran this trail a bit earlier this year. It was nice being able to see further in from the roads before the trees leafed out. We were able to see a couple of deer that would have otherwise been hidden by the dense growth. Roads were wet but not slippery, and a few stretches of the road had quite a few potholes to navigate.
Copper World (05/03/2020)
This was the perfect time of year to run this trail. The temps were perfect, the cactus and wildflowers in bloom. This is a fun, short diversion off Boriana Mine, especially when taking people new to the area.
Flag Mine Road (05/03/2020)
Flag Mine and Boriana Mine Trail are our two favorite trails in the area. The views from Flag MineTrail are the best we know of in the county. The third photo shows the road condition in 2019 at Waypoint 2.

My Trails (61)