Colorado Run 2005 sign-up thread | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Colorado Run 2005 sign-up thread

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Explorer Addict
July 31, 2003
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City, State
Golden, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 XLT
Alrighty, here we go :D
When: July 22-24
Where: Leadville, CO
Who: You!

Friday- Wheeler Lake Big Dawgs
Description by Wheeler Lake is one of those trails that has a little bit of everything. It has gorgeous scenery from the start at Montgomery Reservoir and the Magnolia Mill to the valley on the way to Wheeler Lake itself. The Lake is surrounded on three sides by mountains forming part of the Continental Divide, a chilly Lake at 12,215 feet.
The trail also has some 4x4 challenges that are very difficult for stock vehicles and provide lines that will make a big rig have to work to climb.
The first unnamed obstacle is just past the Mine. You can take the line to the left which is a little easier than the line to the right, but both are fun. If you don't have an extreme amount of suspension flex you'll get a wheelstand here without too much danger of rolling over.
The second obstacle is found a little further down the trail. The "V" is a wedgy made of rock and is the line on the right at this obstacle. You'll need to place your tires carefully or risk body damage. The line to the left is a series of sand-covered, smooth rocks that are steep and can be difficult to climb. With a good spotter you can go up the left-most line and cross over to go up the V too.
You'll then pass through the valley with low brush and trees scratching and scraping at your vehicle. If you're worried about your paint or plastic windows this isn't a good area to be in!
After the valley comes Bowling Ball Hill, a long, steep hill of loose rocks and boulders. It's fun but not nearly as challenging as the obstacles before it. Once you're at the top you're nearly to Wheeler Lake, an area with plenty of room to park a lot of vehicles.

Saturday- Holy Cross Big Dawgs
Description by One of the most fun and challenging trails in Colorado, you can stay on the low end of the rating if you stop at Holy Cross City and don't attempt Cleveland Rock. It is almost always crowded, so expect to be on the trail all day.
There is a sign at the entrance noting the equipment your vehicle will need to complete the trail. It should be taken seriously, though you should note that you can almost always turn around and go back down if the trail becomes too difficult.
There are signs throughout the trail noting each time the trail gets more difficult. They also note how much it costs to get your vehicle towed from that spot on.
The trail starts with some rocky, smaller obstacles. There is a moderate rock garden that gets the fun started early. You can make things quite difficult through here if you tackle the bigger rocks.
There is a large slab of rock stairs that you must cross, with a couple different lines. The high line on the right is probably the easiest, though it is the most steep. If you take the line to the left you can get some impressive wheelstands when your rear tires end up in holes at the bottom.
"Tippy Tree" used to be the first obstacle, but the tree has died and fallen off to the side of the trail so it is no longer an obstacle more challenging than any other you have done so far. It is still rocky but the threat of vehicle damage has been greatly reduced.
The first big obstacle is a great time and you can take different lines through it to make it extremely difficult. If you stay to the right it is steep and sandy but not nearly as difficult as lines in the middle or the left. These lines are very steep.
You continue on and finally make it to French Creek. This is where you find yet another sign noting probable difficulty and body damage. This obstacle is a very difficult one for any vehicle and can be made extremely difficult by picking different lines. The line on the left is easiest, though it is still hard to do without scraping or denting anything. Watch out for the rock on the left that threatens your front fender.
Making it past French Creek and the rocks beyond it is a challenge. The trail continues to be rocky for quite awhile until you get to the third obstacle. This obstacle is a tree on the right with roots sticking out. It is next to a rocky area you must climb. The obstacle gets very slippery when muddy and that's when it gets dangerous. It's on a slant so it would not be difficult to slide off the trail here.
Once you get to Holy Cross City there is ample parking. The buildings extend quite far past the parking area so it is a fun area to explore.
Up past the city is Cleveland Rock. This rock is very big and very slippery, usually with water and mud at the bottom. Only very equipped vehicles should try this slab of rock. Do not try it alone and make sure you have recovery equipment.
This trail is beautiful in the Fall when the Aspen leaves are changing, offering gorgeous scenery as well as very challenging obstacles.
Saturday- McCallister Gulch and Ptarmigan Pass Stockers/Modified
Description by The trail starts out as a simple dirt road passing through some nice camping spots. At ½ mile, you'll come back into view of the gravel pits that are north of Camp Hale, here you'll vear right. Shortly you'll come to sign marking the beginning of McCallister Gulch.
From here, the trial begins climbing up the mountain. It's a bit rocky, but nothing difficult. The road is very beautiful with wildflowers all along either side. I even saw a deer sitting off the side of the road. The views get better as you climb.
Near the top, there are some switch backs and the trail gets a little off camber. At 4 miles the trail splits. The right is a quick climb up to Resolution Peak. The left continues down Hornsilver Mountain. It is worth the quick drive or short hike up Resolution as the panoramic view is amazing. Holy Cross Mtn. is visible off in the distance.
On the way down McCallister Gulch, I ran into a good group of folks from Kansas that were out for the week. They were using McCallister as a test run to set their carbs before heading over to Holy Cross later in the week. The rest of the way down is fairly simple. At the bottom, you'll come to a stream crossing where you have the option to cross the stream and head down to Red Cliff and Hwy 24 or take a right and head up over Ptarmigan Pass and down Resolution Road.
This is a very scenic trail that offers some moderate climbs and great camping spots. It's well worth the trip!
Ptarmigan Pass ( I ran this trail as part of a loop with McCallister Gulch. I ran McCallister first heading north and then took Wearyman Road south over Ptarmigan Pass and then down Resolution Road back to Camp Hale.
The road begins on the north passing through some small streams with some simple rock sections. The trail is a little more difficult than McCallister Gulch, but nothing a stock SUV shouldn't be able to handle. You climb through some open areas that provide nice views of the surrounding and glimpses of Ptarmigan Pass.
The top of Ptarmigan Pass was lush and green in mid-July and is a nice spot for a picnic. You have Ptarmigan Hill towering off to the west. A short distance down Resolution road there is a side road that appears to climb up and around Ptarmigan Hill and Resolution Mountain.
This trail makes a great loop with McCallister Gulch and is very scenic and serene. Well worth the trip!

Sunday- Mosquito Pass, Mt. Bross and/or Mt Lincoln (if time), return via easy Weston Pass Big Dawgs and Stockers/Modified
Description by This fairly easy rocky road takes you over 13,000 feet in your vehicle, which is something all offroaders should experience in Colorado. It used to be a stagecoach road, the easiest way from Denver to Leadville. You also get to see a lot of well-preserved mills and mines either right on the trail or very close to the trail.
The trail itself is not particularly difficult though it could be difficult if you ran across other vehicles going the opposite direction. A good portion of the trail is a little too narrow for passing, though the shelf road is fairly wide for one 4x4 vehicle.
The trail is usually run west to Leadville though it could be run in the other direction as well.

Who's coming?

The only thing that I really need to know is how many people are planning on coming so I can try to set up a group dinner for Friday night.
There is National Forest all over the place to camp in and there are campgrounds and hotels in Leadville.
I will come up with a meeting place as soon as I can so we can get on the trails pretty early
okay, everyone sign up :thumbsup:
(if anyone thinks I'm missing something, pm me, and I will add it in)

So far (people):
Me, sharpshooter, dad
Rick, Char
Warrlord, bro, Jason
Positive Vibes

Sugar Loafin- Rick
Forest- ahhjaws?, becker69
parking lots- me, sharpshooter

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I'm in... at least me and 2 buddies will be up camping. If I can requisition rides (anyone, anyone?? ;) ) It'd be awesome to ride up Holy Cross. My ST is about 6+ inches of lift and rubber short for me to try, unfortunately.

Sun, definately in.

We'll be up Fri night-Sun. Anyone want to run Wheeler on Sat. if there isn't room for pax on Holy Cross? ;)

I'm in for Holy Cross for sure. Mosquito Pass depends on how much I break on Saturday :D

Not sure yet. Rubicon or Colorado? Or both????

I'll be along for the ride+picture taking

Positive Vibes said:
Not sure yet. Rubicon or Colorado? Or both????

Both, of course! :D

Posted by Char. Forgot to log him out.

For the stockers:

Okay, I will be doing the moderate trails with my rig and I am willing to lead them. Hopefully there will be 1 or more stockers that will join me.

Friday: I will be traveling to the area so do what you want??

Saturday: McCallister Gulch and Ptarmigan Pass

Sunday (joining the modifieds): Mosquito Pass, Mt. Bross and/or Mt Lincoln (if time), return via easy Weston Pass

Rick said:
Both, of course! :D

Posted by Char. Forgot to log him out.

What about you two? You guys gonna make it to the Rubicon run.

And I really miss your spotting Char!

Positive Vibes said:
What about you two? You guys gonna make it to the Rubicon run.

No. We're taking two weeks and we're going to drive to Chicago before the CO run.

What luck, I may be in CO at that time! If I am, I would stop by for sure.

I am familiar with Leadville. Hotel-wise I know of two places: a Super-8, which is pretty new, and an old motel in town called the Continental Divide Motel which is cheaper ($50 in winter, prob less in summer) and I thought pretty clean. It's been a few years though.

Good ol Leadville. There's a great old bar there that dates from the 1870's. Even if you don't drink, you should go in there just to take a look at the old polished wood bar.
It was shipped from St. Louis by wagon train to Leadville...

For us guys with mild setup and and trying to avoid body bruising, will there be specific obstacles for us? I'll still be there but maybe not the entire time. Wow truckfest is that sunday.

I'm going to try to be there for Saturday and Sunday. Since I don't have any vacation time left I can't make Friday, but I'll try to get out of here as early Friday as I can and meet up with everyone for the weekend. If I make it I'll stick with the stocker group this time. :D

Im in!

I want to go!

I want to go, but I'll have to see how much money I have by that weekend. Right now I'm driving a stock vehicle. I have a pile of stuff (rear locker, lift kit) sitting around my barn, but I don't know if I'll have the time to install it by then.

updated first post with stocker/lightly modded trails to be led by Brian1

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depends on what happens on the ol money situation as I may come down and join the fun, or just come down to meet some of you guys, and girls. Where is the headquarters for the run??? maybe I'll try and get my shackles and TT done.


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