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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are planning a trip to Ouray next month. I would like to check out some of 4/4 trails. Nothing worse than moderate, being that we have never been there. Anyone know if the trails are displayed on the navigation system. My wife is afraid of getting lost.
I looked up guided tours in the area, but I couldn't find any where you take one in your own vehicle. Any information would be greatly appreciated. The wife is worried about tackling the trails on our own.
 

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Most of the trails are well marked. As long as you stay off of Black Bear and Poughkeepsie Gulch you should not have a problem. Some of the roads do have steep drop offs and can be unnerving at first.

I do not know if the trails are in the included maps. You can find maps in town for all the local trails.
 

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You need to get the book '4WD Adventures Colorado' by Pete Massey and Jeanne Wilson, published by Adler Publishing co. Swagman Publising Co. $29.95 and worth every penny.. I have a tel number 800-660-5107 but can't guarantee it has not changed. The book lists trails in all sections of the state and they range from class 1 which is suitable for most cars, to Class6 and 7, which require specially modified Wranglers and more guts than I'll ever have. There is a ton of info, all the trails are rated for scenics as well as difficulty, and desctibed in some detail, good info on equipment, area history, ghost towns, old mines, etc. etc. DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT! And have a great time!
 

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We were just out there and did a few trails and it was fantastic. I would start with Corkscrew Gulch from highway 550 trailhead (see photo below).

Note: the trailhead map is not complete so don't use it for navigating.



Corkscrew is fairly smooth but steep and will brake the ice for what's to come. The views of the two red mountains are breathtaking. Corkscrew ascends between the two red mt peaks.



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Climb up to Corkscrew pass well above the tree line and rejoice in the view. You will be amazed in what your Jeep just took you to.


After Corkscrew pass it's time to see what it's like to point your nose down hill because it's steep too. Use low gears and let your engine do the braking to prevent brakes from overheating. Overheated brakes will result in loss of braking and potential death. At the bottom go left at the intersection for more or go right to Silverton if you need a change of underwear.

Left takes you up to Hurricane Pass and Lake Como with a steeper and a little bumpier climb and snow (no snow on the road). So fare no damage to my TH. Nothing she can't handle with ease.



Now you are finding out what Jeeping is all about.

On to California Pass and California Gulch. Bythis time the nerves have settled down because you know what your TH can handle. So enjoy the views.



At the bottom of California gulch is Animas Forks an old mining ghost town. It's very well preserved and you can go inside the old building.






At this point we chose to head for Silverton since adding more would be many more hours on the trail to continue to on Lake City via Cinnamon pass or reported very bumpy ride back to Ouray via Engineer Pass. Besides Silverton is a cool town to visit. Total round trip time was about 6-7 hours from Ouray to Ouray.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
PS. Get an early start to get ahead of the traffic (I ain't kidding). Take a roll of TP cuz the pit toilets along the way are not well stocked.
Thanks for the info and pictures. They look fantastic. Did you use the hill descent mode or just use low gear for braking going down the steep descents? Wife is slowly warming up to the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys I appreciate all the advice. Still trying to convince the wife. She's starting to get exited. Another possibility is that we might wait and do the Jeep Jamboree in Sep if we can the time off together. I would rather do it Aug. Anyone know if you can get cell phone service just in case you have a breakdown?
 

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Been on all those trails!
Nice photos and write up!!!
 

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I would like to do some trail riding eventually in the cherokee, having a Limited though I know I need to be careful in which trails I try. What would be the highest class of trail that the Limited could handle? From what I have read it looks like probably Class 3, put maybe Class 4 depending on the trail.
 

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Thanks for the info and pictures. They look fantastic. Did you use the hill descent mode or just use low gear for braking going down the steep descents? Wife is slowly warming up to the idea.

I did try the hill descent but found it to limiting since the road conditions change foot by foot so it was never the right speed. Using the 4wd low gear is absolutely required to prevent brake overhearing. You will be amazed how much the engine cooling fans will run going down hill in low gears. The engine braking is absorbing a lot of energy the brakes otherwise would be.

My wife was totally in on the off road stuff. I landed a good woman 30+ years ago.
 

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I would like to do some trail riding eventually in the cherokee, having a Limited though I know I need to be careful in which trails I try. What would be the highest class of trail that the Limited could handle? From what I have read it looks like probably Class 3, put maybe Class 4 depending on the trail.

I would be careful if you don't have ADII. 4wd low is required on the trails we did. Also you would be at risk of tire failure without having the proper all terrain tires because of the broken granite chunks in the road beds in a few places. Class 2 or 3 according to the trail guide book I showed in my first post would be it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I did try the hill descent but found it to limiting since the road conditions change foot by foot so it was never the right speed. Using the 4wd low gear is absolutely required to prevent brake overhearing. You will be amazed how much the engine cooling fans will run going down hill in low gears. The engine braking is absorbing a lot of energy the brakes otherwise would be.

My wife was totally in on the off road stuff. I landed a good woman 30+ years ago.
Thanks for the info, i will definitely use 4wd low. Last thing I want to do is overheat the brakes and go flying over a cliff. I too landed a great woman. I just subjected her to movies like "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Deliverance" for several years. Lol
 

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Anyone know if you can get cell phone service just in case you have a breakdown?
Cell service is spotty because of the mountains. There is a lot of traffic on most of those roads and most people are willing to lend a hand if you need it.
 
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Looks wonderful.. We'll be down your way next summer, headquartering in Gunnison and looking to see a lot of back country. Been there twice in a Mitsu Outlander 4x4 but the Trailhawk will let us go to more adventurous areas for photography.
 
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