Colorado Passes - LC 200 Stock

RET2

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gotcha, understand that these trails change quite a bit every year with all that snow, we did it 2 years back. I just remember Mineral Creek has a lot more rock steps to sweat over and more potential for rocker damage, and if he can get past it, he should have cleared BBP. I had to do it solo since he's not a fan of the heights. and in all honesty, it's one and done for me too.

And like you said, it's all about the correct lines and your willingness to take damage if your chosen line did not go as planned. I'm on a lifted armored 80, but watching his rig from outside gave me a good perspective of what it can do. Personally i will need at least a rock slider on a stock 200 to even attempt these.
I installed my sliders before I even attempted a Mall :hillbilly:
 
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Just left that area and would say that if you plan on doing engineer I wouldn't access it via Mineral Creek in a stock vehicle. I did drag the rear in a few spots. With a good spotter and being more careful it may be possible without a scratch, but I would just use a different route. I always suggest people do California pass (easy to tie with corkscrew or alpine loop trip) as I think the top is the most beautiful view of all.

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Holy crap...this is beautiful. I will look into California pass then. Tks
 
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Best thing to do is have achat with someone at the US Forest Ranger Stations (Norwood Ranger District 1150 Forest Norwood, CO (970) 327-4261, Ouray Ranger District Montrose (970) 240-5300. They'll be able to tell you what fire roads are open. They change based on maintenance, fire danger/activity and logging operations.

If I was to suggest a route it would be go over Imogene if coming from Ouray or Ophir Pass if coming from Silverton. (Ophir is a great novice route with legit views especially late in afternoon) From Telluride go down to Dunton and work your way over to Lone Cone/ Miramonte Campground and then more county (dirt) roads to Hwy 141. From there you can go to La Sal's/Spanish Valley and on to Moab in an easy hour, or head north through Naturita up to Gateway (decent car museum and family resort there) and then go back way into Moab through Castle Valley (spectacular), or go up into Escalante recreation Area and then to Colorado National Monument outside Grand Junction (great mtn biking for all ages/levels).
Thanks for that. Great tips.
 
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We leave for that area in one week and have been pouring over maps and trail apps… really interested in what this thread has to offer.

We plan on camping on Los Pinos trail and doing alpine loop and some others before heading to Montrose to do Rimrocker. Our goal is to take as many dirt routes as possible but we will be dragging our Conqueror camper so that will make things interesting and limit our choices when towing.

When are you going to be out that way? We aren’t experts by any means but we could pull each other out of trouble should the need arise.
Would love to have company! We may miss each other for a couple days though. We are leaving Texas probably Sat or Sun (23/24) next week and should be there on Mon/Tue (25/26). PM if you will be there the week of 24 to 30 July. Thanks
 
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took a buddy on a stock 200 thru Mineral Creek heading up Engineer Pass, both of us loaded down with RTT and all camping stuff (2 week trip) with our whole family (4 each) so his suspension was cranked down. Yet the 200 did amazingly well thru Mineral Creek with proper wheel placement... until it's not. Only bent the stock step boards but like mentioned, it was an accident as he didn't realize his tires are turned in towards the rock instead of straight so he pretty much drove on to it. Very preventable. Wet however is a diffferent story, as you can easily slide onto rocks. I was watching him the whole time and was very impressed what he got thru with his stock 200.

Honestly i think BBP is doable on stock 200, i don't remember any section that can cause damage -- other than the cliff drops where you will not have to worry about rocker damage if you go over it :D. Imogene has more questionable sections on the Ouray side. It's typically wet so you get unavoidable slip/sliding on some of the boulders. There are other less gnarly sections of the alpine loop though, Cinnamon, Stony, California, Ophir, Last Dollar that offers awesome views without the potential for damage -- some of them have less traffic too which you may find appealing -- yes lots of traffic up by that area.
All of these are very doable with a stock 200, even Black Bear. Most of the troublesome videos and chat about Black Bear incidents can be attributed to brain fade/operator error. Worst part of Black Bear is driving off the "step" at the top. We've done it and most of the other mentioned trails in everything from a stock '49 Jeep to early Broncos and full-size Blazer and Suburban with only larger tires as well as bone stock FJ40 and our slightly lifted Pig. Switchbacks on BB will entail at least a two step turn so a spotter is helpful but not absolutely necessary if you take care.
Watched a stock late model Range Rover pull an off-road trailer over Engineer last summer. If you want to ease into things, start with Ophir.
 
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I do these on my KTM Enduro. Some of them I think would be easier in my 200, some I think would be harder. Trail condition varies not only year to year but week to week...
 
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I do these on my KTM Enduro. Some of them I think would be easier in my 200, some I think would be harder. Trail condition varies not only year to year but week to week...

Exactly! I find Mineral Creek much more difficult on two wheels than four. I love Stony because of how well it flows at speed as you drop into the valley going away from Silverton.
 

2HundyJTex

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I'll agree... I drove Ophir and Imogene (from Telluride to Ouray) 100% stock - including stock Dunlops at the time. Two mild scrapes on the rear tupperware (more noise than real damage). Took my time, had some gear and 3 passengers. There are a few spots where the road on Imogene becomes braided and certain routes are trickier than others. I took easier lines every time, just to be safe. Have fun!
 

snowtaco

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Just left that area and would say that if you plan on doing engineer I wouldn't access it via Mineral Creek in a stock vehicle. I did drag the rear in a few spots. With a good spotter and being more careful it may be possible without a scratch, but I would just use a different route. I always suggest people do California pass (easy to tie with corkscrew or alpine loop trip) as I think the top is the most beautiful view of all.

View attachment 3058125

I would agree - it was a fun trail but slow. Unless you have a burning need to do all of Engineer pass I would follow the advice here.
 

2HundyJTex

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I found traveling Imogene from Telluride to Ouray is easier than the reverse, though I found the Ouray-to-Telluride route is more dramatic as you start off in the woods and climb out into the tundra.
Absolutely this. If you haven't done Imogene/been to Telluride I highly recommend traveling Ouray-to-Telluride. Did it on motos in the rain and coming into the Telluride valley is just stunning. I have a better pic from the trip, but I'd rather not spoil the surprise.


This is a good book. Check some of the local US Forest Service web pages on 4x4 trails. Some do a better job than others.

Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails, 4th Edition Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails, 4th Edition: Charles A. Wells, Matt Peterson, Susan Hindman: 9781934838266: Amazon.com: Books - https://a.co/d/7e8ZKd4
These books are awesome. I have this one and the Northern Colorado one and they were incredibly helpful when I was learning the trails in Colorado. Didn't realize he had them for other states - time to add some stuff to my Amazon wishlist...
 
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August 2019 after the 500 year snow on the Alpine Loop. It's a must do for any American but I highly recommend doing it on two wheels as well for those that ride.

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tbisaacs

It's basically a Land Cruiser
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August 2019 after the 500 year snow on the Alpine Loop. It's a must do for any American but I highly recommend doing it on two wheels as well for those that ride.

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Found the STIG
 
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Since I am the OP on this thread, felt compelled to come back and tell my experience. Although my original intent was to make this a final voyage with my 200 in stock form, I must admit I chickened on that (after reading some of your comments here) and decided to install an OME BP51 Lift before doing so. Also upgraded tires from 285/65/18 to 305/65/18 - I figured, since I am lifting the truck I wanted to go wider, to avoid the dreaded (to me) look of skinny tires. All set for the trip (shout-out to Duggy's garage in Houston - MIchael and Duggy were great with the install and all worked great) we drove off on Friday.

Now, to the trip. We arrived at Silverton on Sunday rested from the 18-hour journey and hit the first trail on Monday - Engineer pass. Cruiser did great, but I must say the number of side by sides, ohvs and the likes was ridiculous. The trend went on for almost all the trip, but that Monday (not sure why) they all decided to go Engineer pass. Most people driving those do not really care for trail etiquette and just throw themselves at you. I saw a bit of everything - from "rad dudes" to families with babies driving those things. Anyway, I digress. The next day we were lucky with the weather and did Imogene with almost no rain. Rest of the week the rain was on and off and we did Ophir, California, Hurricane, Picayne and a couple other gulches.

My impressions with the lifted truck. Yes, the 200 is a beast. Did not skip one beat. I led guys in Jeeps and Land Rovers with overheating transmissions and all sort of issues, while it was just a walk in the park for the cruiser. To the ground clearance. I honestly think (and agree with some comments here) that it is doable in stock form. However, I believe you need to be a VERY experienced off-road driver to pick the right lines in order to avoid scrapes, bents and damages. That was my exact feeling before going and thus why I decided to install the lift before. I also do not have any underbody additional protection- only OEM. I did not want to deal with scrapped (or ripped) bumpers, bent side steps, underbody damage, etc. So, here are my 2 cents. If you want to go stock (and you are not super experienced in driving off-road), be prepared to tolerate probable underbody damage, scrapes, bents and the like.

Couple pics below. Thank you all for your tips and guidance.
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Artie

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I must say the number of side by sides, ohvs and the likes was ridiculous. The trend went on for almost all the trip, but that Monday (not sure why) they all decided to go Engineer pass. Most people driving those do not really care for trail etiquette and just throw themselves at you. I saw a bit of everything - from "rad dudes" to families with babies driving those things.
We just enjoyed this area for the first a couple days before you and had the same impressions on the side by sides. Even my 5 and 6 year olds started to get annoyed after their first thoughts of “oh cool, what are those?!?” turned to “oh no, more of these guys!!, UGH”.

I get it, the trail is for everyone but a little etiquette goes a long way.

We went into Lake City for lunch and they were everywhere there but they behaved like cars and didn’t bother me there.
 
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for that reason, i like the other less popular passes when it comes to traffic. I liked Pearl Pass the best, zero traffic -- and we were on the trail the whole day. Actually I managed to do Black Bear with no one around. I enjoy the trails that way as I can soak in the views a lot more.
 

bloc

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Ophir doesn't have many UHVs due to the logistics of having to trailer to either end. Same for black bear past the one-way point in to telluride, or at least used to be.

Or, go in early july when there is less of a guarantee that the passes will be open and many people don't make plans to go until late july/august.. That and/or late september/october is usually my strategy with the san juans.
 
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Ophir and BB definitely have little to know SxS traffic. They ruin most places and it’s why they get the ban hammer as well.
 
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Try dealing with the utv’s when you’re on a dirt bike…..
 

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