Vail to Aspen

Aug 1, 2005
Bismarck, ND
Heading to the Vail area next week for 10 days. Trailering my FJ40. My wife and I are planning to head to Aspen for a couple days in the FJ40, and I'm interested in doing part of the trip off road. Looking for advice:

Original thinking is maybe head to Leadville, do Hagerman Pass over to Basalt, down to Aspen. I also see there's a trail from Eagle down to the Hagerman pass road too. We'll be traveling solo, I have 31 AT's, 2" lift, winch, pull pal, etc, and a Sat phone. Don't want to get on a trail that is misrepresented on timing (for example a 3 hr trip becomes 9hrs, but I know the "risks" of off roading) because my wife's along, and an enjoyable scenic drive for a couple day getaway is the goal.

Any thoughts? Also, if there are any members in the area that would be willing to give me their contact info in case I do run into trouble, that would be awesome, please PM me. I've been going to Vail for 30 years, this will be my first time off roading, I hope to make it a regular deal.

Also, I'm thinking about doing the McAllister gulch trail on a different day, anything unexpected there? Can a stock Wrangler make it along with me?

I really appreciate the comments everyone, thanks so much.
Jan 2, 2006
Breckenridge, CO
You may want to post this on the Rising sun site too, at least one of our members lives in Vail. We have had record snow in Colorado this year, so there will still be snow over some of the higher passes. Just yesterday I had 3-4" of wet heavy snow on my truck in the morning.


May 25, 2007
Boulder, Colorado
Hagerman is an easy drive most of the way and shouldn't give you any trouble - assuming the road is clear of snow. I would call the Forest Service on one of the sides (I think its White River Natl Forest on the west side) and check the condition of the pass before going.

I haven't spent much time on the Leadville side, but the drive along the Fryingpan River from the pass to Basalt is spectacular! If you like to fish, definitely stop.

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