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Thread: Help Wanted - Alpine Loop & Moab

  1. #1
    Fresh Catch Unkle_Willy's Avatar
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    Help Wanted - Alpine Loop & Moab

    So this was going to be the epic summer wheeling trip to celebrate my sons high school graduation- until the COVID thing hit. This delayed the testing programs he had to pass for his postgraduate studies and now we have just a short window to quickly plan a trip through the areas of SW Colorado and Moab. We're needing a route to get the most out of these areas in the six days we'll have - not including travel days to and from the area. We're driving from PA - could do either area first. Any suggestions? Want to include the best of Moab, and then on to Ouray, Engineer, Black Bear and maybe Cinnamon Passes, plus whatever epic trails we're capable of in our JLUR - 3-1/2" full suspension lift on 35"s w/ winch . Appreciate any suggestions, routes, must-see places etc. We're back country camping capable if we can fit any of that in.

  2. #2
    Nothing but a Thing nmwranglerx's Avatar
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    For Ouray area, Iíd say take Black Bear down into Telluride and then take Imogene Pass back to Ouray side. Thatíll be a full day but sites will be spectacular. If you want something with a little more wheeling challenge take mineral creek to Poughkeepsie Gulch. From there go Hurricane Pass and Corkscrew.
    If youíre looking for a sweet camping spot, check out Portland Mine Rd just south of Ouray. Itís dispersed camping (no toilets) but itís free and the views are amazing. We go every year and just got back a few weeks ago.

    IMG_5509.jpgIMG_5455.jpg


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  3. #3
    Old Timer fiend's Avatar
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    Help Wanted - Alpine Loop & Moab

    Hate to be a downer but if you only have six days, Iíd pick one destination. otherwise youíll burn a lot of time just driving between. If you want epic wheeling and scenery, and donít mind heat, go to Moab. If you want epic scenery and good beer, go to Colorado.


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    Last edited by fiend; 07-30-2020 at 01:16 AM.

  4. #4
    Hooked DaJudge's Avatar
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    Get Charles Wells' books for Moab and Colorado.
    What are you looking for? Max challenge, scenic, little challenge and some scenery?
    What's your experience level? Especially if you are going to be running the trails alone.

  5. #5
    Fresh Catch Unkle_Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiend View Post
    Hate to be a downer but if you only have six days, Iíd pick one destination. otherwise youíll burn a lot of time just driving between. If you want epic wheeling and scenery, and donít mind heat, go to Moab. If you want epic scenery and good beer, go to Colorado.


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    Decisions decisions... you expect me to choose between good wheeling and good beer? I'm just gonna have extend our trip!

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  6. #6
    Fresh Catch Unkle_Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaJudge View Post
    Get Charles Wells' books for Moab and Colorado.
    What are you looking for? Max challenge, scenic, little challenge and some scenery?
    What's your experience level? Especially if you are going to be running the trails alone.
    Some of everything, challenging up (almost) to what our rig is capable of.

    Moderate experience on eastern trails, but completely out of our element on slickrock. Also have to consider it's a nearly new JLUR and it's our ride home so need to avoid damage if at all possible. Hoping to find someone to tag along with as it really helps to see someone else do the narly stuff first. Are there ways to hook up with groups at the trails?

    Thanks for the book suggestions - I'll be checking those out for sure.

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  7. #7
    Fresh Catch Unkle_Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmwranglerx View Post
    For Ouray area, Iíd say take Black Bear down into Telluride and then take Imogene Pass back to Ouray side. Thatíll be a full day but sites will be spectacular. If you want something with a little more wheeling challenge take mineral creek to Poughkeepsie Gulch. From there go Hurricane Pass and Corkscrew.
    If youíre looking for a sweet camping spot, check out Portland Mine Rd just south of Ouray. Itís dispersed camping (no toilets) but itís free and the views are amazing. We go every year and just got back a few weeks ago.

    IMG_5509.jpgIMG_5455.jpg


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    Epic photos. How tough are the trails you mention? I watched a video of it in wet conditions - looked like it would be OK dry but I wouldn't try it wet while alone.

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  8. #8
    Nothing but a Thing nmwranglerx's Avatar
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    Help Wanted - Alpine Loop & Moab

    Quote Originally Posted by Unkle_Willy View Post
    Epic photos. How tough are the trails you mention? I watched a video of it in wet conditions - looked like it would be OK dry but I wouldn't try it wet while alone.

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    Oh, the photos donít do this place justice but thanks. Youíll see . As far as trail ratings, the trails in Ouray area are really easy compared to many found in Moab but the terrain is very different in comparison. The second half of Black Bear can be pretty intimidating especially if itís raining and wet. The trail requires a few very tight corners and there are sheer drop offs, so yea, a bit of pucker factor. Other than that, thereís a section on Poughkeepsie Gulch that requires a bit of crawling but nothing major. You have lockers and 35s, should be good to go. If the trails are wet and most likely are this time of year things can be tougher because of mud but again, your rig is plenty capable. Have fun. Bring a good camera. The Charles Wells book is good advice if youíre new to the area.


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  9. #9
    Hooked bouche03's Avatar
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    Just did this trip. I knocked out Ophir Pass and Black Bear in one day, and then did Imogene, to Corkscrew, Hurricane Pass to Mineral Creek and Poughkeepsie, then up to Engineer. Was a long day but knocked them all out.

    This was after 5 days in Moab. I think you can do plenty at both spots in 6 days of wheeling


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  10. #10
    Hooked DaJudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unkle_Willy View Post
    Some of everything, challenging up (almost) to what our rig is capable of.

    Moderate experience on eastern trails, but completely out of our element on slickrock. Also have to consider it's a nearly new JLUR and it's our ride home so need to avoid damage if at all possible. Hoping to find someone to tag along with as it really helps to see someone else do the narly stuff first. Are there ways to hook up with groups at the trails?

    Thanks for the book suggestions - I'll be checking those out for sure.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using WAYALIFE mobile app
    Since it's your first trip here are my suggestions:
    1. Get the books
    Moab - Run Fins-N-Things first. It isn't hard but is a good introduction to what your Jeep can really do on the "slickrock" and it's fun. It has a few climbs and descents that will make you think "no way in hell can I do that", but you can.
    I really like Poison Spider, There are sections you can make as hard as you want and the views are awesome.
    Make sure you leave some time for a little sight seeing in Arches, Canyonlands, Dead Horse.
    I also like Seven Mile RIm.
    If someone offers to join you and they know Moab, Hell's Revenge is great also. But don't go with someone who doesn't know how to spot you up Hell's Gate.
    Colorado - Black Bear/Imogene is a great day on the trail. If you have good brakes and you're confident about where your Jeep is in space, Black Bear isn't hard. It's just has no room for error on the switchbacks.
    Personally I would skip the "Alpine Loop", Instead run Mineral Creek to Poughkeepsie, California Pass, Animas Forks ghost Town. Then back over California Pass, Hurricane Pass, Corkscrew Gulch. This could be a long day but it is a good one
    When you get the books you can decide what else you really want to do.
    Follow the East Meets West thread and you will see both areas.

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