Ophir and Imogene Pass Colorado

cschlosser01

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Going to try and hit up these two BoH trails on July 31. Ill be driving up from Farmington, NM and could meet up in Silverton, CO if anyone is interested.

 

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We are going to attempt to get up there mid week right before that weekend, wanted to pass along a heads up, there is a land cruiser convention that weekend, so just be prepared for crowds
 

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We are going to attempt to get up there mid week right before that weekend, wanted to pass along a heads up, there is a land cruiser convention that weekend, so just be prepared for crowds
It really does get crowded (the trails that is) when the "rallies" converge in Ouray.

Sam
 

blnewt

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It really does get crowded (the trails that is) when the "rallies" converge in Ouray.

Sam
Going there in early Sept. Arriving Labor Day, so hopefully that week won't be too bad since the Jeep Jamboree will be the following week.
 

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Going there in early Sept. Arriving Labor Day, so hopefully that week won't be too bad since the Jeep Jamboree will be the following week.
It will be pretty busy. Sadly the San Juans have been “discovered”. Good for the businesses around Ouray, but it really adds pressure to the passes. I have been going many times a year for 45 years. Things have changed. Exponentially in the last few years.

Still an amazing place.


Sam
 


Ridgway Jeeper

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It has gone crazy around here the last few years, that is for sure. It does get better when school is back in session. Between labor day and the the fall colors starting the third week of Sept is actually a pretty good window to try and hit. They did a recent BLM study on trail users, now 50% of users are in those infernal side by side machines. Buzz bombs racing all over the mountains and that is the most attitudinal group I have ever encountered.

We used to just go out Sunday afternoons because it would quiet down but not so much anymore. I honestly despise summers here now. The traffic on the roads and trails is insane. You can't just go into town for lunch anymore without an hour wait to be seated. Winter can't come soon enough for me, then I can get out in the mountains and enjoy them without huge crowds...

IMG_0480.JPG
 

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It has gone crazy around here the last few years, that is for sure. It does get better when school is back in session. Between labor day and the the fall colors starting the third week of Sept is actually a pretty good window to try and hit. They did a recent BLM study on trail users, now 50% of users are in those infernal side by side machines. Buzz bombs racing all over the mountains and that is the most attitudinal group I have ever encountered.

We used to just go out Sunday afternoons because it would quiet down but not so much anymore. I honestly despise summers here now. The traffic on the roads and trails is insane. You can't just go into town for lunch anymore without an hour wait to be seated. Winter can't come soon enough for me, then I can get out in the mountains and enjoy them without huge crowds...

IMG_0480.JPG

Owl Creek area? Almost looks like West Fork.


Sam
 

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Yes sir, that is the West Fork.
Nice. Really is too bad all the area towards Uncompahgre peak is wilderness. I have been frequenting the area for 45+years. Wifes Family owns property around Buckhorn.

Sam
 

Ridgway Jeeper

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Nice. Really is too bad all the area towards Uncompahgre peak is wilderness. I have been frequenting the area for 45+years. Wifes Family owns property around Buckhorn.

Sam
They made a huge land grab there in the 80's. Used to be much less wilderness. We still have lots of land we can ride though. The actual boundary is well past the parking areas in both west and middle fork. We ride a lot on the south side of the OCP road between west and middle forks too.

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Ridgway Jeeper

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Then there are the familiar Jeep trail areas I ride in the spring like California Gulch/Pass, Placer and Picayune out of Animas Forks.

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It has gone crazy around here the last few years, that is for sure. It does get better when school is back in session. Between labor day and the the fall colors starting the third week of Sept is actually a pretty good window to try and hit. They did a recent BLM study on trail users, now 50% of users are in those infernal side by side machines. Buzz bombs racing all over the mountains and that is the most attitudinal group I have ever encountered.

We used to just go out Sunday afternoons because it would quiet down but not so much anymore. I honestly despise summers here now. The traffic on the roads and trails is insane. You can't just go into town for lunch anymore without an hour wait to be seated. Winter can't come soon enough for me, then I can get out in the mountains and enjoy them without huge crowds...

Sounds just like what my former FIL and his buddies experienced on Lake Erie back in the 1980's. All of a sudden the islands were hotspots, and hotshots with their high powered boats ruined it on weekends for the locals guys out in their Lymans fishing and folks in their family ski boats. He gave up on the weekends on the lake and switched to weekdays during the summer months.
 

Ridgway Jeeper

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Sounds just like what my former FIL and his buddies experienced on Lake Erie back in the 1980's. All of a sudden the islands were hotspots, and hotshots with their high powered boats ruined it on weekends for the locals guys out in their Lymans fishing and folks in their family ski boats. He gave up on the weekends on the lake and switched to weekdays during the summer months.
I am much more likely to go play on the weekdays as a local with easy access. Problem with the Jeep roads is that people make a big vacation out of it and weekdays are as bad as weekends. I get it, this is a spectacular place and I was just a visitor once too. Just a matter of time before the balance tips back. Rules/regulations and lack of space for all the people wanting to come will lessen the attraction eventually. Most restaurants are already cut back on hours due to no staff and the towns are just plain overwhelmed with people. Real Estate values have skyrocketed, no rentals available for workers and no affordable homes. Ouray County median home price today is $1.25 million.
 

blnewt

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They did a recent BLM study on trail users, now 50% of users are in those infernal side by side machines. Buzz bombs racing all over the mountains and that is the most attitudinal group I have ever encountered.
We have slews of them running up and down our town streets all hours of the day, like the beast has been unleashed, and like you mentioned, many are just punks w/ wheels :(

I would imagine many have no regard to trail etiquette (including tread lightly), probably ending up w/ many trails shut down in the near future.

Sure hope it doesn't put a serious damper on our upcoming trip.
 

Ridgway Jeeper

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We have slews of them running up and down our town streets all hours of the day, like the beast has been unleashed, and like you mentioned, many are just punks w/ wheels :(

I would imagine many have no regard to trail etiquette (including tread lightly), probably ending up w/ many trails shut down in the near future.

Sure hope it doesn't put a serious damper on our upcoming trip.
They don't seem to think they are doing anything wrong, and they have the right to recreate in the forest how they choose. Being a back country snowmobiler I feel some of their pain being persecuted lately. Sleds have lost more access rights than any other user group ever, and we don't even touch the ground...

I poke at them now and then on Facebook and boy do they get riled up. The fact is though, they are doing more damage to the trails than Jeeps do. They like fast and loud, no doubt they have been watching the advertising for those things.

By the time you come, the numbers will be a lot lower and the crowd older. July and August might test your patience, it has mine at times.

Ouray county commissioners and law enforcement are taking a hard look at the trail usage. The fact is, the trails are all county roads and the county can and may start limiting some aspects of travel. The Ouray County Sheriff has a buzzbomb they have started patrolling the trails with. If they think they will just keep coming and doing as they please, it will backfire on them.

That is the point I try to make with them is, you can and will lose access if you can't play nice. Not that I hate them or their chosen mode, because that would be a bit hypocritical in my case, but because there IS a problem whether they are ready to admit it yet or not...

 

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