Telluride/Ouray 9/11-13

blnewt

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How was the trip?! I've been thinking about trying to hit up that area next summer. Never been there before.
Here's my report, just got back last week, it was the best time of our lives and knocked off 4 of the 5 badges! Going to go up next year at the exact same time, it was perfect!
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...0-would-be-nice-to-meet-w-a-few-others.75076/
The small section on Mineral Creek (part of the Engineer Pass trail) just east of the Poughkeepsie gulch trailhead has one sketchy part. especially if you're coming down from Engineer summit.
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ElvisJL

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The trip was awesome! Words, pictures, and videos will not do the San Juan Mountain area justice. We arrived late Friday evening and stayed up in Ridgeway, mostly because everywhere else was sold out. The Ridgeway Lodge is where we stayed and they took great care of us.

Saturday morning we hit the trail and hit Poughkeepsie Gulch via Engineer Pass and I have to say that Poughkeepsie was my favorite trail simply because it had more technical sections out of everything we did. I grew a little discouraged when I reached the wall and saw 2 Rubicons turn back after getting high centered. But my wife and I jumped out, looked over the lines, and I went for it. I became high centered a couple of times but after repositioning, some forward momentum, constant throttle, and I was up and over the wall. My wife and I were quite proud of this moment because she was outside spotting for me the entire time and my little JL Sport S made it up without lockers or a winch. Lake Como was quite a treat at the end of Poughkeepsie. From there we took California Gulch and enjoyed views as we went through California Pass and onto CR19 back into Silverton. A quick bite to eat in Silverton for lunch and we were back on Ophir Pass by early afternoon. Ophir was a stroll in the park and surprisingly empty, I think we passed 4 people the entire time.

Sunday morning had us up early to beat the traffic as we hit Black Bear Pass first thing and man, that was such a fun trail. I can easily see where people become uncomfortable on this trail due to many off-camber positions on the trail where you're looking down thousands of feet. Taking your time and using your passenger (if you have one) as an extra set of eyes helps tremendously on this trail. The switchbacks of the stairs are a great reminder to take your time and enjoy the view while still being alert to your surroundings. Our plan was to eat lunch in Telluride but due to the town mask mandate (not a state mandate), we opted to jump on Imogene Pass so that we could finish the trails in the early afternoon, and still have time to enjoy a nice dinner out. One note to keep in mind is that the small mountain towns have hours that you might not be used to. Imogene was a blast! The views it offers have to be experienced in person. While not really technical, Imogene still has plenty of tight spots and several blind corners that can get you in trouble. It was quite a bit busier than Black Bear and we ran into 25+ vehicles headed the opposite way. Everyone was pretty cool about taking their turn and waiting their turn on the trail.

Monday was our last day in the area and we took Engineer Pass from Ouray into Lake City and then onto Denver. I completely understand why they call the Alpine Trail the "Alps of America" and I'd love to see that area in the winter. I'm not sure if it was just the weather that day or if it's usual for the trail but it was quite a bit colder and windier than everywhere else. The gusts at Odom Point had me thinking we might get blown away and I'm honestly not sure how the American flag hadn't been ripped off the pole at the summit. I found it interesting that we ran across someone herding a flock of sheep just past the summit. I have no clue where they were headed because we never saw the herders, just their sheep, and several horses. After completing Engineer Pass, I definitely need to head back and do the entire Alpine Loop.

All in all the trip was awesome and I can't wait to make my return. I think I'll plan for 4 - 5 days on the trails out there and then 2 days to take Rimrocker into Moab, and then spend a few days on the trails in Moab. I have a ton of GoPro footage to go through, edit, and upload, but here are a few pics from the trip.

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20210912_125429_03.jpg
20210912_133251.jpg
20210913_093814.jpg

20210912_084521.jpg
 

Lil Red

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The trip was awesome! Words, pictures, and videos will not do the San Juan Mountain area justice. We arrived late Friday evening and stayed up in Ridgeway, mostly because everywhere else was sold out. The Ridgeway Lodge is where we stayed and they took great care of us.

Saturday morning we hit the trail and hit Poughkeepsie Gulch via Engineer Pass and I have to say that Poughkeepsie was my favorite trail simply because it had more technical sections out of everything we did. I grew a little discouraged when I reached the wall and saw 2 Rubicons turn back after getting high centered. But my wife and I jumped out, looked over the lines, and I went for it. I became high centered a couple of times but after repositioning, some forward momentum, constant throttle, and I was up and over the wall. My wife and I were quite proud of this moment because she was outside spotting for me the entire time and my little JL Sport S made it up without lockers or a winch. Lake Como was quite a treat at the end of Poughkeepsie. From there we took California Gulch and enjoyed views as we went through California Pass and onto CR19 back into Silverton. A quick bite to eat in Silverton for lunch and we were back on Ophir Pass by early afternoon. Ophir was a stroll in the park and surprisingly empty, I think we passed 4 people the entire time.

Sunday morning had us up early to beat the traffic as we hit Black Bear Pass first thing and man, that was such a fun trail. I can easily see where people become uncomfortable on this trail due to many off-camber positions on the trail where you're looking down thousands of feet. Taking your time and using your passenger (if you have one) as an extra set of eyes helps tremendously on this trail. The switchbacks of the stairs are a great reminder to take your time and enjoy the view while still being alert to your surroundings. Our plan was to eat lunch in Telluride but due to the town mask mandate (not a state mandate), we opted to jump on Imogene Pass so that we could finish the trails in the early afternoon, and still have time to enjoy a nice dinner out. One note to keep in mind is that the small mountain towns have hours that you might not be used to. Imogene was a blast! The views it offers have to be experienced in person. While not really technical, Imogene still has plenty of tight spots and several blind corners that can get you in trouble. It was quite a bit busier than Black Bear and we ran into 25+ vehicles headed the opposite way. Everyone was pretty cool about taking their turn and waiting their turn on the trail.

Monday was our last day in the area and we took Engineer Pass from Ouray into Lake City and then onto Denver. I completely understand why they call the Alpine Trail the "Alps of America" and I'd love to see that area in the winter. I'm not sure if it was just the weather that day or if it's usual for the trail but it was quite a bit colder and windier than everywhere else. The gusts at Odom Point had me thinking we might get blown away and I'm honestly not sure how the American flag hadn't been ripped off the pole at the summit. I found it interesting that we ran across someone herding a flock of sheep just past the summit. I have no clue where they were headed because we never saw the herders, just their sheep, and several horses. After completing Engineer Pass, I definitely need to head back and do the entire Alpine Loop.

All in all the trip was awesome and I can't wait to make my return. I think I'll plan for 4 - 5 days on the trails out there and then 2 days to take Rimrocker into Moab, and then spend a few days on the trails in Moab. I have a ton of GoPro footage to go through, edit, and upload, but here are a few pics from the trip.

20210911_102001.jpg
20210911_125111.jpg
20210911_125138.jpg
20210911_161242.jpg
20210911_162244.jpg
20210912_125429_03.jpg
20210912_133251.jpg
20210913_093814.jpg

20210912_084521.jpg
Were the Aspens well into changing colors?
 
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ElvisJL

ElvisJL

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Were the Aspens well into changing colors?
Tons were changing and had already changed in Telluride/Ouray, fewer had changed in the Rocky Mountain National Park Area.
 

NMPirate

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Did all the same trails as the OP the first weekend of September. Went with my brother and his lady in her "Big Girl Jeep". I got to drive Ophir and had a blast riding the rest of the time. My brother is one of the trail guides for Jeep Jamboree in Ouray every year. He had Yankee Boy Basin and Governor Basin this year. It is an amazing area that it seems I've been to my entire life. My parents used to take us up there when I was a kid back in the late 60's and early 70's every year.
 

blnewt

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The trip was awesome! Words, pictures, and videos will not do the San Juan Mountain area justice. We arrived late Friday evening and stayed up in Ridgeway, mostly because everywhere else was sold out. The Ridgeway Lodge is where we stayed and they took great care of us.

Saturday morning we hit the trail and hit Poughkeepsie Gulch via Engineer Pass and I have to say that Poughkeepsie was my favorite trail simply because it had more technical sections out of everything we did. I grew a little discouraged when I reached the wall and saw 2 Rubicons turn back after getting high centered. But my wife and I jumped out, looked over the lines, and I went for it. I became high centered a couple of times but after repositioning, some forward momentum, constant throttle, and I was up and over the wall. My wife and I were quite proud of this moment because she was outside spotting for me the entire time and my little JL Sport S made it up without lockers or a winch. Lake Como was quite a treat at the end of Poughkeepsie. From there we took California Gulch and enjoyed views as we went through California Pass and onto CR19 back into Silverton. A quick bite to eat in Silverton for lunch and we were back on Ophir Pass by early afternoon. Ophir was a stroll in the park and surprisingly empty, I think we passed 4 people the entire time.

Sunday morning had us up early to beat the traffic as we hit Black Bear Pass first thing and man, that was such a fun trail. I can easily see where people become uncomfortable on this trail due to many off-camber positions on the trail where you're looking down thousands of feet. Taking your time and using your passenger (if you have one) as an extra set of eyes helps tremendously on this trail. The switchbacks of the stairs are a great reminder to take your time and enjoy the view while still being alert to your surroundings. Our plan was to eat lunch in Telluride but due to the town mask mandate (not a state mandate), we opted to jump on Imogene Pass so that we could finish the trails in the early afternoon, and still have time to enjoy a nice dinner out. One note to keep in mind is that the small mountain towns have hours that you might not be used to. Imogene was a blast! The views it offers have to be experienced in person. While not really technical, Imogene still has plenty of tight spots and several blind corners that can get you in trouble. It was quite a bit busier than Black Bear and we ran into 25+ vehicles headed the opposite way. Everyone was pretty cool about taking their turn and waiting their turn on the trail.

Monday was our last day in the area and we took Engineer Pass from Ouray into Lake City and then onto Denver. I completely understand why they call the Alpine Trail the "Alps of America" and I'd love to see that area in the winter. I'm not sure if it was just the weather that day or if it's usual for the trail but it was quite a bit colder and windier than everywhere else. The gusts at Odom Point had me thinking we might get blown away and I'm honestly not sure how the American flag hadn't been ripped off the pole at the summit. I found it interesting that we ran across someone herding a flock of sheep just past the summit. I have no clue where they were headed because we never saw the herders, just their sheep, and several horses. After completing Engineer Pass, I definitely need to head back and do the entire Alpine Loop.

All in all the trip was awesome and I can't wait to make my return. I think I'll plan for 4 - 5 days on the trails out there and then 2 days to take Rimrocker into Moab, and then spend a few days on the trails in Moab. I have a ton of GoPro footage to go through, edit, and upload, but here are a few pics from the trip.

20210911_102001.jpg
20210911_125111.jpg
20210911_125138.jpg
20210911_161242.jpg
20210911_162244.jpg
20210912_125429_03.jpg
20210912_133251.jpg
20210913_093814.jpg

20210912_084521.jpg
So glad you got to do this epic journey!
Encouraging to hear about hitting the wall and getting up & over on your Sport. I was wanting to give it a go but we'll give it a try next year, and agree Poughkeepsie was our fav too! Btw, do you have a LSD in your rear or open diffs? Ours are open :(

Did you find a small section just east of Poughkeepsie turnoff along Mineral Creek (on the Engineer Pass trail) to be a rough area for you? Going from Ouray I've heard is quite a bit better (we were going west from Engineer summit) but that one multiple ledge w/ a quick turn had us nervous, but a spotter got us through without a problem.

If you run Poughkeepsie next time try Hurricane then Corkscrew Pass back to 550, the views of the Red Mountains up there are amazing!

Looks like your JLU is set up nice for those trails (really like what you did w/ your fenders btw), glad you made it through. It really is amazing country up there!
 
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ElvisJL

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So glad you got to do this epic journey!
Encouraging to hear about hitting the wall and getting up & over on your Sport. I was wanting to give it a go but we'll give it a try next year, and agree Poughkeepsie was our fav too! Btw, do you have a LSD in your rear or open diffs? Ours are open :(
D44 with LSD.

Did you find a small section just east of Poughkeepsie turnoff along Mineral Creek (on the Engineer Pass trail) to be a rough area for you? Going from Ouray I've heard is quite a bit better (we were going west from Engineer summit) but that one multiple ledge w/ a quick turn had us nervous, but a spotter got us through without a problem.
Are you referring to a couple of switchbacks on Engineer just past the Poughkeepsie turn-off? If so, those switchbacks were a bit more technical than I expected, especially one point that had me off-camber on my side as the driver leaning over the ledge.

If you run Poughkeepsie next time try Hurricane then Corkscrew Pass back to 550, the views of the Red Mountains up there are amazing!
I wanted to run Corkscrew but we ran out of time that day. Plan on running it when I return though!

Looks like your JLU is set up nice for those trails (really like what you did w/ your fenders btw), glad you made it through. It really is amazing country up there!
Thanks! I've tried to make it a point to do modifications that provide me more ground clearance or more articulation clearance. There are a bunch of really nice looking aftermarket fenders but only provide factory Sport fender clearance. I've yet to find a tube-style fender that provides the same clearance as the Rubicon Highline fenders. I have plans to move to a taller long arm lift with 40's down the road and I'm not sure if I'll change fenders at that time or not.
 

blnewt

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D44 with LSD.



Are you referring to a couple of switchbacks on Engineer just past the Poughkeepsie turn-off? If so, those switchbacks were a bit more technical than I expected, especially one point that had me off-camber on my side as the driver leaning over the ledge.



I wanted to run Corkscrew but we ran out of time that day. Plan on running it when I return though!



Thanks! I've tried to make it a point to do modifications that provide me more ground clearance or more articulation clearance. There are a bunch of really nice looking aftermarket fenders but only provide factory Sport fender clearance. I've yet to find a tube-style fender that provides the same clearance as the Rubicon Highline fenders. I have plans to move to a taller long arm lift with 40's down the road and I'm not sure if I'll change fenders at that time or not.
Sounds like you've got some nice plans for that Jeep!
And yeah, that section just east of the Poughkeepsie trailhead turnoff on Engineer. There was a truck prior to me getting there that had to be double winched, one on the side and one in front to keep him upright and on the trail 😨

We were coming down the other way and it was just a series of blind dropoffs with a sharp turn to avoid going off the edge. Glad I had help w/ that one.

Hopefully w/ a decent spotter I can find a line on the wall that will allow me to get up & over w/ my open diffs, that's my biggest regret, not checking the anti-spin diff option when I ordered this :headbang:

Thanks for the trip report, sounds like your already ready to get back there, I know I am!
 

dchemphill1

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We did not try any of the trails you mentioned as it was our first off-roading experience so we did California Gultch up to the pass and back down, then to Placer and Picayune Gultch. Beautiful ride and gave us some good experience. We did the whole Alpine Loop. Cinnamon Pass to Lake City and back to Silverton on Engineer Pass. My wife did not care for the Engineer Pass going west after the sign post...because you go up again and some narrow ledges. I was fine but when you are scared of heights like my wife it is a bit unnerving! Enjoy your trip. I hope to come do some of the more technical trails soon. Headed to Moab next summer!!!
 
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