Trip Planning - MN to San Juans, maybe Moab

Gonz

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Going to use this as a chance to think out loud and get some feedback from the fine folks here. I lived in Montrose way back in 2008ish, while there had an '02 G500 and had a blast hitting some of the trails around that area on day trips. Back in MN now and ready for a road trip back to that area for some fun drives, camping, and some relaxing. I would consider myself a slightly experienced off road traveler, no expert by any means but for sure have some experience and skills. When not in my Jeep I spend time on the race track with my other fun cars, and instruct novice drivers.

Current Vehicle - '18 JLU, 2.5" lift, underbelly skid plates, stock rims/tire size.

Dates - August 21-28

Looking at cruising into Pueblo on a long 14 drive from St Paul on day 1, finding a hotel & local brewery, then resting and adjusting to a slight gain in altitude. Day 2 wanting to maybe take that Medano Pass, a nice chill road into Sand Dunes to hopefully stay at the campground there. From there looking to venture towards Lake City and all the trails around there.

First question - what's a fun off highway route from Sand Dunes over to Lake City?

Once in Lake City, trying to figure out a fun and efficient way to hit the highlight/Badge trails, Engineer/Poughkeepsie Gulch/Ophir/Imogene/Black Bear. Are there preferred loops or ways that you all like to run those?

Considering a side trip over to Moab since it's pretty close, but it'll also be about a million degrees.

Thinking about a mix of camping and maybe a couple hotel nights, that's up in the air currently, but after reading a bunch of threads here I'm worried that stuff is booking up already.

Pic of the old fun car way back in the day...
g500.jpg

 

dchemphill1

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Take engineer pass out of Lake City to Animas Forks. From there you can access all kinds of trails. I would suggest camping around Silverton...nice and cool and then rent something in Moab. The Alpine loop is nice but since you are starting in Lake City...not really the best. Have fun.
 

music293

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Just some additional data points or thoughts for your consideration:

  • Moab is so close, and you're so far from home. If you can make it work, I'd do it.
  • Moab might be challenging on stock tire size, but you do have the lift, and for all I know your tires are grippy.
  • A pretty common route for a few trails in CO are Ophir > Black Bear > Imogen Pass
    • Run Ophir from it's namesake town to the highway, take the highway up to the start of Black Bear, follow it into Telluride, and then leave Telluride via Imogen Pass. It's a long run, but a lot of fun. You probably won't have time for other trails that day.
 

LCW

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I just got back from a 2 week trip. MN (twin cities) to Sedona/Moab/Hurricane. Stock Rubicon. Had a lot of fun exploring the limits of my JLUR. Caught the 2nd EJS weekend and some guided rides. That whole area is just ripe with amazing wheeling even on a stock vehicle.

 

WheelsASAP
 
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