By Tatum Wall
Off-roading in Colorado can be a lot of fun, but knowing where, how, and when is huge in this hobby. I picked a few of my favourite places in Colorado that range in different difficulty levels.
The first is an easy entry-level road, named Baxter Pass, located by Dinosaur Park. It is recommended to have a 4X4 vehicle because there are some rocks and all dirt. Also, it isn’t necessary to have a lift kit, but it is recommended to have. A lift kit is a bigger suspension that gives you more clearance of obstacles and to give you more room to get bigger tires. It is open from June to October, but some areas of the trail may be blocked off between that time due to road work or weather.
The next area is Trough Trail, located by Kremmling, CO. It is rated as a very difficult trail due to the very steep incline in the 1.1 mile trail including big rocks. It was man-made back in 2002 created for extreme off-road vehicles. It will take about three hours to go through the main trail. It does require a permit. You can get one of these permits at the in the city of Boulder. There is going to possibly be body damage and internal damage to the vehicle due to the terrain of the roads.
Green Ridge Road is the third and longest trail on this list. It is located by the Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado. It is rated as a difficult trail to get through. It is a long trail with deep mud holes and embedded rocks to surely give you trouble and fun. Most of the trail goes through dense trees with the occasional openings to beautiful meadows. Anyone in a dirt bike or ATV will be covered from head to toe in mud. It is typically open from July 1st to November 20th, but opening day is commonly delayed due to deep mud holes from winter melting. There are some camping places at the beginning of the trail. This is not a trail for stock SUVs, and don’t travel alone nor without another vehicle. The worst of the mud is in the beginning.
Imogene Pass is located in Telluride, CO. It is the second highest drivable trail in Colorado. At Savage Basin, you’ll pass through Tomboy Townsite, it was one of most active mining towns in Colorado. A great deal of mining debris is still scattered about. Most are on private property. The pass is blocked by snow until it is ploughed, usually in early July. Unlicensed vehicles are not permitted on the lower half of Southside and you must start the trail from Camp Bird Road. The road is rocky, steep and narrow in places and passing can be dangerous. Stock SUVs should have low-range gearing, 4-wheel drive, high clearance and skid plates.
I called the Forest Service and I asked them how they feel about off-roading. They said, “It is a great opportunity to have fun with their 4wd vehicle but stay on the trail. causes resource damage to road and life when the vehicles go off the trail. A good place to get more information on this subject is www.staythetrail.org.”