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14ers with 4WD

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby Carl » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:11 am

kaiman wrote:
Another option would be to climb Democrat, Lincoln, Bross and Cameron from Upper Platte Gulch via the Wheeler Lake Road. I hiked this road a few weeks ago and can tell you it is definitely on a par with the Lake Como Road:

http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=40


I remember hiking this a couple years ago when it was partially snow covered and thinking there is no way I would be taking my stock vehicle up it! Good suggestion.

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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby zoriloco » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:25 pm

Wesley wrote:Went up the Chihuahua Gulch 4wd road to access Torreys this weekend. Had the hike entirely to ourselves, as opposed to the 300 to 400 people you'd be sharing the trail with on the standard approach. Road was pretty rough. Traildamage.com rates it a 4, which might make it harder than most of the other 4wd roads listed on 14ers.com except Como. It's only 2 miles, and just a few difficult spots, but it's a great way to access Greys & Torreys. It's a little narrow in spots, my Land Cruiser has some new pinstripes.



x2 On Chihuahua Gulch to Torrey's and Gray's. My Jeep club has adopted that trail and some nice maintenance has been done to it. Very doable in a stock high clearence vehicle. Plus the views are awesome. Bring your own water, the creek is contaminated from the Mines in the area.

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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby kimo » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:53 pm

adkinsadam1 wrote:My dad and I would really like to climb some 14ers in the coming weeks. But we would like to know which 14ers (accessible from Castle rock in 3 hrs or less) have the roughest 4wd roads to get to the trailhead. We've got some off road mods on our car and would like the road to the trailhead to be as rough as possible. Thank you all so much!


There are some great options in this thread. Chihuahua Gulch is gorgeous and fun. But if you are looking for a serious challenge, the Wheeler Lake Road and the Lake Como Road are your best bets.

There is another infamous 4WD challenge road that seems to fly under the radar of 14er climbers. It is known as the Holy Cross Road. The road leads to Holy Cross City. Climbing Mt of Holy Cross from there will require a creative and adventurous approach. We drove the road this past Saturday and it is in great condition. The difficulty matches the Lake Como Road.

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If that is the kind of fun you are looking for, check here for more road information.
http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=11

Check the Lou Dawson Northern 14er book for hiking route information from Holy Cross Road/Hunky Dory Lake. The hiking route follows Holy Cross Ridge from the south. It will be an adventure.

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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby adkinsadam1 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:51 pm

Okay, I'm going to cut to the chase. I have a 2006 4runner Limited stock except some off-road tires. Specs include 8.5" minimum ground clearance, skid plates, locking center differential, DAC, and 4WD (of course). Placing the wheels as wisely as possible, how far up the road to lake como can I go? For reference I am an experienced off-roader.

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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby BAUMGARA » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:30 pm

adkinsadam1 wrote:how far up the road to lake como can I go? For reference I am an experienced off-roader.

If you can make it pass this (you should), you should have no problem getting to 10,200-10,500 or so.
Image

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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby dixonallred » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:17 pm

I've taken a stock xterra to about 1/2 mile from Jaws 1, if memory serves me correctly around 10,500ft. With skills and the mods you have you should able to make it to Jaws 1.
Joe

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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby kimo » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:28 pm

adkinsadam1 wrote:Okay, I'm going to cut to the chase. I have a 2006 4runner Limited stock except some off-road tires. Specs include 8.5" minimum ground clearance, skid plates, locking center differential, DAC, and 4WD (of course). Placing the wheels as wisely as possible, how far up the road to lake como can I go? For reference I am an experienced off-roader.


We took a mostly stock FJ Cruiser (only mod was BFG KM2 Mud Terrain tires and rocker protection) past Jaws 2 but it wasn't pretty and I don't recommend it. The driver was excellent but the vehicle took some damage. I would park a mostly stock vehicle like your 4Runner at Jaws 1 (10500 ft). However, just getting up to that point can be fun and challenging in your vehicle. If you want to push it past Jaws 1 you'll be forced to take the left line. It looks like this:
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We took a stock 2001 4Runner almost to the top of the Wheeler Lake Road a few years ago. The obstacles on the road have "easy" and hard lines. I think we strapped him up Bowling Ball Hill (the final climb to Wheeler Lake). There is no easy line up that. But if you are going to hike Mt. Democrat you won't need to drive up Bowling Bowl Hill to Wheeler Lake. The hike up the class 3 north ridge of Mt. Democrat from the Wheeler Lake basin is documented in a trip report on this site and summitpost. Wheeler Lake Road would be a fun and exciting challenge for your 4Runner.

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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby cwm » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:23 pm

Unless i missed it what kind of car are you talking about that you have done some off road mods?

A little more detail about the vehicle could make it easier to make some recommendations. For example, someone mentioned the road to Holy Cross City. It would take a better vehicle than a "car" to go that road.

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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby KentonB » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:00 pm

My stock Yukon made it to 10,200 feet on Como Lake Road... though I got some shocked reactions from real 4WD'ers.

I'll bet my old Corsica could have made it all the way... with enough speed. \:D/

Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby NPCannon » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:36 am

cwm wrote:Unless i missed it what kind of car are you talking about that you have done some off road mods?

A little more detail about the vehicle could make it easier to make some recommendations. For example, someone mentioned the road to Holy Cross City. It would take a better vehicle than a "car" to go that road.


Not to mention that holy cross city isn't exactly close to the peak. I've wheeled that road before and considered that getting up the trail could potentially help with climbing the mountain, but realized that it's still a long hard hike without a trail and with a ridge in the way. The standard hike is way easier than anything we could imagine looking at topos from the holy cross trail to the mountain top.

I didn't realize wheeler lake got to access 14ers, we're driving that in a few weeks. I've read the "Traildamage" reports, but can any 4 wheelers comment on how spring creek compares to blanca road and wheeler lake? I just did spring creek last weekend with no problems, and was curious if it even compares to blanca. (I'm locked front and rear with body armor, but no lift on an XJ.) Thanks.
-Nate

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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby stretch2187 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:12 pm

adkinsadam1 wrote:Okay, I'm going to cut to the chase. I have a 2006 4runner Limited stock except some off-road tires. Specs include 8.5" minimum ground clearance, skid plates, locking center differential, DAC, and 4WD (of course). Placing the wheels as wisely as possible, how far up the road to lake como can I go? For reference I am an experienced off-roader.


I was just up there two weeks ago. I got my stock Dodge Ram 4x4 4.8 miles from the highway. If I had felt like pushing it, I know I could have made it up to Jaws 1 which would be maybe another half mile. When we hiked down there was a late model Tacoma parked just before Jaws 1. Your 4runner should make it to Jaws 1 no problem, but if you have running boards that you'd like to keep looking nice, I'd take em off before the trip. FWIW, there is a nice parking area right before Jaws 1 that will hold 2-3 vehicles and there are quite a few parking spots scattered along the road on the way up.

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Re: 14ers with 4WD

Postby kimo » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:45 pm

NPCannon wrote:
cwm wrote:For example, someone mentioned the road to Holy Cross City. It would take a better vehicle than a "car" to go that road.

Not to mention that holy cross city isn't exactly close to the peak. I've wheeled that road before and considered that getting up the trail could potentially help with climbing the mountain, but realized that it's still a long hard hike without a trail and with a ridge in the way. The standard hike is way easier than anything we could imagine looking at topos from the holy cross trail to the mountain top.


I mentioned Holy Cross because the OP asked for rough and 14er accessible. I gave him rough and 14er accessible. It is up to the OP to use readily available sources to determine if the road is suitable for his particular vehicle. In this case, the OP admitted he had a mostly stock 4Runner after I provided my suggestion. It is also the OPs responsibility to research the hiking route to determine time, effort, and equipment required. I warned that it would be an adventure and I wasn't kidding. I guess it all comes down to what the individual seeks from their wilderness experience. I personally don't look for easy hikes. In fact, I look forward to creative route finding from Holy Cross City to Holy Cross Mtn someday. I planted the seed for the OP and others - maybe it would take or maybe not.

NPCannon wrote:I didn't realize wheeler lake got to access 14ers, we're driving that in a few weeks. I've read the "Traildamage" reports, but can any 4 wheelers comment on how spring creek compares to blanca road and wheeler lake? I just did spring creek last weekend with no problems, and was curious if it even compares to blanca.


Spring Creek is fun. Blanca Rd. is frightening. Did you take all of the hardest lines at Spring Creek? That would approximate the difficulty of the Blanca Rd. but with less threat of roll-over and injury at Spring Creek. There is precious little room for error on the Blanca Rd.

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