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Rande 02-09-2013 11:25 AM

Trails to Ride
Well, its looking better as far as work is concerned and that means greater confidence that I will make it this year I may be able to purchase a local '82 WT Cherokee but not sure if I will have the resources to have it ready. I'm most likely to drive the stock XJ.

But either way, I am looking for trails to drive. I have been perusing the YouTube videos. Engineer Pass, Cinnamon Pass look like good drives. Imogene looks abit rougher but not too bad. I've been through Placer/Picayune, and Minnie or Maggie (not sure whih it was) and Last Dollar road. No interest in Black Bear with those switchbacks going down the cliff.

I plan to arrive Sunday afternoon (leaving Saturday AM) so I will have a couple of days to cruise around before the invasion officially begins. Keeping in mind the stock XJ and my relative inexperience, what are some trails I might drive? Looking for easy drives.

Meanwhile, I will keep looking around YouTube and the net on my own.

Rande 02-09-2013 12:05 PM

Been looking at this map of the Alpine Loop. Looks like a great drive.

bigun 02-09-2013 12:06 PM

We did Imogene in stock Liberty with 3 fat people in it and only drug it once. The last time I went over engineer we followed a Rav 4 for a while he had to pick his lines in a couple of places, but other wise he didn't seem to have any problems.

fulsizjeep 02-09-2013 12:14 PM

Good to hear Rande. I always point folks here for decent trail info. It is a little dated now as some trails are a bit rougher ride.

The ride from 550 to Engineer is pretty bumpy on the initial climb compared to 10 years ago. Ophir is one of my favorite scenic drives with a little bit of shelf road. I did Brown Mtn for the first time last year and really enjoyed a different view of Red Mtn. Last Dollar is one of the lower roads and has lots of forested trail. Avoid this one if it has been raining.

I would also suggest Sunnyside Mine.

fulsizjeep 02-09-2013 12:16 PM


Originally Posted by Rande
Been looking at this map of the Alpine Loop. Looks like a great drive.

This is a beautiful drive and gets you over Engineer and Cinnamon Passes with a pit stop at Animas Forks.

Tad 02-09-2013 12:27 PM

Imogene is not that rough as long as you can run decent at that altitude.

We have done it in the Wag in 2008.

We have done it in an Infinity in 2012.

I'm sure an XJ would do fine.
(it was actually way easier in the Infinity)

Rande 02-09-2013 01:13 PM

Thanks! Looks like Imogene is not a worry then. Last Dollar Road was in good shape when I did it. I really liked that drive. Placer/Picayune was a nice drive (I remember someone slashed a tire on a rock going down the other side) as was Minnie (I'm pretty sure it was Minnie).

The XJ is injected and the one I had when I was there (poor thing, it died a cruel, meaningless death) did just fine as far as running, I did knock apart the exhaust the first day though.

The WT Cherokee I've been looking at is in good condition but would need maintenance work and prep. I will likely be able to purchase it this spring if work holds out. I don't think I'll have funds available for prep for such a journey and also to pay for the trip itself. So, the XJ looks like the proper decision at this point. It'll be stock but the other one did just fine. I did put a complete new exhaust on this one. New AT tires and new shocks. Prep for the trip will be easy.

But, back to the subject at hand. I just want to avoid clinging to a cliff by my sidewalls, or sliding over rocks with my driveshaft.

Tad 02-09-2013 01:58 PM

I'm not big on shelf roads either.
If you go up from the Ouray side and down into Telluride there is a shelf road.
You are coming down so for the most part you are on the mountain side, folks coming up have the right of way but they are on the edge.
There is an obstacle just prior to the top of Imogene but it has a bypass to the left.
We did the obstacle both years. In '08 it was raining and sleeting, made for a little bit of tire spin and some pucker factor. In '12 it was pretty dry and the Infinity just walked over it, except for a hole I had to back out of and go around.
The Infinity (Q as we call it) does not have squat for ground clearance (29" tires) and the only thing we touched was the rear hitch which hangs pretty low.
If we take the wag or the Q we probably will not do Imogene since we have done it in both, a lot of what we take will depend on fuel prices.
We would like to do the Alpine Loop, have never done that but have been to Animas forks. We are coming in on Monday, we'll be pretty beat from the trip.
Alpine Loops sounds like a good start for Tuesday but we don't plan anything except for when we arrive and when we leave.

will e 02-09-2013 03:14 PM

I am showing up on Sunday too.

Most of the shelf trails are not too bad. There is one where the drop off is steep and it is narrow and you can't see if someone is coming the other way. I forget which trail it is on.

We did Ophir at night (not by choice..) and then two more times (it's the best way to get back from Telluride.

fulsizjeep 02-09-2013 03:40 PM


Originally Posted by Rande
(I remember someone slashed a tire on a rock going down the other side)

Ninja Marmots!

Rande 02-09-2013 07:03 PM

I hate it when that happens!

That's right, it was Krista who had the flat.

BTW, I've seen no videos of the invasion. I plan (but then, I plan a LOT of things) to bring a video cam.

grand_wag_85 02-10-2013 12:23 PM

Engineer and Imogene should be no problem for a stock XJ. Corkscrew over to Hurricane then over to Animas Forks would be another good one just don't forget to turn off the trail before you get to Poughkeepsie. :thumbsup:


Originally Posted by Tad
There is an obstacle just prior to the top of Imogene but it has a bypass to the left.

That obstacle got me pretty good in '09 with the IH. They had the bypass to the left closed off and you had to take the 'normal' part of the trail which is a good bit steeper. That spot wasn't too challenging but the altitude and the steepness is what really got to my truck, you're probably at 12,800 at that point. I think if I had FI or at least a better torque converter(whole 'nother story) it would have been no problem.

will e 02-10-2013 09:20 PM

I have done Imogene with a holley TA (jets at 64 if I remember correctly). No issues.

Imogene got Ralph last year. His truck had some issues near the top. First time in I don't know how many years i saw where Ralphy had to be strapped. I have a video of it somewhere, it's like history.

MtnYJ 02-12-2013 07:13 PM


Originally Posted by will e
We did Ophir at night (not by choice..) and then two more times (it's the best way to get back from Telluride.

Hey, I resemble that remark! :)

It's killing us reading about all you guys planning and talking about what trails you're going to run knowing we aren't gonna make it this year... :(

Rande 02-12-2013 07:24 PM

Well, unless I hit the lottery, I'm pretty sure I'll be in the XJ. When I was out there before, that XJ did just fine at altitude.

Deal with the '82 Cherokee is the work its going to need to be dependable for such a trip. I do plan to sell the old Mustang as its getting more and more difficult to get in and out due to bad knees and that money could finance the '82. But there's no guarantee that will happen in time to complete work on the '82 IF I even manage get it.

After many nights watching videos of the trails I've been able to find, most trails look doable in the XJ. When I get out there, I'll just need to pay attention to the trail ratings.

Ok, now how about maps? Any suggestions?

Tad 02-17-2013 03:08 PM


Originally Posted by Rande
...Ok, now how about maps? Any suggestions?

There is a book some folks have but I can't remember the name of it.
This is the map that a lot of folks have:

Drake Mountain Maps
433 Apodaca Hill
Santa Fe, NM 87501
PH: 505-988-8929

I left these full size for downloading:
The files are not that big but the images are.

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