COLORADO: 4WD Road & Trail Conditions.

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Neal A. Tew

US Rocky Mountain Regional Director
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It's very common for those from the warmer climes to plan their CO trips too early in the season arriving before their favorite trail opens. Generally a visit July - Sept will be the most fruitful. Depending on the year you can find some trails opening in June, but don't count on your favorites being open before July.

Here is a collection of resources to help you find the current status of Colorado tracks. There is a lot of overlap. The Facebook pages are usually the most current. Many won't start updating the current year before May/June.

Colorado High Country Status at Trails Offroad

Colorado High Country Jeep Trails at Bushducks

Colorado Off Road Trail Reports on Facebook (Use the search function before asking. You're likely not the first!)

San Juan Mountain Trail Group on Facebook (Current info for trails around Silverton - Always use the search function.)

San Miguel County Road & Bridge (For tracks around Telluride)

Switzerland of America, Trail Conditions (For trails around Ouray, may not be as current as the FB pages)

Colorado Off Road Enterprises (CORE) on Facebook (For the areas around Buena Vista: Tincup, Hancock, Antero, Fourmile, etc)

One topic that creates a lot of confusion in CO is the handful of trails that require a permit. In a nutshell, the majority of the popular routes we traverse are considered 4WD ROADS and do not require anything special for a truck. The exceptions are the routes that are considered 4WD TRAILS by the governing agencies. They require a permit. See a complete explanation and a list of those trails requiring truck permits here: FULL SIZE TRAILS at Stay the Trail.org Keep in mind that much of the discussion on that site is geared toward ATVs so pay close attention. You may notice "Old Tin Cup Pass" on this list. This is only referring to a hard section that is bypassed by most. If you stick to the main trail you do not need the permit.

Please suggest other sources to be included in this list.
 
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TheBison

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Hi there,

I looked at the Full Size Trails link re: permits and was surprised to see some trails that I've driven numerous times on the list requiring permits: Hancock Pass, Italian Pass, and Tomichi Pass to name a few. I don't remember ever seeing signage on these stating there are permits required. Is this going to be hard to enforce, or more of an honor system thing? I was always under the impression that these were regular old FS roads.

Learning something new every day...
 
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