COLORADO FRONT RANGERS: Any interest in a trip to Hermit, Hayden and Medano Passes (Great Sand Dunes)?

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Medano is usually maintained well enough for a stock truck. I don't think Hayden would be too much of a challenge either (depending on your comfort level). I haven't seen Hermit in several years. As far as I know it's just annoyingly bumpy, but very scenic. I'll be doing more investigation.
Clearance wont be as big an issue. Im on 35s and 6” lift in the truck. If I can get my jeep out of the garage, dialed in and see how it tows the trailer with its deep gears, I may have that as option. If not, I’ll trade vehicles with the wife and take her jeep.
 
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Hanotheflyinhawaiian

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So we're definitely in for the July 26-28 dates. The lady and I both work Friday, so were we all planning to convoy out of Denver Friday evening, assuming we all live in the area? Or rallying at the first camp site?
 

Neal A. Tew

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OK, let's pencil this in for 7/26 - 7/28. I want to do a little more research before posting a formal Rally Point.

Thanks guys for your support.
 
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Wayfarer

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OK, let's pencil this in for 7/26 - 7/28. I want to do a little more research before posting a formal Rally Point.

Thanks guys for your support.
Neal, just wanted to say thank you for putting these events together. This is more activity for this region in the last couple of months than I've seen in the several years I've been an OB member combined! Unfortunately I am out of town for June Jam and have family in town for this event. They've never been to CO and wanted to do a little off-roading so we've planned Lake City and the Alpine Loop. Normally, I wouldn't be worried but not sure what it will look like this year with all the snow. My backup... a loop from the house through Medano and Hayden passes.

For anyone wondering, Medano, Hayden, and Hermit are all doable in about anything with 4wd and a bit of clearance. In other words, a Carrera 4S would be a no but a Forester would probably be a yes. The most difficult thing about Medano would be some water crossings that probably (this year is a bit exceptional) won't be above the hubs and some soft sand near the dunes (there is an air compressor at the park if you need to air down but it would be helpful to have someone equipped in case it is inop or you're going west to east). Hayden... more difficult going west to east simply for a long, rocky climb from Villa Grove. A locker makes it pretty straightforward but it can certainly be done with open diffs. A few tight switchbacks for the bigger guys but certainly doable. Hermit is just as Neal says... annoyingly rough. Nothing very technical about it, just bumpy. Airing down helps. Some beautiful scenery on all these routes.

Neal, again, thank you. If there is anything I can do to help out, let me know. Happy to help in any way I can.
 
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Neal A. Tew

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Neal, just wanted to say thank you for putting these events together. This is more activity for this region in the last couple of months than I've seen in the several years I've been an OB member combined!
That is very kind of you to say. I appreciate it very much.

Unfortunately I am out of town for June Jam and have family in town for this event. They've never been to CO and wanted to do a little off-roading so we've planned Lake City and the Alpine Loop. Normally, I wouldn't be worried but not sure what it will look like this year with all the snow. My backup... a loop from the house through Medano and Hayden passes.
Sorry to hear you're out of town!

What dates are you planning the loop?

A few of us from the Pueblo West Amateur Radio Club will be over there the 2nd weekend of July. We'd love to have you along!

Neal, again, thank you. If there is anything I can do to help out, let me know. Happy to help in any way I can.
Thanks for the offer! I will take you up on that very soon......as in right now! :grinning: Let's find some dates that work for you and get something planned. Are there any places you'd like to make a trip to?
 

Wayfarer

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What dates are you planning the loop?

A few of us from the Pueblo West Amateur Radio Club will be over there the 2nd weekend of July. We'd love to have you along!
Very kind of you to offer, Neal. Right now it looks like we’ll be out there 3rd week in July.

Thanks for the offer! I will take you up on that very soon......as in right now! :grinning: Let's find some dates that work for you and get something planned. Are there any places you'd like to make a trip to?
LOL... well, how is that for service?! Tell you what... let me talk to the cruise director (wife) and I’ll get back to you. I have a habit of double booking our activities. Thanks again, Neal!
 
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Delux2769

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Tried Medano twice last month, with water making it over the hood of the GX both times... made it 7 crossings before road closure, thus camping, then 4 crossings and turn around and went back home... Should be perfectly fine last weekend in July for my birthday weekend!

Unfortunately, I'll be traveling to TX that weekend :(
 
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Neal A. Tew

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Tried Medano twice last month, with water making it over the hood of the GX both times... made it 7 crossings before road closure, thus camping, then 4 crossings and turn around and went back home... Should be perfectly fine last weekend in July for my birthday weekend!

Unfortunately, I'll be traveling to TX that weekend :(
Here's a good source to check before you go:

 
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Hanotheflyinhawaiian

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Well fellas, we gave the Alpine Loop the ole’ college try and failed lol. We entered from the Ouray side and made it a whopping 0.72 miles before we hit an about 3-4’ deep avy pile across the trail. Tried again from Silverton and made it about 10 miles before encountering the same, this time about 8’ deep and a good 150yds wide. Guy at the mine museum said the passes will be closed until the end of July. Bummer. Either way we had a good time. Here’s a few pics.

We’ll be heading to Moab tomorrow where the trails are a little more feasible

IMG_0099.jpgIMG_0098.jpgIMG_0086.jpgIMG_0090.jpgIMG_0056.jpg
 
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Delux2769

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Cgtowns01

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After this weekend, my confidence offroading is getting better and better. I'd like to do this trip. I'll be leaving the Denver/Highlands Ranch area Friday after work as well (5:00), so @Hanotheflyinhawaiian we could caravan too. I'll need to confirm with my wife to make sure that weekend is still open, but I'm really interested.
 
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Neal A. Tew

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After this weekend, my confidence offroading is getting better and better. I'd like to do this trip. I'll be leaving the Denver/Highlands Ranch area Friday after work as well (5:00), so @Hanotheflyinhawaiian we could caravan too. I'll need to confirm with my wife to make sure that weekend is still open, but I'm really interested.
Great!

This is contingent on all of these trails opening up. I'll try to go ahead and create the Rally Point this week.
 
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Neal A. Tew

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Medano Pass Primitive Road

Current Road Conditions

updated July 6, 2019

The road is currently open only to the 4th creek crossing, 6.4 miles from the western entrance of the road. Only 10 campsites in Medano Canyon are currently accessible by vehicle. The road has extensive damage from very high runoff earlier this season, and repairs are ongoing. On the east side of the range, the road is still closed at Muddy Creek. The road will not open all the way over the pass until repairs can be completed.
from:
Medano Pass Primitive Road - Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service)
 

Neal A. Tew

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I don't have much confidence that Medano Pass to the Sand Dunes is going to open in time for this trip.

I did see that Hayden Pass is open.

I haven't heard anything about Hermit, but since it's just up and back it won't be a big deal if we can't summit. (This was optional planned for Friday.)

In my experience, the Dunes park will be crowded on the weekend.

If indeed Medano doesn't open, do we still want to try to make something work in this area? We still have Hermit and Hayden, but I think the primary interest was the dunes. Or should we look at other areas? I know some of the better trails around Buena Vista are being opened up as we speak.

What say each of you? Are you only interested in the Dunes or would you be interested in an alternative?
 

Cgtowns01

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I don't have much confidence that Medano Pass to the Sand Dunes is going to open in time for this trip.

I did see that Hayden Pass is open.

I haven't heard anything about Hermit, but since it's just up and back it won't be a big deal if we can't summit. (This was optional planned for Friday.)

In my experience, the Dunes park will be crowded on the weekend.

If indeed Medano doesn't open, do we still want to try to make something work in this area? We still have Hermit and Hayden, but I think the primary interest was the dunes. Or should we look at other areas? I know some of the better trails around Buena Vista are being opened up as we speak.

What say each of you? Are you only interested in the Dunes or would you be interested in an alternative?
I'm sorry guys, we wont be able to make this trip after all. I'll keep an eye out for the next one!