First Time Overlanding in Colorado | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

First Time Overlanding in Colorado

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804Tacoma

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Hey all! Later on this year (in December 2020) I'm planning to take a solo trip out to Colorado for a week to do some trail riding and general exploring. I've not done too much overlanding before and would like to get some suggestions on beginner trails near the Boulder area. A simple Google search has yielded a lot of results but I'm wondering how easy is "easy"? I'll be staying near Boulder and plan to just do day trips, possibly considering an overnight or 2. Thanks in advance for any suggestions in advance!
 
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WAYAWAY

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I really enjoyed Boreas Pass
We camped 2 nights at around 11,000 feet.
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Lots of water up there.. but I'm betting you will see snow in December.
20180705_165250.jpg
 

64Trvlr

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There are a lot of cool places to go but in Dec it will depend on snow fall.
 

Boort

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Hey all! Later on this year (in December 2020) I'm planning to take a solo trip out to Colorado for a week to do some trail riding and general exploring. I've not done too much overlanding before and would like to get some suggestions on beginner trails near the Boulder area. A simple Google search has yielded a lot of results but I'm wondering how easy is "easy"? I'll be staying near Boulder and plan to just do day trips, possibly considering an overnight or 2. Thanks in advance for any suggestions in advance!

Lots of trails up here in CO get closed due to snow by December. So it will depend on what the fall season brings. I suggest that you find the trails you are interested in and keep a close eye on them through October and November. Give a call to the NFS office(s) that cover the trails you are interested in the day or so before you want to go to find out the conditions.

That said check out the FunTreks site (Trails - FunTreks) and books for a great listing by difficulty.

My favorite easy trail near Boulder is the Switzerland Trail (Switzerland Trail - FunTreks) while I don't think you can camp on the trail. Brainard Lake is near by and open year round (last I knew).

Be prepared for snow ice and cold temps as you will be above 9000'

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Timmy92

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My opinion is to take your first solo trip in the summer. Get use to being alone in the wilderness and tackle those challenges first. Ive done a handful of camping and hunting trips in the Colorado mountains in the summer and fall seasons. One trip had to bail out of the mountains early because of the snow. It snowed about 2 ft in a night and kept coming down through out the day. Found out later it drop about 5ft of snow where we were. So be careful, watch the weather, and maybe try a “practice” run. Remember fingers and toes don’t like to work when you get really cold.
Have fun. Challenger yourself. Keep us updated how it goes!
 

eharris2

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I don’t have any experience with trails Near Boulder but do know our crazy weather. Plan flexibly, three days ago it was 75° and today there is 11” of fresh fallen snow and the high was 12°. December in Colorado is no different, warm and mild then snow and freezing temperatures . Dress for success and plan your adventure accordingly. Safe travels!
 

804Tacoma

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Thanks to everyone for the replies! I'm trying to allow for plenty of time to get my rig and myself prepared. What is anyone's opinion on using stock radial tires out on the easy/medium trails in CO? I've got a 3" lift so I'm not too worried about clearance. I plan to do more offroading in the future, but if I have to get some new mud/AT tires for safety then I'll need to factor that into the budget. Considering going 285/75R16 on stock tires or w/ a 1.5" spacer, vs the 245/75R16 stock radial wheels and tires that are on there now.
 

Boort

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@804Tacoma

What is anyone's opinion on using stock radial tires out on the easy/medium trails in CO?
I've got a 3" lift so I'm not too worried about clearance. I plan to do more offroading in the future, but if I have to get some new mud/AT tires for safety then I'll need to factor that into the budget. Considering going 285/75R16 on stock tires or w/ a 1.5" spacer, vs the 245/75R16 stock radial wheels and tires that are on there now.
On my 1997 Tacoma SX (short wheelbase) I've run Michelin LTX A/T (X,2,...) in the stock 31x10.5R15 size for the last 20 years. (I don't think these are made in the R15 size anymore only the Defender LTX M/S which I don't like as much off road.) These are really on road tires but have served me well on and off road on most of the trails I ridden. That said have gotten into some trouble in wet clay, and on Scree at the top of Mosquito Pass with these tires. Next time I need tires on the Tacoma I'll likely need to shop around and decide what I want as it is getting mostly DD usage these days with the 4Runner taking the camping trips.

On the 4Runner I'm running BFG Ko2's in 275/70/17 (32's) with ~ 2.5" lift. These move the performance line much further towards offroad use. I prefer these over the BFG MT KM(2/3)'s because I haul a lot of highway miles to get where I'm going camping, often pulling a trailer.

I'm not a fan of spacers so when I lifted I picked up the Toyota TRD SEMA 17" rims to get a better offset w/o using spacers.


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eharris2

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I know there are lots of great tires from many manufactures and everyone’s experience varies. My recommendation, spend your hard earned money on quality tires. That’s modification one in my book. Good tires make a huge difference in on and off-road performance. Also purchase a good quality tire repair kit and have a way to inflate and deflate your tires. Proper tire pressure and a way to air down and then air back up is essential to great on and off road performance. I see so many people not airing down on the trail and it just hammers the rig and it’s occupants unnecessarily.

Could your stock tires do the job, probably. I am not a fan of spacers either.

One of the great things about Colorado is that we have every driving condition imaginable. If you feel like your tires can do it....

My tire of choice, BFG KM3
 
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