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Old 12-22-2014, 01:35 PM   #15
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OK, it was Cordova Pass at about 11,250 feet.....maybe better done in something other than a Porsche. But the long boulder laden road, through the lava wall, something very special.

Colorado_Soanish_Peaks_07.09.14-7 by Fantinesvoice.com, on Flickr
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:48 PM   #16
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Yes, I agree, something other than a Porsche but that road is a highway compared to Engineer Pass. Don't try Engineer in your Porsche. Love the lava wall though.

Love the Porsche too. ENJOY
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:02 PM   #17
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Yes, I agree, something other than a Porsche but that road is a highway compared to Engineer Pass. Don't try Engineer in your Porsche. Love the lava wall though.

Love the Porsche too. ENJOY
Engineer pass is really a walk in the park compared to Cinnamon Pass, just to the South of Engineer. I won't take my truck on Cinnamon, it's just too steep with too much loose rock.
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:36 PM   #18
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I can think of 2 paved roads to 14,000 feet. One is a state highway to the top of Mt. Evans west of Denver. The Forest Service tries to get $6 out of you, but if you never leave the roadway, they can't touch you, and after around 6 pm they close the fee station and you can go to the top in summer and get off the road. In winter, skies necessary. The 2nd is Pike's Peak and that has a toll. Never paid the toll and never went to that one.

There may be a jeep trail up to the top of one of the fourteeners in the Collegiate Range, but I read about it years ago and don't remember where. Other than that, so far as I know, you walk to a 14,000' mountain.

When you are on top you don't look up at anything. You look across at some peaks and down at the rest. It is a feeling of being on top of the world and is best when you walked yourself. On Mt. Evans you do walk more than 200' up from the parking lot. It is exhilarating and at dawn or dusk even more so.

Having been in Colorado for 36 years, it is not all that exciting to me. It was when I was a newbie. I've driven dangerous and scary mining roads that make Engineer and Cinnamon Passes look like nothing, but never got to Black Bear or Imogene. By the time we worked our way towards those very challenging jeep trials, we were done with that sort of exploring. The highest we ever backpacked was something just over 13,000'. A fully loaded pack at that elevation feels like 150 lbs. It got so we'd walk 100 feet and stop to rest, 100 more, rest…. But the lake (Abyss Lake) was amazing and we were looking up at the back of Mt. Evans, another fourteener Mt. Beirstadt and the Sawtooth, a formation linking the two. No altitude sickness, but we sure were tired. Hiking in the mountains and camping in remote places has been a special thing in my life. It is like sex—hard to explain, but once you try it, you know it has changed you.

But now we want to see everywhere else, and so we travel all over the US and Canada. One problem anywhere we go is that back roads are hard to travel on with a full size pickup. The jeep trails are narrow, brush scratches your paint, you can't turn around or get around tight switchbacks, with a long wheel base it is easier to high center. That is one advantage of a motorhome—tow the FJ Cruiser behind you (better than a Jeep).

I think I speak for all who live here, please come, have an existential transformation in the mountains, buy weed and craft beer, spend lots of money and then please go home. It is getting kind of crowded. It used to be you'd be the only one on the trail, then you and maybe someone eventually, but it started to be scores of people driving all over the area especially on weekends. The backcountry wasn't in the back anymore and everyone seemed to have a 4WD perhaps unsuitable for where they were.

Who will be the first to take an Airstream up a jeep trail to 14,000'?

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Old 12-22-2014, 08:46 PM   #19
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We took Hwy 82 through Independence Pass as a detour in 2005 when Hwy 70 was closed because of an avalanche. Our 2002 5.3L Chevy Tahoe made it over the 12K pass albeit a bit challenged while towing a 22 foot, 6.5K race trailer.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:04 PM   #20
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I googled 14,000ft paved roads in Colorado, and Mt. Evans is the only one I came up with. We've not been there. We have been up Pike's Peak driving a couple of times, and took the cog train once. While the road up to about tree line is paved, it's not paved from there on to the top. Have a picture somewhere of my old '40 Ford street rod parked in front of the sign at the top.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:11 PM   #21
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Trail Ridge road is not quite 14K'. But it is an incredible drive. And it is paved.


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Old 12-22-2014, 09:29 PM   #22
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I googled 14,000ft paved roads in Colorado, and Mt. Evans is the only one I came up with. We've not been there. We have been up Pike's Peak driving a couple of times, and took the cog train once. While the road up to about tree line is paved, it's not paved from there on to the top. Have a picture somewhere of my old '40 Ford street rod parked in front of the sign at the top.
Pikes Peak was paved to the top in Fall 2011.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:31 PM   #23
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Pikes Peak was paved to the top in Fall 2011.
OK, thanks, did not know that. It's been a while. Last time was probably '99 when our son was at the AF Academy.

Do they still have the race up there?
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:43 PM   #24
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My Evans road is paved but just barely. Really bad shape when we were up there a year ago last Sept. Awesome views. Especially when seen from a motorcycle.
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:45 PM   #25
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OK, thanks, did not know that. It's been a while. Last time was probably '99 when our son was at the AF Academy.

Do they still have the race up there?
Here's your answer Steve.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Spectator or participant, it's not for the faint of heart.

Ken

P.S. I am charter member of "the faint of heart".
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:59 PM   #26
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Lake City Colorado. Rent Jeeps or Quads and do the Alpine loop. We usually go over to Silverton and back in one day. Great little town with all the high altitude roads you can stand.
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:59 AM   #27
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Lake City Colorado. Rent Jeeps or Quads and do the Alpine loop. We usually go over to Silverton and back in one day. Great little town with all the high altitude roads you can stand.
Lake City is a terrible place! I sure wouldn't go there if I were you.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:55 AM   #28
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Trail Ridge road is not quite 14K'. But it is an incredible drive. And it is paved.


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And, you can drive your rig over provided it is adequate to tow the load and you are used to mountain driving. If your tow vehicle is marginal, it is going to be seriously underpowered at that altitude. There are no really steep grades and no hairpins so tight that a tow vehicle and trailer can't navigate them without crossing the center line.
At 12,400 feet it is the highest continuous auto road in the U.S.
Plus there lots of camping and lots to see and do at the two park towns, Estes Park and Grand Lake, on each side of the Park.
Admission to the Park is free with your Golden Eagle, otherwise it will cost you $25.
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