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Old 12-21-2014, 05:27 PM   #1
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COLORADO 14,000 feet PLUS drives... sans trailer

These are not all roads that are easy access. Some are down right white knuckle even in a 4x4 Jeep. But are there, non the less.

I have driven many, but not all as I have yet to find roads that are passable for a 4x4 Jeep, SUV or Pickup Truck. But, they do exist and many people find them... interesting.

Maybe even some UNDER 14,000 feet can be added, which includes the Independence Pass east of Aspen, Colorado at 12,095 feet above the shoreline at Miami, Florida. For those modern nations, 3,687 meters. There are plenty of those in Colorado with easy access, Up or Down.

I am certain that if you are curious and maybe a bit more adventurous than most... these might be enough to calm your spirit of seeking thrills that most never tempt. Some you will swear NEVER to attempt again... or at least not with spouses, children or friends captive on one of these adventures into the sky.

I am tossing this out for those who already can recommend some of these roads. Paved to the top, or... not. Wide or ... not. Gentle grades... or not.

As you can tell, if I cannot get any outside help with this... maybe no one cares about setting up your Airstream at a safe, lower elevation... lets say 9,800 feet, getting altitude sickness, a headache that ranks up there with a near death experience... and maybe upchucking breakfast when you least expect it. All of these can be posted on this thread... How TO and How NOT TO tackle the highest passes in the Continental USA by vehicle, motorcycle or bicycle... you pick. I sure do not care HOW you tackle those that I will eventually offer up as proof that anyone can survive Colorado's finest climbs to the stars AND dangle it in front of you... as if I am going to do all of the work.

I have already done the work. I already have friends, had, that will stay put at 10,000 feet and lay back, knowing they... well, they are lost and screwed.

But you have to admit. I do not know you, nor you know me. That means neither of us have any reason to hate someone you have never met and might not want to after taking some of these short adventures into the thin air of Colorado. That is IF you thought Denver at 5,280 feet was thin... you have a lot to learn. Either the easy way... or, your way.

There are a few Colorado Airstream owners that prowl this Forum. Most I would probably find as nice friendly folk and we would gladly offer some advice as to what someone from 300 feet elevation should be doing in Colorado in the first place, and then work from that point of view. You know, Flat Landers as we affectionately call these pioneers from Down Under... 1,000 or even 100 feet above sea level.

Elevation sneaks up on you like a guy in an alley looking to lift your wallet in a big city. There are ways to avoid getting your wallet lifted at high elevation. It is not my job to keep this Thread from dying before you have even drove to the base of one of these... rural roads... looked up and decided that the beach in Corpus Christi, Texas would have been a better option.

So, here it goes. If there are no takers, givers or victims in waiting... that is fine with us living here where even birds gasp for oxygen.

... and who knows. That gal over on the right side of the posts might be camped on top and having a big BBQ at 14,205 feet... for anyone who makes it there. She probably has a jacket somewhere... I hope.
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:38 PM   #2
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Ray, what are you trying to say here?
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:57 PM   #3
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I'm not sure what you are going for but here I am at California Pass nearly 13,000 ft. It is a jeep road, but I was there on a Suzuki 650.

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Old 12-21-2014, 07:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Ray, what are you trying to say here?
So is not just me, I usually lose track of his little naratives about half way thru.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:36 PM   #5
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Ok
I am confused!
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:23 PM   #6
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I would be guilty as charged. Been on almost every paved pass in Colorado, and some not paved (4X4 "recommended") We love Colorado in the summer, and have been going most years since the early 70's.

The first picture is on top of Spring Creek Pass, continental divide, 11,000 ft., and the second sans trailer on top of Engineer Pass, 13,000+ ft.
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:38 PM   #7
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"I am confused"... I will have reread my post.

I find most threads contain little information, so I pack the information up front. Many readers prefer short bursts of information, like having a tooth pulled to extract anything from it. A lengthy post many cannot handle because it takes a bit of attention and concentration. Obviously my writing skills off the cuff are lacking, so you have to glean what you want and leave it at that. I do not prepare and edit... so you are reading for the "second time". When I wrote it and when you read it.

The jest of the thread is to come to Colorado and park your Airstream, pickup truck with a shell and discover some of the highest peaks and roads in the "lower 48".

Mrprez has it figured out.

Many people want everything given to them without any effort on their part.

Like... "could you give me the GPS coordinates of those fishing spots in Wyoming?" How about a "general idea of the river and a road", but someone has to put some effort into making their own discoveries. So, I thought this would be something for those planning to make it out here in June to August and experience what real exploring is about.

Nobody has mentioned of the Forum there are many 14,000+ foot mountains you can drive up to the top. Some individuals or families coming to Colorado might find it interesting. I do. Better bring a rock hammer as there are not only beautiful views but wonderful crystals and minerals can be found, as well.
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:42 PM   #8
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COLORADO 14,000 feet PLUS drives... sans trailer

Question about the rock finding. Can you get in trouble if you find yourself on someone's claim? How would you know if it is a claim?

Have you driven down Black Bear Road into Telluride?
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:52 PM   #9
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Sometimes I just need a little help...
Thank you!
Sounds like a very interesting place to explore. Perhaps your post actually got me thinking...
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Old 12-21-2014, 09:17 PM   #10
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Perhaps the original poster authors while indulging in Colorado's latest contribution to, shall we say, more liberal pursuits.



Which, of course, should be expected to produce elevated effects at high altitude.


Puns intended, of course.


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Old 12-22-2014, 11:56 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=mrprez;1557028]Question about the rock finding. Can you get in trouble if you find yourself on someone's claim? How would you know if it is a claim?
******
Claims that are active will be posted with signs or a gate and locked. If you are looking through tailings and not digging in an inactive prospect or closed mine shaft... which are every where... no one will complain.

If you have watched the Weather Channels prospecting programs, some of it is pure... fiction. Drama with some results. There is National Forest land that can be accessed to collect Amazonite, smokey quartz crystals that are public domain and open to surface hunt and dig, if you fill your diggings afterwards. Many Colorado Gem Trails type paper backs have maps on how to find these places in Colorado. South of Devils's Head has Topaz and quartz crystals. You can also find camping spots for trailers that 25 foot and smaller can easily fit into.

Gold panning for fine gold is open to those with a shovel, a screen to sift larger grit, a five gallon bucket to hold the finer sands and a plastic or metal "gold pan". These books are common and list where and how. You will get $50 worth of exercise, $50 worth of entertainment, $50 of fresh air, appetite and action photographs producing $3 of gold dust. The wide eyes of the kids is worth the $150 investment of time, labor and exercise when those gold specks look like a fortune to anyone under the age of, lets say 80.

The internet is the best place to plan a trip through Colorado and Wyoming. The roads are usually well groomed and welcoming to trailer traffic.

There is a saying I pass on about Colorado's High Country.

"You will enter dry and leave wet." The climate at altitude usually produces evening showers and blue skies during the daytime... just the way it goes.

To avoid Altitude Sickness... try to acclimate the first day or two before heavy activity. It is unpleasant and if you are overly active right away and feel... lousy... get down to a lower elevation and then after you feel better... proceed knowing you will come home with more red blood cells!

This is already getting too long, but each State has its own treasures that deserve mentioning, but I am sticking to Colorado and hoping a few of you visit, explore and tell us all about your visit. The Airstream Spirit should be shared by those who have already blazed a path for those who will follow.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:40 PM   #12
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A few years ago we camped in Lake City, Co and drove some of the 4x4 trails up and over Engineer Pass. We're planning to be back in the area next summer and may just do some others while there. At the campground in Lake City I was asking the owner about the trails and navigating them with my truck ( a long WB Dodge RAM diesel). After looking at my truck he said one route would be no problem but a second route might not be able to handle my truck on the switchbacks. Well we did it. No problem with the switchbacks and a one day trip of a lifetime. Funny story though, later he told me that some of these trails are considered Colorado roads and have route #s that GPS picks up on. He gets calls all the time from RV'ers from over on the west side and their GPS is trying to route them over the jeep trails with trailers and large RV's. A big NO NO there. He tells them they have to go all the way around on the blacktop. After driving these trails I would wonder just how far along would a large RV make it before having second thoughts. There's a point of no return and I hope it would come long before reaching it. I love these high pass trails but some of them are really only for vehicles
( jeeps & smaller) than mine. We'll be there next summer, see ya on the trails.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:47 PM   #13
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Give me a few minutes to gather in the thread.....having driven to Pike's Peak summit three times, from Denver to Keystone in a big moho....crawling over the 11,000-12,000 foot pass with the big rigs to get there, and recently over the pass near Twin Spanish Peaks at about 12,000 feet, road mostly boulders, in a Porsche 996 Cabriolet, I love Colorado. Also, some acreage near El Moro, even with an RV pad..... Be back later.


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Old 12-22-2014, 12:48 PM   #14
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Ray,
Thanks for all the descriptions of Colorado high country. You're making me want to visit!
Thanks!
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