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Old 07-04-2020, 05:04 PM   #11
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Anywhere! But Dinosaur in the NW was skeeter heaven around this time a couple years ago!
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:01 PM   #12
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Ya, skeeters we’re relentless a few weeks ago just East of Dinosaur in the medicine bow natl forest area.....if you’re willing to venture a bit further North/East, the snowy range in WY was really beautiful, lots of dispersed camping in natl forest, no crowds and no skeeters!
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by crob0221 View Post
Darnit. Well we will have to save that pass for another adventure. Im officially deterred. Thanks for the info
If you haven't been out there you have a lot to learn. Imogene is just one of many, many great passes and trails in the area. It is tough, in my opinion, but doable in an SMB. Much more enjoyable in a Jeep. If I were you I would start in Ouray and go up Camp Bird Mine Rd. all the way to the high clearance/short wheel base cutoff near the lake at Yankee Boy Basin. If that hasn't gotten your attention then head up Imogene. It cuts off this road. So many great roads and trails in the area though and on the Alpine Loop nearby.

Some easier ones that are just as scenic:

Owl Creek Pass (easy)
Ophir Pass (easy)
Last Dollar Rd. (easy)
Camp Bird/Yankee Boy as mentioned (moderate to difficult up top).
....and these haven't even touched the Alpine Loop which has more trails and passes than you'll ever have time for in one trip.
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:11 AM   #14
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My wife and I just did a week through Colorado in our Sportsmobile last month. I would not recommend Imogene Pass in a Sportsmobile, particularly if you are traveling alone. The switchbacks on the backside going down into Telluride are tight turns. I've seen videos with jeeps that have to go to the edge of the cliff on the switchbacks and then back up in order to make the turn. A SMB might be too long to make those turns.

On our trip, we really didn't do too much backroad travel because there are so many scenic byways through Colorado that are paved. We basically saw everything we wanted to see without having to stray too far from the main roads. Unfortunately, when we went things were still pretty much closed because of COVID-19. The state had just loosened up the restrictions the day we started, but most places remained closed then. All of the museums we wanted to see were closed. All of the sites at the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument were closed. Everything may be open now, but businesses in Colorado were very strict about wearing masks. So make sure you have them with you.
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:00 AM   #15
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I would recommend the Alpine Loop (Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass). Much friendlier for bigger vehicles and beautiful. I didn't do it in my SMB, but I have done it in a Syncro Westy and 82 Subaru. Start early to avoid the hordes of guided ATV tours.
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Old 07-09-2020, 01:01 PM   #16
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In 2008 I attended a SMB rally in Colorado. One of our excursions was Cinnamon Pass. When we got to the top there was a guy in shorts and flip flops sitting on his Honda Goldwing. He had just come up from Telluride. I kid you not! To this day I am amazed he made it. Lots of tight switchbacks. Scenery is gorgeous.
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:13 PM   #17
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If you're in the area, consider the drive up to Crystal Mill from Marble. The trail is narrow, so you'll want to go on a weekday when you're less likely to encounter traffic from jeep tours and such. Otherwise, I wouldn't say it's terribly challenging--my wife drove up and I drove down, and neither of us have any real off-road experience. The only tough part was passing a full size truck that impatiently came down the hill and tried to pass us through a narrow section. Inches to spare with an RB! Had he just waited 100ft up the trail, it was wide and flat...

Crystal Mill itself is beautiful even with the wires that now hold the disintegrating wood structure together, and I once read it's the second most sought after photo in CO (after the Maroon Belles). The road continues on through the town of Crystal and winds its way to Crested Butte via Schofield Pass, or you can do a loop including Lead King Basin, Devil’s Punchbowl, and Sheep Mountain, but I haven't done either of those and can't speak to whether they'd be good in a van. While you're in Marble, be sure to drive up to the Marble quarry as well.



Another beautiful spot to visit is Alta Lakes above Telluride. The road is non-challenging, wide enough for passing in most places, and passes through the ghost town of Alta.



The scariest part is the narrow section right off the highway--wide enough for only one vehicle with a dropoff on one side--but again, not challenging. Like Crystal, shoot for a weekday--it's quite popular, and you'll see why. Great place to camp if you can find a spot, and bring a SUP if you have one!



And if you're in Telluride, you should of course visit Bridal Veil Falls.

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Old 07-09-2020, 04:53 PM   #18
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When I was a kid we used to hike into Crystal from Maroon Lake and stay with friends who owned The Crystal Club, the mining era dance hall and "gentleman's" club there.


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Old 07-09-2020, 10:18 PM   #19
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Haha, nice! I'm embarrassed to admit that we didn't even see the town of Crystal--we just stopped at the Mill. Oh well, next time!
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Old 07-10-2020, 10:27 AM   #20
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Oh please don't try Schofield Pass in a van. Really difficult enough in a skinny Jeep. Nasty little section in the Punchbowl area.
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