Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route By Jeep & Ram Rebel

Berserker

New member
Hey guys! I'm excited to finally share one of my adventures with you. My trip was in October but it took me until now to finish my video.

The Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route (COBDR) is a 675-mile pensive tour through Colorado. It’s like the Baskin Robbins of adventure travel- you flavor every biome. It can be done in any stock 4x4 over a long weekend, but you’ll want a week to savor Colorado’s majesty. I did the route with Rich Young, a co-host of the 4x4 Podcast. He drove a 2017 Dodge Rebel with a 5.7L Hemi on stock suspension and Toyo Open Country ATs tires. I have a 2013 JKU Rubicon with a 2.5” Metalcloak lift and 34x10.5r17” BFGoodrich KO2 tires. Rich slept in the back of his truck and I had my Freespirit Recreation rooftop tent.

We camped North of Montrose, near Upper Dome Reservoir, at Twin Lakes, Lynx Campground, and a truck stop parking lot.

We ran the trail South to North, starting in Ouray and ending in Steamboat Springs. We didn't have time to run the entire state-to-state route. Being mid-October, Colorado was in full Fall Foliage mode, with trees a burning gold color. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was interesting watching the terrain and climate change as we drove north. We started in warm and arid mountains and ended in snowy ski slopes. I'm going to do the trip again next year with my wife but only run the portion that's south of I-70 because it's more scenic and warm (a must for my wife).

After this trip I discovered my Jeep's head gasket was compromised, a full 2,000 miles after overheating on I-70 at the end of the video. I ended up having my engine and transmission replaced and the axles re-geared from 4.10's to 4.88's. The replacement is a 2015 engine and transmission with 46k miles. I had the transmission replaced because my original transmission was giving me trouble. My Jeep is a heavy pig so I had the gears changed so I'd have passing power on the highway and more torque on the trail. Mounted, my "34" inch KO2's measure an astounding 31.5". My tiny tires matched with such deep gearing means my Jeep is a mountain goat on the trails! In 4-Lo and 1st gear at 3k rpm's I can walk faster than the Jeep (3k rpm's is where I'm at when doing 70mph in 2wd).

If you have a few minutes, please sit back and enjoy my adventure video and let me know your thoughts on the trip. It really is a well-thought out route.

 

Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
That’s one of the better travel videos I have viewed. Thanks for putting it together.

I have done most of the COBDR and plan to finish it late next July. We did the section from I-70 way up into Wyoming two years ago enroute to view the eclipse. Then last year we did from Gypsum to Tin Cup where my partner dropped out feeling poorly. So this summer I’m going to tie it all together with a run from the Four Corners to Gunnison to attend the Rocky Mountain Overland Rally August 1-4.


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Berserker

New member
Thank you for watching. I enjoy producing videos as much as the going on the trip itself.

We wanted to start in the Four Corners but didn't have enough time allotted for the trip to do so. My favorite section was between Buena Vista and Gypsum. It felt the most secluded and had more forest to explore.
 

Jermgallo

New member
Thank you for watching. I enjoy producing videos as much as the going on the trip itself.

We wanted to start in the Four Corners but didn't have enough time allotted for the trip to do so. My favorite section was between Buena Vista and Gypsum. It felt the most secluded and had more forest to explore.
i just got a LR4 would this be able to make it without much trouble or would need a serious 4x4 to make it? Just not sure how technical it can get, also looking for more information on the route. great vid btw.
 

Berserker

New member
i just got a LR4 would this be able to make it without much trouble or would need a serious 4x4 to make it? Just not sure how technical it can get, also looking for more information on the route. great vid btw.
The first section we took, from Ouray to Lake City, had us traversing Corkscrew Pass, California Pass, and Cinnamon Pass. All three are basically gravel roads. Even when wet the passes weren't slippery, the ground hard and compacted. This is the most scenic portion of the route.

Lake City to our first camp and then on to Buena Vista were maintained roads and a few blacktops through forest. There are a few rocky bits on Hankcock pass, the worst of which are in the video. This section is between Pitkin and Buena Vista. You'll be fine with proper wheel placement. There was one particularly steep climb just before the trail crosses the Chaffee & Gunnison National Forest boundaries that you'll want to walk before attempting but again, you shouldn't have issues.

Just past Buena Vista the track takes you through a sandy OHV area. We drove an hour in on road 311 before coming to an "Area Closed" sign and had to turn back, taking highway 24 North to camp at Twin Lakes. Check with local land management if that area is still closed when you go. If anything, the OHV area is still a cool place to spend a few hours exploring. It was dry when we went through and the sand wasn't anything to cause worry (so no traction mats needed there).

Hagerman Pass had a few rocky sections with hard/easy lines. On the North side of the Continental Divide there was a somewhat bouldery section of downward trail that you'll need to be careful on to avoid rocker panel damage, but it's definitely possible to get through in your rig without hurting anything.

After that it's just maintained roads that their difficulty depends on how dry they are. It was raining when we went through and the Ram was sliding around a bit but managed.

Overall, I say go for it and have a blast. There's nothing you can't handle on the track as long as you take your time and drive methodically through the few technical sections. Most of the intel I found on the route was from moto guys, so obviously we'll have an easier time compared to them.

Check this site for more route info and map resources (paper/downloadable): COBDR
 

Jermgallo

New member
The first section we took, from Ouray to Lake City, had us traversing Corkscrew Pass, California Pass, and Cinnamon Pass. All three are basically gravel roads. Even when wet the passes weren't slippery, the ground hard and compacted. This is the most scenic portion of the route.

Lake City to our first camp and then on to Buena Vista were maintained roads and a few blacktops through forest. There are a few rocky bits on Hankcock pass, the worst of which are in the video. This section is between Pitkin and Buena Vista. You'll be fine with proper wheel placement. There was one particularly steep climb just before the trail crosses the Chaffee & Gunnison National Forest boundaries that you'll want to walk before attempting but again, you shouldn't have issues.

Just past Buena Vista the track takes you through a sandy OHV area. We drove an hour in on road 311 before coming to an "Area Closed" sign and had to turn back, taking highway 24 North to camp at Twin Lakes. Check with local land management if that area is still closed when you go. If anything, the OHV area is still a cool place to spend a few hours exploring. It was dry when we went through and the sand wasn't anything to cause worry (so no traction mats needed there).

Hagerman Pass had a few rocky sections with hard/easy lines. On the North side of the Continental Divide there was a somewhat bouldery section of downward trail that you'll need to be careful on to avoid rocker panel damage, but it's definitely possible to get through in your rig without hurting anything.

After that it's just maintained roads that their difficulty depends on how dry they are. It was raining when we went through and the Ram was sliding around a bit but managed.

Overall, I say go for it and have a blast. There's nothing you can't handle on the track as long as you take your time and drive methodically through the few technical sections. Most of the intel I found on the route was from moto guys, so obviously we'll have an easier time compared to them.

Check this site for more route info and map resources (paper/downloadable): COBDR
Awesome thank you so much for the great intel, I am definitely looking forward to doing this route!
 

Laps

Member
Very well done. I’ll be doing mostly the CDT vehicle route but starting in New Mexico and heading north through Colorado. I also have a 2017 RAM Rebel and it performed superbly last year in Utah.
 

zoomad75

Observer
Nice video. I've covered most of the middle of the route near Beuna Vista and Leadville as it's only 3 hours from my driveway. I do want to hit the area from Cortez to Pitkin this summer though.
 

99Discovery

Adventurer
Very nicely done. I'm surprised you had such issues with the Pentastar. Did you get any warning symptoms of overheating? I know a lot of modern rigs don't throw the alarm until it's "too late" (that's a huge Rover issue stemming back to the D2 days), I was curious if you had any notice ahead of time?
 

Berserker

New member
Very nicely done. I'm surprised you had such issues with the Pentastar. Did you get any warning symptoms of overheating? I know a lot of modern rigs don't throw the alarm until it's "too late" (that's a huge Rover issue stemming back to the D2 days), I was curious if you had any notice ahead of time?
Because the idler pulley blew the serpentine belt came off. I was at highway speeds going uphill with a full load in 3rd gear. With no cooling the engine temp shot up almost instantly, but warning lights did go off. It took me an eighth of a mile to pull over and stop (no power steering). By then a lot of steam was coming out of the engine bay.

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justbecause

perpetually lost
@16:30 thats why I got rid of my rtt and I will never have a soft shell again. In the best of conditions the cover and the zipper are a huge pita, add freezing wet temperatures and the thing isnt manageable.
 
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