Stock ride trail recommendations in CO


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I've got a 2014 Taco 4wd sport; I'd rather not dump a ton of money into something I'll probably have to unload when I PCS next fall, but I would like to take a trip out to Colorado and do some light overlanding/camping/general exploring sometime next spring or summer. Ouray, Silverton, and eagleton are all on the long list of cool towns I'd like to check out, but I'm definitely open to everyone's ideas. I'm currently stationed in Florida (join the Navy, see I-10), so this flatlander is excited any time I see terrain higher than splash mountain at Disneyland.

Any recommendations as far as fun trails with decent camping opportunities, cool towns to explore, good hikes that are still accessible to a bone stock (i'll probably throw new tires on my truck, as I despise the dunlops that are on it right now) Tacoma?

Love the forum, especially the builds. I drool mostly. Still making payments on a truck limits my willingness to take it out and really put it through its paces, but I'd love to hear your guys recommendations on places worth seeing! Thanks.
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Ouray, lake city, silverton etc .. All the San Juan trails can be done with a stock 4x4.
I second! Just got back from Lake City. We ran Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass in a 2014 4Runner TE with 3" Icon lift. We saw plenty of stock Tacoma's and 4Runners on the trails and they didn't have any troubles. Just take it easy on the switchbacks.



Yup. Literally hundreds of trails that can be done in CO in a stock taco. The Lake City loop over Engineer and cinnamon passes will not disappoint. I agree with above that if I was driving all that way, I'd make the Lake City Area my destination.


Wiffleball Batter
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Anything rated 3 or under is a piece of cake. As for camping, there are campgrounds all over the state and in most National Forests and BLM land you can camp off the side of the road pretty much anyplace that's not specifically posted otherwise.


I have a 2013 toyota tacoma TRD Off Road with Duratracs and just got back from Ouray and Telluride. Most of the trails are pretty smooth as long as you have experience going off road. Black Bear pass has one spot that made me sweat a little but other than that you'll be fine. Definitely get some good off road tires and don't try to flex your stuff when it rains up there.

I camped down at the bottom of the mountain in Ouray. It's $10 a night camping at the foot of the road that eventually leads to Yankee Boy Basin. Lots to see and be sure to check out Imogene Pass. Lots of fun!!!



A stock Tacoma will handle anything in the San Juans with the exception of Poughkeepsie Gulch. Steer clear of that one.
If you head to Silverton via Durango/550 I recommend Lime Creek Road 30 miles north of Durango at the base of coal bank pass. Its kind of lesser known in comparison to the high alpine trails of Silverton and Ouray but it's a great little detour with good camping spots. There is a meadow that everyone and there brother camps at about 1/4 mile in. (for good reason its beautiful) It is 12 miles pavement to pavement where it reconnects with 550 north at the foot of Molas pass. There are some great mellow hikes along the way, beaver ponds 3 miles in on your right, or Spud Lake which is about a 2 mile R/T hike, trailhead leaving from the opposite side of the road as the beaver ponds. There is a good camp site with a pit toilet about 6 miles in after china wall down by Lime Creek that is usually less crowded due to being much more isolated from the Hwy.
This is a very scenic drive and good introduction to driving in the area also a good sounding board. If you find it easy and want more of a challenge then proceed north to Silverton. If you find any part of it to be intimidating or uncomfortable, you might want to stick to the pavement. (Red Mountain pass still brings a smile to my face and I've lived here all my life)
Little piece of history, Lime creek road used to be the main road from Durango to Silverton prior to construction of the main Highway popularly known as million dollar highway.

That is my recommendation for an easy, introductory trail for a "flat lander" as you say. There is almost endless exploring in the hills above Silverton and equally endless information, but Lime Creek isn't well known and is a good fit for you. As others mentioned check and there is a good guide book:

Cheers, and good luck.
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i can say that u will scrape your frame in a few spots in our region if you dont take it slow...i drive my stock 1 ton all over the hills out here and it works just fine...check my pics of many of the passes in the san juans... snow is here and the driving season will come to an end very soon....


I just returned from the area as well. Went over cinnamon pass (side trip to American basin) from lake city to silverton. Then drove the million dollar highway to ouray (great town). Then took corkscrew gulch/pass (AWESOME VIEWS) back - sort of - to silverton and then stony pass over to creede (another cool town). I ran this in a stock but slightly oversized tire Ram 2500 crew can diesel 4x4. No real ground clearance or performance issues but the length was an issue on some of the switchbacks.

Caution: stay focused on the road and the trails. Pay attention to the weather and the driving surface). I'm a flat lander as well - in Oklahoma in most spots if you drop a tire off the edge of the road it's no big deal or you get stuck in a wheat field. You do that up on the trails in Colorado and you and your family are dead. Not trying to scare you, but put up the cell phone and pay attention!


Oh, and I was strongly cautioned against the very first part of Engineer's Pass on the ouray side. Apparently the weather has taken it's toll on the area and the ledges are steep and claiming lots of tires and such. You may wanna skip this portion. There's still plenty of beautiful places to explore.


they were up ion imogene and black bear working on that type of issue... weather is great trails are still passable...i'm sure they will send some road crews up for some fall work... they were up with a dozer on hurricane this time last year...


I did the whole Alpine loop on my bike in early July and the only spot that would give me concern would be the final push up to Cinnamon Pass coming from Lake City and as mentioned earlier the beginning of Engineer Pass. I did the same route 3 years ago later in the season and it was fine but this year it was pretty chopped up.

Maybe some locals can chime in here and let us know if/when the FS does any maintenance on these roads during the summer?

Either way, you should have no issues in a stock height toyota, just take your time and be kind to us Motorcycle riders:).... Most everyone in Jeeeps or other 4WD vehicles were really nice but some of the quads not so much...

Cheers, James