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Medano Pass

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by COMiamiFan, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Oct 16, 2016 at 9:40 PM
    #1
    COMiamiFan

    COMiamiFan [OP] New Member

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    Hello All.

    Here are some pics from my excursion in Alamosa, CO visiting Sand Dunes National Park. Pics are from my voyage thru Medano Pass. It's about 20-30 miles from one end to the other. It's rated a class 2 in http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=53. But it was a bit challenging for a long a$$ CM. Thanks @ColoradoTJ for the recommendation!

    Here is the west entrance to the trail. Decided to go west to east leaving the dunes vs coming back and ending in the sand dunes.
    IMG_1921.jpg

    First part of the trail was very sandy. Had to keep low gear and drop into 4HI in some spots since I'm running stock Michelin and started to slide and dig into the soft sand in some deep spots.
    IMG_1924.jpg

    A little tight between 2 trees.
    IMG_1927.jpg

    I counted about 4 water crossings. Deepest one was about 6". Streams are not high this time of the year.
    IMG_1931.jpg IMG_1939.jpg

    Gratuitous Tundra and scenery pics! :D
    IMG_1951.jpg
    IMG_1956.jpg
    IMG_1958.jpg
    IMG_1963.jpg

    Some more scenery pics of the trail
    IMG_1964.jpg

    Old burn area from 2002.
    IMG_1972.jpg

    It was a pretty tight trail. Had to pull my mirrors in sometimes and brushed up against some branches and bushes along the way. Got some CO pin striping along the way. Is that Ice-T? No, it's lemonade man!!:rofl:Sorry. Couldn't help it.
    IMG_1981.jpg

    Made it to the top of the pass!
    IMG_1985.jpg

    Guess what vehicle was arriving at the same time coming from the other direction? Well a Tundra of course!
    IMG_1983.jpg

    Eastern side of the pass was much smoother. No big rocks, water nor steep terrain. Just a lot of down branches from the forest service still clearing part of the burned area.
    IMG_1991.jpg

    Trail on the way up was a little rough on a stock Tundra. Hit some pretty big bumps along the way and the truck was a little to long and wide in some places. There was one spot that took me a few different maneuvers in order to get around 2 large boulders on each side of the trail. There are no hairpin turns to worry about in a CM. There were some spots where the skid plate hit pretty good, but did not bend in any spots; no bad for a stock skid plate. N-Fabs on the other hand got hit pretty good 3 or 4 times along the trail:
    IMG_2111.jpg
    They ended up dented and scratched as you can see. I have the 6 step bars, so front and middle got hit with the front one dented (on both sides). Oh well. Adds character I guess. Best thing I did (by luck) was travel the trail west to east. I think if I would have gone the other way and end at the dunes, the front of the truck would have taken a beating for sure due to the weight up front with the engine and not having the clearance for more down travel.

    Was a fun trail for sure. And another positive was that my wife finally realized how a lift would have helped and I should have one :thumbsup: It was a win-win!

    Happy trails.
     
    matluth, PMG, RowdyRon and 9 others like this.
  2. Oct 16, 2016 at 10:08 PM
    #2
    Fireace

    Fireace New Member

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    Fantastic trip! Love Colorado
     
    COMiamiFan and ColoradoTJ like this.
  3. Oct 16, 2016 at 10:34 PM
    #3
    joonbug

    joonbug mmmm.....bacon...

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    :eek: Holy crap
     
  4. Oct 17, 2016 at 12:35 AM
    #4
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ I'm a boob guy.

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    Awesome! Glad you took it. Sucks about the damage though. I never received any. Lucky I guess. (I didn't have N-Fabs though either)

    Believe it or not, I have seen cars on that trail coming out of the sand dunes going East. I thought they were NUTS! Seen one Accord and a bunch of Subaru's. Crazy huh?

    Did you get a chance to look at property when you reached Westcliffe? You were so very close to the mountain property. Well, you have the address. Once in Wesclif, about 15 miles down highway 69 to Copper Gulch Road. When you were down at the Sand Dunes, not really to far from @matluth little slice of heaven.

    I assume you took HY96 back out of Wescliff? That is a beautiful pass. Prefect time to stop at Bishops Castle if you have time.
    Another cool way out is taking Oak Creek Grade out of Wescliff. This puts you into Dawson's Ranch in Canon City. It is 30+ miles of dirt road in the mountains. Just awesome.

    Sounds like you had a great time. Nice to see another soft topper guy!!!
     
  5. Oct 17, 2016 at 7:17 AM
    #5
    COMiamiFan

    COMiamiFan [OP] New Member

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    Nah. Didn't have time to check out properties. That's gonna have to be another trip. Will check out Dawson's Ranch one of these days. Sounds like a nice drive.

    I only saw some Subaru's on the first part of the trail. Saw one jeep Cherokee and one Nissan Frontier. Other than that, not much else on the trail since it was a weekday. Which was nice; nothing but you and the road.

    Yeah, went with soft top this time. Taco had a hard shell. Was cool, but PITA to remove when you need an open back again. So opted for the soft top so I could put on or remove in minutes. And stores nicely in the garage too. Thanks for the reco on the trail. Will reach out when I need more ideas if I'm in that part of the state again.
     
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