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Old 10-25-2001, 01:28 PM
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Post Gillespie Gulch

On Sunday 10-14-01 my wife and I did Gillespie Gulch in my 99 F-150 Off
Road; all stock except a Detroit c-locker. Originally we were looking
for Lefthand Canyon and then have some fun on spur trails from that.
Being the first time up there, we did not know where any trails were. I
had a forest service map and the printout from 4x4trails.net. We found
a turnoff that seemed to match our map, but we were told that Lefthand
Canyon was on up the road, which later we found out that this trail was
Lefthand Canyon. Turning left towards Ward, we decided to try a trail
that looked like would lead us to Gold Lake. We entered this trail from
the Rowena side, but didn't know what trail it was. Immediately off the
road is a pretty rough trail. About ? of a mile into the run, we came
upon a steep hill with a nice big rock at the top. There were 3 ways to
travel up the incline. I tried the left first, because that was the
best way over the rock. I could get within 15 ft. of the rock, but
would spin out and stop there beacause of loose dusty dirt. I tried the middle fork of the trail
next. I made it to the rock, with no problem, but getting over the rock
was still the obstacle. After a couple tries and some skid plate
grinding, I made it up. The trail continues along the side of the
mountain and is still rough. Some places were almost not wide enough
for my truck. As we were about to come out on top, there is this rock
that sticks up out of the road. This obstacle has a little 12"x12"x4'
tall rock tower on the downhill side and not much room to pass between
the tower and the mountain. After almost rolling my truck here, I
decided this is not a place to turn around. The next place was about ?
mi. down the trail. With my loving wife guiding me, we managed to make
it to a turn around spot. Turning around here was no easy task either.
Finally we made it back down to just below the steep hill and ate lunch
there. A few jeepers came down the trail and we talked 4-wheeling.
They saw that someone had tried to turn around at the rock, but couldn't
believe I got that far. "Never again, in this truck" I told them. By
the way they talked it is an easier trip coming from the Jamestown side
and coming down over that rock. I would like to someday try that again,
but only if I have a "toy" built for the job. I ended up with a lot
more skid plate dents and a leaky axle pumpkin, but nothing a little silicon
won't fix. I have honestly never been more scared to lose my truck then

4x4trails.net is a great website. I have gotten some good
use out of it and I point people in that direction when they are looking
for other trails. Thanks for the good work!
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Old 11-07-2001, 04:54 PM
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Wow. You are lucky to have made it, more than a few people have rolled at that spot. The trail you were on is called Nugget Hill, and the obstacle is termed "The Rock." I have seen people do it both up and down, but I never tried it stock. Now that I am lifted I will probably give it a shot. As you continued forward you linked up with Gillespie Gulch and that is the way out.

I am not sure if you were looking for the trail that goes to Gold Lake, but that is 102J, and does link up to where you were. It was closed a couple years ago by the Boulder County Commisioners.

'99 TJ "Big Jeep"
'98 ZJ "Little Jeep"
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Old 11-09-2001, 09:28 AM
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The Rock can be done in a stock CJ and TJ with 31" tires. It took some carefull spotting and placement but we made it. The TJ did it without hangup and made it to the top. My CJ caught once on the ubolts. Just a slight change of line and up we went. I have to say that this was by far the scariest part. My CJ is my daily driver and I thought for sure I was going to do some body damage or break some drivetrain components.
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Old 11-09-2001, 11:15 AM
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Beowulf - Which side did you come from? It was a pretty rought trip in my truck and I ended up with a lot more dents in the skid plates, but that's what they are for! Happy Trails!!
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Old 11-09-2001, 12:26 PM
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Red face

I have taken a near stock fullsize '86 Bronco UP through the rock before. My Bronco had about 3" lift, 33" Swamper radials & open diffs. First time I drove elegantly over the rock but spun out on loose stuff just beyond that. About a year later I struggled with it for quite a while, jammed drivers door into rock pretty good & my power steering pump squealed like a stuck pig because my front wheels were jammed in a full crank position for about 15 mins.. Both times I needed to be winched for a ways after I got past the rock, a locker/lockers would have gotten me all the way up. Pretty tight for a fullsize, especially long wheel base.
This is definitely no place to go alone, glad you got back safe!
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Old 11-09-2001, 12:29 PM
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We came up from Rowena. Just that begining part seems steep once you get off the road. Then that rock slope just past the mine . Though we did scrap a little on our Tcase skids once we hit that first nasty part but we lucked out and didn't get hung up.

We have done the trail from Jamestown up Gillispe Gulch and that is pretty good too. An old shack is up the trail just after the mine. At this point the trail becomes incredible steep. It used to loop around to Gold lake and connect to 102J but it is closed off at the Gold Lake tavern and 102J is closed off in Ward. The only loop available is the Rowen / Jamestown route.

[This message has been edited by Beowulf (edited 11-09-2001).]
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