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!