Explore the most popular off road driving trails in Colorado with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful trail!! Perfect hike for getting fully immersed in the San Juans. Uncompahgre is a unique, funky, and photogenic mountain and is, for the most part, a Class 1 walk-up. Perfect for novice-to-intermediate 14er hikers. Near the top is a gnarly, steep Class 2 (borderline Class 3) crux. When you get to this part (you'll know it when you see it), I recommend taking the route to the left of the rock tower, not the one to the right. It's less steep. The good news is that it's short.

The Nellie Creek 4WD road to the trailhead is no joke. Large rocks, creek crossings, tight hairpin turns, and dips. High clearance is mandatory-- my Jeep Liberty has 8" of clearance and still scraped bottom more times than I would have liked. Good news is that the creek crossings are running low right now-- about 3" for the first crossing and about 4" for the second crossing.

Not much traffic and some really nice obstacles.

off road driving
16 hours ago

Super fun beautiful drive. Started from Jefferson and came down into Breck. I did it without issue in a lifted Tacoma, but my buddy drove his stock Ridgeline down without issue as well, (just a little extra heat to the breaks). I regret that I may have left our doggy bowls at the peak.

off road driving
17 hours ago

easy. beautiful.

off road driving
18 hours ago

It's not a very long trail and not very difficult. It's probably a good challenge for a stock 4x4. I have also done this trail in the winter. That's a little more fun the ice can lead to a challenge and some Carnegie if your not careful.

off road driving
18 hours ago

This trail was great first trail that’s gave my Jeep Cherokee a little challenge since I’ve been in Colorado. Lots and lots of ATVs and dirt bikes watch out because they will fly around the blind corners like no body’s business. The trail was great once you get a little over 300 yards from the top there is a great view of the saint Mary’s glacier. There are two spots there that I wish I would have had a bigger lift on my Jeep but we were able to get through it no problems. The trail was a lot of rock I mean 85% rocky roads and 5% dirt and mud 10% boulders. You don’t need to go there and back if you just go out on Jeep road to mine road to Fall River road you will be back on I70. Over all had a blast would definitely do it again and explore more of the trails around it. Make sure you bring a map or down load the map from here you will lose service most of the trail.

98 Jeep Cherokee 2.5 lift 31 grabbers open diff
Been off roading over 10 years across AZ

hiking
23 hours ago

Trail is 3.6 miles round trip, not one way, so half as long and twice as steep as expected. If you can drive to the first, small parking area you can make it to the second, larger one just beyond. The sign is a little ambiguous; see pic. Nice hike, pretty views. I recommend a trekking pole and no children in backpacks, due to steepness.

scenic driving
1 day ago

even though this is a road i would rate it moderate, just based on how rough the rocks are in the road on one side of the pass.

if you go up the leadville side its a nice and windy dirt road with great views and some neat camping spots.

however... once you approach the top and on the east section after the pass its a rocky road from hell. i was aired down to 18lbs on 33's and it was still miserable. unavoidable softball sized rocks jutting out of the road everywhere and the occasional sneaky series of potholes and washboards. just the perfect amount of bumpy to force you to go slow on what would otherwise be a 10/15 mph road.

camping
1 day ago

First off, if you plan on driving the road...it is rough. I'd really recommend high clearance. We did it in a Tacoma with added suspension 4X4 and it was still pretty slow going as the road is very rocky, very narrow and steep in places.

That being said, the lake is gorgeous and you can hike the road if you don't want to drive it. This is probably what we'd do next time. We hauled our stuff in and camped at the lake. Most of the other groups camped by their cars at the top of the road, so you can do that as well.

There was a lot of broken glass where groups had camped by the lake, which was a bummer, especially having so many dogs around. We tried to clean up what we saw, but it some places it looked like people were actually shooting glass bottles, so be careful when walking around!

All-in-all a nice lake...very pretty, but for those seeking a bit more solitude, I'd go elsewhere--since you are able to drive to the top there were a lot of big groups, ton of off-leash dogs, etc. But if you want somewhere to bring a paddle board, pack raft, with the family that isn't an off-the-highway kind of place, this lake is the place!

the toilet was nice to see after a long walk, protien bars and water

on Iron Chest Mine

hiking
1 day ago

The dog's name is Bentley. Also goes by Bear & Brad. This info is posted in BV all around town. I hope he's found!

off road driving
1 day ago

did the full loop. recommend some good shocks, tires and height for smoother ride lots of rocks that make it bumpy. moderate is some areas and easy in others. easy to get lost and watch your signs overall great trail! stock jku rubi

off road driving
1 day ago

Took my Wrangler up with no issues, I’ve got a 2.5” lift and 33s and I didn’t have any issues with clearance. Hackett rock got a little technical but as long as you pick a good line it’s far from impossible. Wouldn’t be easy without experience and I recommend (as always) don’t go up alone.

scenic driving
1 day ago

I will never get tired of this drive. I do get tired of the growing crowds though. A small inconvenience to deal with while enjoying the Colorado Gold. Heads-up. Lets practice good road and trail etiquette here, especially during leaf peeping. Many thanks from a CO native.

off road driving
2 days ago

This drive wasn't super scary or spectacular. The ruts in the road were pretty bad. The old mining sites and dredges, as well as the semi-ghost town of Nevadaville was interesting. Basically, this is a mellower route to take from Idaho Springs to Central City.

Beautiful not to difficult to hike up to the waterfall drive up on a 2015 Jeep Wrangler made it up fine

Absolute Favorite Fall Drive!

hiking
2 days ago

One of the best 'Colorado Gold' Autumn spectator roads to travel. Great old mining dredges too.

WOW. This is definitely one of my favorite hikes and I will hope to be doing this one again before the snow flies. Loads of wildflowers and several water crossings. The trail follows the river, so there you get to enjoy the sound of rushing water the entire way. My 7 and 10 year old hiked 6 miles no problem. Lovely family friendly hike. Lots of dogs. Please keep them on a leash as we had a few encounters with some overly friendly dogs.

Pay the $7.00 to use the toilets at the campground. It is worth it and clean! Best kept vault bathrooms I've seen!

trail running
2 days ago

Great trail, lots of hills

hiking
2 days ago

There is a missing dog on this trail. He is a one yr old goldendoodle. He was ejected from a Jeep. The red Jeep is still there. Please be on the lookout. This was a fatality and rollover down the mountain about 600 ft. At about 11000 ft. The family is from Kansas and desperately are hoping he can be found. He ran down the hill after the accident on 8/7. He is still missing as of 8/15/18. Please call Teema at 316 304 1055.

He is friendly but please do not chase him. Sit quietly and offer food. The St Elmo general
Store is familiar, or you can take him to Buena Vista Humane Society. There are also locals that could take him and get him back to his owner in Kansas. We also would like to get him to a vet ASAP.. He was last seen w a possibly blue collar one. He is microchipped. Thanks for looking!
I will take this down when found.....

There are very large boulders and rocks to negotiate in the beginning, but it gets better. Pretty steep hike. Not marked well but beautiful views. I wouldn’t drive up this. It’s narrow in many places and not easy to turn around. I saw some can ams struggling over the rocks.. The rock is marked w tape where the lady tried to go around and rolled.. very narrow there..

off road driving
2 days ago

Great trail ride for beginners with amazing views that can be enjoyed by all! Not sure what made this a blue trail, there were a couple rough patches but have confidence factory Jeeps and 4Runners/Tacomas would make the trip without spotters. For comparison, we were in my fiancé’s lifted TRD Pro 4Runner on 285’s and did not scrape or rub anywhere, did not use spotters, and didn’t really have to pick a “safe/easy” line. She loved seeing all the pikas, marmots, and chipmunks. There are several spurs we didn’t explore sticking to the main trail mostly but we will be back to see more. I mean there were still Ice caps in August, how cool. We caught a sleet storm, so take jackets and some warmer clothes even if it’s hot before you arrive.

hiking
2 days ago

Great day not a cloud in sight. Smoke from the California wild fires was very prevalent. First time this hiking season that I wore a short sleeve t-shirt over 12,000’ even the slight breeze felt refreshing because it was a hot day.
Ran into 40 people who were doing memorial hike for Peter McInerney

The road was in good shape and it’s a very good workout.

Views were mostly blocked by the smoke.

hiking
2 days ago

drove up the road in a Chevy van rear wheel drive. as long as you have decent clearance you can make it. We camped and hiked up devil's thumb across the ridge and down to kings lake.

off road driving
3 days ago

Went through the trail in my 2016 Tacoma TRD Off-Road with 35 inch tires, and 6 inch lift. The trail had some difficult parts that took awhile to get out of. It also had some narrow sections where if your vehicle was and bigger than a Tacoma you might have a higher risk of scratches, so be advised. Over all the trail was fun and had the right amount of challenge. Would not recommend for a beginner, but it wouldn’t be impossible. On the trail we also came across two bull moose so keep an eye out for wildlife as you go.

off road driving
3 days ago

Fantastic drive. Lots to see. People are polite

Completed this hike in mid-August with a few novice hikers. I was a bit nervous about the elevation gain since the beginners weren’t totally acclimated but they ended up crushing the whole trail right up to the summit! A great hike for everyone.

We started the hike around 8:00am and finished around 12:30. We were in a small SUV and decided to park at the second fork before the main parking area at the trailhead which added around a quarter mile to the hike. Any 4WD vehicle with decent clearance should have no problem getting to the main parking lot. Ideally, I would have preferred to start closer to 6:30 as the greater part of the hike out wasn’t shaded and it ended up getting pretty warm. The trail is short but really steep and the last half mile is up/down some gnarly scree but there’s no scrambling required. Overall, I’d say this trail is more moderate for experienced hikers and difficult but doable for beginners. Beautiful scenery on way up and panoramic views from the top. Highly recommended!

off road driving
3 days ago

Supper fun don’t go up without an 3+ inch lift and 33s unless you look for mild damage

off road driving
4 days ago

It was beautiful in a few stopping places, but mostly just driving on rocks between trees and bushes, so unlike Shelf Road to get there (which is gorgeous but easy) this drive isn't really about seeing much. Instead, it's about crawling around of the rocks. So it depends on what you're looking for. I did have fun, but it was definitely more difficult than I was originally intending to do since I was going solo. It gets pretty narrow in places with some slanted sections that were tricky, and it left quite a few pinstripes. (Stock 2015 Xterra 4X4)

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