Hi all - I'm moving to the AF Academy next month and considering where to live. I want to be in the mountains so I'm definitely looking west of I-25, but if I can find some reliable Jeep trails from Woodland Park to the Academy then I might live out there. It's not that far if I can cross the mountains, and I know that for a few months in the winter I'll probably have to drive an hour to take the highway thru the pass, but that might be worth it if my daily commute for 9-10 months a year is over Jeep trails.
The topos I have of Saylor Park don't cover the whole route, and the topos on the websites I've looked at aren't detailed enough to show if the old double-tracks connect anywhere to the east. There should be at least one trail that comes out on Mt Herman road, I think. I'd rather it come right onto USAFA property but those are probably gated anyway.
For capabilities, I have an '02 Wrangler w/ 3" Rusty's Advanced Lift, 33x12.50, stock axles w/o lockers, no winch. Looking for a trail, even a rough one, rather than rock-crawling to work...I still have to be there on time!
Thanks for any help!
IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER
I lived in the Springs about 10 years ago. It seems like there was a road that came out to the east but if I remember right it was blocked off for some reason. I'll see if any of my old maps show anything.
I don't think you can enter the AF academy any way except through the north or south entrances off I25. Other than hiking that is. I live in Monument and it takes a long time to get to Woodland Park over Mt Herman road and Rampart Range Road. I would not want to drive those regularly.
foggybottombob is correct-there's no way into the USAFA except through the 2 main gates. I grew up in Woodland Park & know the Rampart Range area very well-Mt.Herman road is the only east-west thru road in that area. That area is a maze of trails, but they all dead-end up in the hills.
I live in WP, and there is a road that goes from rampart and ends in the middle of 'garden of the gods.' It's a pretty cool road and can get rough during winter.
That is Rampart Range Road. I think it is national forest road 300. It more or less parallels Hwy 24 but it would take at least 4 times as long to get to COS on Rampart Range Road as it does to go Hwy 24.
Rampart Range road goes from Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs & runs north to connect with CO 67 west of the town of Sedalia, with a side branch that goes west down into Woodland Park. Mt Herman road connects to Rampart Range Rd just north of Woodland Park. Rampart Range road isn't maintained in the winter south of Eagle Lake camp-be careful driving it in winter. I got stuck in a snowdrift near the Pikes Peak overlook one time & had to walk out-not fun!
I live in Monument and it takes about the same amount of time for me to go up over Mt. Herman as it does to head down to the springs on 25 and hit 24. The drive on Mt. Herman is pretty nice and there re TONS of trails that branch off.
After moving here and driving the trails again, Mt Herman Road is the one I was thinking of. I've made the drive a few times (in good weather) and take the kids up there shooting sometimes (why can't people clean up after themselves...shotgun shells, brass, and clay pigeons everywhere...even a shot-up TV and washing machine). All of your advice was right on - that would be slow going in any kind of bad weather. I ended up in Monument.
I moved to Colorado mid-Dec, and took my 10y/o camping on 23 Dec while we were still in the hotel...had to bring my camping stuff with me! Here's a pic from that trip. It got down to 2 below.
Re: USAFA being a base, it used to have all kinds of open Jeep trails and you could come and go at will. They didn't even stop people at the front gate b/c of all the tourism. That changed after 9/11, but there are still days when huge chunks of the base are open access (where they don't check IDs)...usually sporting events and concerts. All the Jeep trails are now marked "No POV" and "Authorized Vehicles Only." No fun.
Thanks for all the input in this thread...it helped us narrow down the locations when we got here.
IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER