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Jeep & Camping Trip Pictures to Colorado

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Below are a lot of pictures from my recent two week Jeep and camping trip to Colorado. This was my first visit with my TJ in it's 'stage one' setup. Well it took three days to reach our final destination of Ridgway, Colorado for a total of 3,200 miles at an average 13 mpg. I didn't do any tough trails and didn't get in all that I wanted, but I do have to say that my TJ certainly drives better off-road and I can't wait for the next trip!

Here is the TJ packed. It was stuffed! A tent, two sleep bags and pads, a cooler, winch supplies, tools and two duffle bags for clothes and camping supplies. I also had to strap several chairs in a duffle bag to the spare tire. We have two dachshunds that had their bed above the gear on a rack. The next time I'm going to have a small trailer for the camping gear.

Once we arrived in Denver I planned to drive several easy trails on the day we drove to our camp site near Marble, CO. The first stop was Jones Pass that crosses the Continental Divide.

Unfortunately we had to park the Jeep just below the divide due to a snow drift still running over the top.

We then drove down Shrine Pass on the south side of Vail, which was also an easy, scenic trail.

We then arrived at our campsite along the Crystal river. Thanks to tube yj for the recommendation to camp at the Bogan Flats Campground. Looks like we had the same spot!

Fortunately the first night camping we had our tent setup just in time as it started to rain and rained until midnight. What was cool was the front area of our new tent as my wife and I were able to sit on chairs and drink beer and eat jerky out of the rain since having a fire was not going to happen.

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The next morning it was still overcast when we left for the Crystal Powerhouse which from this picture below was four miles away. It took about an hour to drive there, which was a fairly rocky trail, narrow with some good drop offs in places. It was a beautiful drive as the sun began to shine through the clouds showing us that beautiful Colorado blue sky. I only passed one Jeep and otherwise only saw a few ATVs on the trail.

The Crystal Powerhouse

This picture is looking out my driver's side window at the Crystal River below. The trail would run right along the river's edge and then climb up the side of a hill and back down.

Our next camping site was at the Ridgway State Park. It was a nice place and is setup mostly for RVs and camping trailers. It even has showers and a laundry mat, which we used having brought limited clothing. But it's a pretty campground and we were able to go boating on the reservoir thanks to a cousin bringing his boat.

We also drove up to Yankee Boy Basin outside of Ouray. As it did everyday it was raining.

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On a raining Monday morning we headed for Engineer Pass with a stop at the ghost town of Animas Forks. My brother and his family followed us in a rented JK (all I can say is never, ever buy a used Jeep in Colorado).

We then proceeded up Engineer Pass which was narrow and step in parts. It was fun to get to use the four-wheel low for real for once. I had to let a rented JK pass us along the first picture which was a rather close call. The driver's wife didn't look all that thrilled as they were on the drop off side. It was also interesting to drive into the clouds and not be able to see down the side of the mountain. It was fun!

Then we reached the top, which wasn't much of a view at least to the west (Ouray) side.

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As we traveled down the east of Engineer Pass the view improved and the trail was wider and an easier drive. There was only one narrow section where I stopped for several Jeeps to pass.

We passed a mine that had been leveled by an avalanche in 1929.

After arriving for a late lunch in Lake City we proceeded north of town to the Alpine Plateau. On the next trip I want to explore and camp along this plateau as it was really pretty.

At the top we again drove into the clouds and the woods were quiet and still, almost a little eerie. If this had been the pacific northwest I would expect to see Big Foot! But instead it was open range so I had to honk at some cows standing in my way. :laugh:

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We also visited Ouray several times. This last time was between the rain storms.

This picture was taken as we drove out of the Ridgway State Park, headed back to Denver.

And my wife and the hounds on our last stop before leaving the Rockies. Thanks for looking! :cheers2:

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Very nice, great pictures. I hope to do this trip one day soon. Thanks for sharing.
very cool..

thanks for posting
Great pics man. Glad you were able to make it out there but sorry we missed each other there by a few weeks.
I am really glad the campsite worked out for you. We just stumbled on that spot when we had to change plans on the fly due to snow blocking some trails. Turned out to be a new favorite camping spot for us.

Great pics, thanks for sharing
Looks like you guys had a blast, would love to visit Colorado's scenic Jeep trails and switchback roads. I was in Colorado 2 years ago and it is the Jeep capitol of the world! I mean they were everywhere you looked, mainly TJs and YJs, but a few CJs. But as rugged as Colorado is Jeeps are a lifestyle, it is weird there is not very many in Montana for reasons I don't know. The weather here is pretty unforgiving most of the year you need a Jeep to get anywhere!
cool pics
I am really glad the campsite worked out for you. We just stumbled on that spot when we had to change plans on the fly due to snow blocking some trails. Turned out to be a new favorite camping spot for us.

Great pics, thanks for sharing
Thanks again for the recommendation. I told my brother about the site right next to us as it had the wading pool setup in the river which his kids would like. They live in CO and camp all the time. :drool: The host was really nice and talkative which would be a fun thing to do for retirement.
What name brand of tent is that?
^It is made by Turbo Tent (the Turbo Lite 3). The inside tent springs open in seconds, giving it it's name. It's a real nice tent and a big improvement over my old two-man backpacker style tent. It made tenting so much better. The outside layer includes that little room on the front that also has a door to it, which as I said was nice to sit under during rain storms. It also fit perfectly in my TJ from the back of the front seat to the tailgate.
Great narration and pictures. I have got to plan a trip to Colorado!
Pics like this are one of the reasons I love living in Colorado. :)
^Well living there, who needs pictures? At least that is what I thought growing up there. Tough area of the country to move from!
Grogie - I'm almost to the point where I am going to drop everything here in FL, move to Ouray and drive for one of the tour companies.
^I hear you if I was single I'd move back to CO! However jobs are really tough in the area though. My mom lives north of Montrose and she's been telling me that a lot of guys have had to take jobs outside of the area for their families to survive, or have had to just move them out. U-hauls are in short supply!
Wonderful write-up! Looks like a really fun trip! Ironic...I was born in Denver, but haven't been back since I was "0"! Got to change that...

So, you let a little bit-o-snow get in your way? :)
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