July 5, 2016 at 8:59 am #698Richard ReaveyParticipant
Busy, busy, busy! Ran the Coney Flats, Middle St Vrain/Buchanan Pass, Bunce School rd, and T-33 Plan Crash trails. As did everyone else on the Front Range!
In retrospect, I would run them the other way around, North – South rather than South- North. The climb on Coney Flats after the “Lake” would be more fun than a descent. Consequently, I will report in that order, North – South.
Bunce School Rd is essential Subaru-able. It’s a sandy road with a few rocky bits. it was chock full of 4 wheelers, side by sides, and those offroad gold cart things. At the southern end, there are two open meadows with nice views (pic below). That’s about it. It does however offer access to several trails – from North to South, these are Ironclads, Park Creek, the T33 crash site, and down to Middle St Vrain and Coney Flats (with Peaceful Valley and Camp Dick campgrounds in between).
The T33 crash site is a good trail. Some ledges and rocky sections. A few wash outs offering off camber obstacles and cross axle challenges but nothing very challenging. The crash site itself has to be walked to from trial end – about 250 – 300 yards. This trail was super busy, so I did not walk up to the crash site.
Middle St Vrain is a great trail for someone new to wheeling. It’s a long rocky trail that will require good wheel placement for anyone running 33s or less and some small obstacles that will be good learning opportunities. This starts right away with an obstacle at the trailhead requiring some effort to get the line right. There had been rain over the weekend, so several of the bog wallows were deep. They all have a solid bottom but at least one would have been too deep for a Disco, LR3,LR4 without lift, risking water in the air-intake. There are several of these deep gullies, so send the highest vehicle through first if there has been rain. After that there are a few more interesting but not really challenging obstacles before the hard left turn to Coney flats and the “lake”.
The ascent to the lake (really just a large water crossing) is a really nice section. It will be challenging for vehicles with 35″ tires and will be a real challenge (not impassable but hard work) for 33s. There are options for mild lines in some places and a few Varsity lines for the bold. It is generally a tight trail with rocks along most of the way. The water crossing is daunting. It is probably 40 yards across. It has a solid gravel bottom and the line is straight through the middle. It was pretty deep this past weekend with the rain, possibly reaching 30″. Again, send the tallest rig out first and watch it if you have an air intake in the stock position. If running an older Rover, Lucas will stop you before it gets to hydro-lock territory…
The rest of the trail is a treat. It’s bumpy rock the whole way requiring attentive driving for anyone with less than 12″ under the diff. There are several rocky climbs and descents and the trail takes you close to one of the peaks where this past weekend people had been hiking and skiing. there are cutouts along the trail for camping and several streams and small ponds. It’s a very scenic and pleasant trail and tops out well above 10,000 ft, a challenge for my little 3.5 V8.
The trail ends at Beaver Reservoir, again lots of camping spots and pops out via 96 onto the Peak to Peak just north of Ward.
Fun trails with plenty of challenge but nothing really difficult and no real risk of damage.
The Meadow on Bunce School Rd
A major peak along the Coney Flats trail
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