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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Discussion Starter #21
Yeah, June or even July. The high elevation trails are only open for a brief summer season.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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worst driving conditions I have ever encountered - Raton was bad - but E64/87 between capulin and Clayton SHOULD have been closed - and indeed W/N-bound was when we thankfully survived the drive to Clayton - they were turning vehicles around.

horrible white-out, terrifying.

never driving to CoSpgs again in April - too unpredictable weather., we'll wait till JUne next time.
get rich quick scheme #5441

maybe someone in colorado should rent subaru rims and snow tires,

what with all the tourists. :smoke:

all @traildogck would need is a couple shipping containers of them in the empty lot next to the popular pot store.

rent out the studded snows, take in and store the customer's all seasons. (that and a pole barn with garage tent sides to put the tires on to get out of the wind driven snow/ hail)

and then all terrains for the hot season.
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Discussion Starter #23
Using Findhills.com

I would like to hear some thoughts about Findhills.com.

The first issue is the definition of "steepest spot" they use. On the face of it, the site allows one to simply determine the grade of a hill as well as the grade of the hill's steepest spot. However, while one would expect the former number to vary with the length of the selection, it seems to me that the steepest spot should be a constant number. But it is not. It varies with the overall segment length, so if you include a flat section before the climb, the steep spot % will decline, too, and not just the overall %.

Here is an example, west side of California Pass, CO, a spectacular and very short climb, measured from the intersection with Hurricane Pass:
FindHills.com - United States: Silverton Colorado. 19.78% (max 29.26%) 0.36 mi.

In case the link does not work, it shows a distance of 0.36 miles, overall grade of just under 20%, and a steepest spot of just over 29%.

However, extending the starting point by any length changes the grade of the steepest spot as well. I am unable to find any explanations on the website and the tutorial defines steepest spot as just that, implying an absolute rather than a relative number.

The second issue is straightforward, there are mistakes. For example, the site gives an absurdly steep grade for the end section of Maggie Gulch. There is simply nothing like it there.

The third issue is the most interesting with respect to this forum.

I looked at all 17 4x4 trails I have completed in the Ouray-Silverton area and guess which one comes out as surprisingly mild? Engineer Pass' steeper west side:

FindHills.com - United States: Silverton Colorado. 7.77% (max 15.34%) 2.24 mi.

Even if I exclude the milder upper section, I still have trouble getting it to exceed 20%
http://www.findhills.com/hill?pagetitle=FindHills.com - United States: Silverton Colorado. 11.90% (max 21.97%) 0.84 mi.&distancein=imperial#location=37.95734451228381,-107.57550716400146~37.96351958063825,-107.57471323013311

I mean, one short section looks impressively steep in person but it is true that I did not push the pedal to the metal once on this climb. By contrast, Corkscrew looks mild but Brucey's former H4 barely got through after a few tries and the H6 is limited there to 11 mph as well.

In terms of their steepest spot (when a climb is measured as a whole segment from start to pass or end of gulch), the trails rate as follows:

Maggie Gulch (39%, lol, absurd) and then, realistically,

1. California, steeper, west side, 29%
2. Corkscrew, steeper, west side, 27%
3. Hurricane, west side, and Brown Gulch, 24%
4. Brown Mountain, 23%
...
17., last, Engineer Pass west side, 15%. If I cut the upper section, it becomes 22%, at par with the lower (!?) leg of Minnie Gulch, another questionable number (looks too high for that segment).

Broadly, speaking, my right foot seems to agree with the above numbers, definitely for California and Corkscrew being the steepest. However, once we get under these two, my right foot is no longer that reliable an inclinometer, lol. Does the site have its numbers wrong (as it sure does with Maggie Gulch) or is Engineer just not as steep as it looks and is reputed to be?

Numbers trump sensory perceptions, but only if the inputs on which they are based are correct.
 

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Pics from our recent trip to Lake City, CO where we did Engineer Pass among a few others. Coming from a 4Runner, our Outback far exceeded my expectations. By the end of the trip, my only real concern was our stock tires, but I just drove like I didn't have KO2 sidewalls. Added all 3 skid plates from Primitive, but never heard them due to great ground clearance. Being able to drive these roads AND have a much better daily driver for the years in between makes for one happy convert.



It also got me to American Basin to hike my first 14er, Handies Peak.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Premium Member
2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Discussion Starter #26
More Utah awesomeness, this time from the San Rafael Swell:

Factory Bench Rd: goes to the east of the great Factory Butte as a fast dirt road. Then it becomes a bit rougher, which is a good thing as it then bifurcates at a T intersection where continuing straight would be one's last move. I am not sure how far the left goes westbound before it deadends since it is not on any of my guides. We drove for 2.3 miles through gorgeous, moon-like terrain until Muddy River. We were to cross it later anyway but I was not in the mood for a mud bath in two directions right away so that's where we turned around. Since the other crossing turned out not be muddy at all, I was happy with this choice. Once back at the T we took the Wild Horse Mesa Trail which starts there.

Wild Horse Mesa Trail: Very beautiful trail. It starts on the Moon-like section at the T-intersection. A few miles later, the trail crosses the Muddy River. Actually, the main track deadends onto a tall bank while a lesser track goes left. This then bifurcates, too, offering two crossing options: a challenging downstream one and a very easy upstream one. A stock OB would need to watch that bumper when exiting the riverbed though (and especially if coming from the north). The trail remains extremely scenic thereafter before plunging into a canyon, which is still scenic but not quite that unique. The trail ends at the trail head for a famous hike. Thereafter, the road is paved to Goblin Valley.

Temple Wash and Mining Camp: This trail is nothing like what Massey described over a decade ago. The eastern end was once a 1-rated track but while it still starts so, it then becomes a 4-rated trail (using Massey's system). The entire eastern half is great fun as the trail meanders through a very narrow canyon before offering great views of Temple Mountain. It gets to the remnants of the mining camp before it gets tedious. The western half of the trail is not for stock Outbacks. The formerly 4-rated short section undulates a lot and then it ends with the once 4-rated hill that is now a 5-6 following Massey's criteria. With a 2.5 in total lift, I could not avoid a hard hit somewhere on the right side, gotta have been the main frame rail, which has scars anyway, since I saw nothing elsewhere. So, a stock car would have to stop at the top and clear the hill from the larger rocks, which would be a good workout. The only section that remains as described is the final one on the west side, which is bumpy but easy. All in all, the easier, eastern half is much more scenic and much more fun.

Reds Canyon. While I hoped for more shelf road, this trail did not disappoint. The scenery on the way in from the north end is superb as is also on the southern end. Both ends are dirt roads. The middle runs in a wash and is actually less scenic but the drive is easy in dry conditions (however, a stock OB will have to watch that front bumper here and there). Great trail and since the Hidden Splendor trail that leads there is very smooth, it does not take as long to get to it as one might think by looking at a map.

Hidden Splendor: very smooth and wide for the first 30 miles, a bit slower for the next 5 to the airstrip. Past that, the trail used to continue as 4x4 but it now deadends just a quarter mile from there. That short section was a fun drive. It was just rough enough to put me on two wheels at one point, not that this is all that rare in a Subaru. I know what some do with old Subarus and it is beyond me how they drive such stuff without VDC. I am sure those cars take a good beating from using momentum all the time.

Molly's Castle: short, fun trail between Goblin SP and the highway. The hill on the western side is badly eroded but a good line remains. There are a number of mild ledges around the rock formation itself and a small dune to go around on the eastern end.
 

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2011 outback 3.6R LT. 2015 Outback 2.5 (white) eyesight, tow pakage, skid plate, moon roof
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RUBICON TRAIL,CA: The Rubicon Trail is argueably the trail that all off road trails are compared to. The Rubicon Trail association maintains the trail. Rubicon Springs isa Private ownwership destination and managed by the Rubicon Trail Foundation. Private is the key word to keeping the #1 pristine area open to the public. There is a sreies of U tube videos on the Rubicon Trail. They are well worth watching!

two weeks ago I saw a group of Suzuki Samori at the springs. Most driven by lady off roaders. Those ladies can drive! The Razer AtV does well. Sorry. not one Subaru there nor will there be. My 2015 was secure at the trail head and I hitched a ride with Dave and Marlys who operate Rubicon Trail Adventures (209-329-4392).. I rode in Dave's wife Marlys 80K Rubicon Jeep. They will even let you drive part of the trail. Rubicon Trail Advenyures is the best way to do the Rubicaon other than having a custom 4 wheeler with some lift , front and rear lockers skid plates and skid rail. We never had a touch but others did. One fellow took a new (no Plates) full size Ford expidition into the Rubicon. Te vehicle was completley stock. It just won't quite look the same. Never go with just one vehicle

In general, you will find U tube on most all trails. The are well worth watching

I have a Primitive skid plate on my 2015 outback. That is a must as is a full size spare, tow strap , Handy man type jack , shovel and hand winch. Water is a absolute must.
The best guide for Nevada trails is the Nevada Map Atlas published by NDOT and cost $20. Much better than what you will find in sporting good stores and book store

Full size spare and Patch kit are a must
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Discussion Starter #28
The best guide for Nevada trails is the Nevada Map Atlas published by NDOT and cost $20. Much better than what you will find in sporting good stores and book store

Full size spare and Patch kit are a must
What is it like? Paved-dirt-4x4? Any trail descriptions?


Have you used any of the Massey Nevada guides? I have a bunch of his, but nothing for Nevada.
 

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2011 outback 3.6R LT. 2015 Outback 2.5 (white) eyesight, tow pakage, skid plate, moon roof
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I do not know of any good trail guides for Nevada. I have recommended the Nevada Road Atlas put out by the department of transportation. The map book legend roughly defines what you can expect. Currently there have been many severe thunderstorms across Nevada causing undocument road condition changes. Inquire locally!

I have had both the 3.6 and 2.5 Outbacks. I find the 2.5 mostly inadequate for places I easily went with the 3.6. Without the "Primitive Lift Spacers and skid plate" I would stick to th well used recreational sites that are well listed in the state Depatrment of Wildlife Site. Without lift you ill rub the nose of the outback in many of the short washes you must cross. I lost the under engine dust cover pins in just crossing Silver Creek) a well known fishing hole in White Pine County. Also the steep trails are well rutted with runoff water and can easily drop a Outback on its frame. Handy Man Jack time.

Forest service signs an maps will give you your best clue. 4wd only eliminates all unliftef vehicles.. High clearanc only means just that.
I once spent 4 hours getting a 4 wheel drive K250 out of a deep rut cave in that left both front and rear axels high centered. That was on Fawn Trail. I can tell you Dont even think of taking any long wheel base up that trail . Even with 4wd. z

Rarely, is there any back country maintenance. This summer I did a cross country in my 2.5 outback from Illipah Reservoir to Lund Nevada. A distance of only 4 hours took over 2.5 hours. a lot of sudden wash outs and GPS navigation. So many cow trails and mining exploration a GPS was a must. Ya really love it when you get there and still have fuel.
 

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2011 outback 3.6R LT. 2015 Outback 2.5 (white) eyesight, tow pakage, skid plate, moon roof
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NV Road Atlas shows aved unpave and trails accorsing to legend of maps. These a strip maps of whole state. I am never with out my copy. Only available thru NV department of transportation. I also use BLM area Maps and Forrest service maps.
Desert Outfitters in Las Vegas can produce arial maps of any location you wish. They are most reliable.
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Discussion Starter #32
Crown King Backaway/Broken Arrow (are no go)

There have been questions about Backaway to Crown King and other harder AZ trails.

I finally got to driving Backaway to Crown King in the 4Runner. The idea that someone would want to take an Outback there is...not funny. While the trail changes a great deal all the time and the lower portion is very smooth now, there still is a seriously rocky riverbed and then two tough spots where a Subaru will have neither the traction, nor the clearance to cope. The first is a big step where I dragged my steel skid plates and the second is a small agglomeration of large rocks with holes in between where I scraped my pax side slider, dragging it all the way through. Note that even with my stock suspension I have 14" clearance to slider VS 12" to rocker on my 2.5" total lift Outback. Now, is it possible to do it in an Outback? Well, maybe, with some very serious road work. Is it sensible? Absolutely not. Consider also the very heavy traffic. The traffic is just crazy on weekends. And again, clearance aside, a Subaru just does not have the traction to cope with lots of loose dirt over and around rock.

As for Broken Arrow, it is actually technically harder, though it was quite easy in the 4Runner since there you either have the traction, angles, and clearance or you do not. It is short and does not change all the time so the rocks and ledges are what they are. But unlike Backaway to Crown King, even determined road building won't really help a Subaru on that trail. Heavily traveled as well.

So, if you wonder whether to try a Subaru on either of those trails, don't wonder and don't try.

Final note: Broken Arrow is awesome, but it would be a great and easy hike; there is a 2wd parking trailhead where the trail starts. Backaway to Crown King is a mediocre trail past the CK stone where the trail really starts. There are far better trails in the area, including around Crown King itself (the main road, the Senator Highway, and even Horsethief are more interesting and more scenic than Backaway to Crown King).

Now, if you have a dedicated trail rig and want to test it as well as yourself, the 6-7 optional obstacles in the lower section of Crown King would be hard to beat.
 

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2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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Now, if you have a dedicated trail rig and want to test it as well as yourself, the 6-7 optional obstacles in the lower section of Crown King would be hard to beat.
Speaking Of .... How is the 4R treating you daily? Outside of the specific trail feedback?
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Discussion Starter #34
Speaking Of .... How is the 4R treating you daily? Outside of the specific trail feedback?

I got used to it. If you drive it like a limo, it is fine.

It absolutely rocks on our family trips. I always wanted a properly shaped, rectangular cargo area, not the sloping crossover style that wastes so much space and guarantees stuff will fall on you when you open it. The 95 Legacy wagon was more like it than the 13 Outback. The 4R's cargo area gobbles up everything and asks for more. Btw, it is also better shaped and, gasp, not as tall of a floor as the Ascent's.

So, it rocks on trail and as a family vehicle. The H6 OB was much more fun to drive, but the 4R fits us much better. The mpg is worse, of course, but not by much, basically the same as the Tribeca's. But if I lived in Montana, I would probably still rather have an Ascent and an old beater Jeep.

Fun fact: I had no issues charging an AGM battery properly, at 14+ V with the OB's stock alternator and system, but per T4R (I am not a member, just reading) the 4R cannot do that. Guess I will stick to traditional batteries and not bother.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Charlie Wells has his latest Colorado books available for pre-order.

Unfortunately, as expected, there has been a massive movement upwards in trail difficulty.

Basically, there is barely anything in his book a stock Subaru can do reasonably, especially an n/a H4. And there isn't all that much that a 2" lift will help with either.

The Ouray/Silverton area remains more accessible, but not surprisingly Imogene and Yankee Boy move to difficult while Governor Basin moves to easy. Corkscrew and Hurricane move up to moderate, no surprise there either.

Don't want to think what the case will be in another ten years.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Why? No maintenance on these trails?
Trail overuse and abuse.

On a different note.

Here are four classic and/or great AZ trails I would discourage even the greatest Subaru fan from driving. The very difficult trails are obviously such trails, so I am only talking low-end difficult or upper end moderate ones.

--Broken Arrow, goes without saying though technically speaking a lifted enough Forester may manage with an expert driver. I would not try it.
--Backaway to CK is manageable for the right driver with the correct mods and trail building on a couple spots but the traffic is insane and everyone will be staring at you (and maybe worse as you would need more time). It won't be a good experience (and is it ever? when we drove it felt like Manhattan).
--Pucker Ridge off the Montana Mountain loop, near Superior, E of Phoenix. The trail is amazing but the climbs and descends are way too long, steep, and loose and a couple sections have CO-style exposure plus moderate (sizable for a Subaru) rocks. A Subaru would be risking too much both uphill and downhill. And the transmission would absolutely hate the climbs, this is the quintessential low range trail.
--Double Crater Volcano. This is another amazing trail but in addition to the very serious climb up the crater, this trail is really for a rig with a performance suspension.
 

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I'm sure this is wayyyyy too late for anyone to see this or respond to it, but.....this was the MOST HELPFUL post ever in terms of judging the OB's off-road capability as it relates to using the standard guidebooks.....I've Massey for years and years and love the books, but for California, not Colorado. I wish there was a discussion about California off-road trails....maybe I'll start one.....?
 
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