Brian: Being located in Colorado, you’ve likely had the opportunity to wheel with quite a few folks from the forum. Who all have you been out with?
I’ve seen that we have roughly two groups of FJ enthusiasts in Colorado: the original 2007/2008 one-owner crowd that have lived here all their lives and probably grew up around FJ 40’s, and then the newer generation buying 2010+ or used trucks who got the FJ because they just like offroading or hiking or whatever. I’ve met and wheeled with a few of the early FJ crowd, but most of my regular group is the newer crowd. I typically lead 2-3 trails a year, one of them is an annual offroading/camping run on Metberry Gulch that always attracts 10+ trucks with plenty of new people, which I really enjoy. I led 3 trails this year at FJ Summit (which was a lot of work haha), and it was really great to meet new people and show them what the FJ can do:
Poughkeepsie (Thursday 9AM) - 2013 FJ Summit - Poughkeepsie Gulch - Driving trip | EveryTrail
Black Bear (Friday 9AM) - 2013 FJ Summit - Black Bear Pass - Driving trip | EveryTrail
Imogene (Saturday 9AM) - 2013 FJ Summit - Imogene Pass - Driving trip | EveryTrail
For wheeling buddies one person stands out above the rest: FJess / Jessica. All of the locals know her well, she is fearless unlike any other FJ driver in Colorado. During my first year here, she was probably one of the only people who did more offroading than I did. Following Jessica on the trails makes for some great offroading photos:
She has a much higher tolerance for body damage than I do so while I’m focused on exploring scenery and happy to try any trail once (like Chinaman Gulch or Wheeler Lake) she tends to focus more on the hard trails and pushing the technical capabilities of her truck.
Other regular wheeling buddies: VailTRD (RIP WALL-E), Beach Cruiser, CaptinMo, PowTron, akosfj, Vandy58 (come back to Colorado you dork), shane4x4 whose FJ is always in a perpetual state of I’m-testing-something-for-the-magazine, ocr14a, talltodd, wegotg, army_cruiser, shack, Lady in Red
Brian: What are the usual trails you hit in Colorado?
My favorite trail is obviously Metberry Gulch:
For me, Metberry is the perfect Colorado trail: difficult enough that you really see what the FJ can do, but not so hard/rocky that there’s much risk of serious damage, with a great scenic spot at the bottom of the trail:
Lefthand Canyon is close to Boulder and a great winter offroading trail since the snow melts quickly, it has a good range of difficulty levels but during the summer it gets very crowded. I-70 / Guanella Pass (Georgetown, CO) over to Highway 285 and then back over Red Cone Pass to Montezuma / Keystone is a great loop to show visitors what offroading is like here.
Brian: Where all have you been with your FJC? What trail/park/location is your favorite?
My GPS+Photo thread contains all the runs I’ve done up to Spring 2013:
For my photo book from the first year offroading in Colorado, I marked each page’s picture spot on a map of the state that gives an idea of where I’ve been:
I’ve got two favorite areas: the area around Buena Vista – Tincup Pass, Mt. Antero – and the area around Marble, CO and the Crystal River Mill / Lead King Basin:
“Top Gear USA” on the History Channel did a race between a kayaker and an offroad racing buggy on the road from Lead King Basin to Crystal in one of their episodes, when that episode aired I had been in the area the weekend before and recognized the scenery:
US Top Gear TV on Schofield Pass | SchofieldPass.com
At this point I’m mostly looking for parts of the state where I haven’t done much exploring (north of I-70 west of the tunnel, Adams Lake etc) with more of a focus on scenery and less focus on technical offroading.
Brian: What park/location that you have not been to yet would you like take your FJ too?
Top of the World in Moab:
I haven’t been to Moab yet (whenever I admit that, people look at me funny) but I’m planning on going once next year. I’m not ashamed to admit that I mostly just want to take that ^^^ photo with my truck