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View Full Version : Trail ratings and Recommendations ... how do you rate a trail?


Tch2fly
08-05-2008, 03:31 PM
I started another related thread to discuss the topic of trail ratings and recommendations in general because it can be very confusing for veterans and newbie wheelers alike. This is not meant to be a discussion of specific trail ratings (feel free to use examples) but rather how do YOU decide if a posted trail rating is appropriate or how do you come up with your own way to rate a trail.

IMO difficulty is hard to measure.
Is it technical? ... meaning choosing from several challenging lines or careful tire placement is required to clear the obstacle.
Maybe it is a steep sandy climb that is difficult without a ton of power.
Maybe it means dangerous because a small mistake can result in going over a cliff.

Or in most cases it comes down to equipment and what is acceptable to the driver in terms of damage.
Carnage BV is too difficult for my truck on 35s due to size of the ledges(can't even get to the parts that cause body damage ;))
"The chutes" at Kelly Flats is too difficult for me. I think the 80 can handle the rocks but I can't handle the certain body damage.:p:

I guess I should also add ...
When you seek trail info from others what sort of infomation is the most important and where do get most of your info?

Romer
08-05-2008, 04:21 PM
I think its better to group them wide as everyone is a bit different

Easy - you could check your e-mail on your blackberry during the most difficult spots

Moderate - some skill is required as in you know how to pick a line. Anyone who picks a decent line will come out unscathed with no issues

Intermediate - Need some equipment like sliders and stuff to avoid damage. Lockers will help you here along with better tires. That and having adequate experience will keep you from damage and you will come out all right

Challenging - Better keep the blackberry put away, have appropriate armor, 33" tires and at least a rear locker and have good driving skills for this level. Damage may occur to anyone if you don't pay attention.

Difficult - Man on man, do this trail if you want to beat the crap out of your truck and even with good spotting you will break something. Best thought of as a rock crawler type trail and not 80 friendly

So I stay away from what I think of as difficult

I put Holy Cross, Rubicon, etc. in the challenging category. Where they fit within depends on the vehicle and the driver. (I haven't run HC so I am guessing)

Intermediate - to me would be like Steele Bender and Chinaman's

Moderate to me would be like Fins

Easy would be like Forrest roads or trails like that. Lots of what is done on the ghost town run fits here

So thats one way to look at it.

wesintl
08-05-2008, 04:32 PM
no need to reinvent the wheel

1-10 system courtesy of RR 4wheelers http://www.centralpt.com/pageview.aspx?menu=4422&id=20715

1-5 http://www.expeditionswest.com/resources/expedition_handbook/trail_rating.htm

Some old pics of Rob's fj25
http://www.4x4now.com/trcohc4.htm

What's subjective is what people drive on it and their skill level.

farnhamstj
08-05-2008, 05:06 PM
I often ask if full sized rigs or wagons can fit through the trail. 1-10 scale I'm comfortable on trails rated 7. on 1-5 rated if it's Moab I'll do 4+ with the right people. Otherwise 4's. I like Peter Massey and Jeane Wilson's 4WD Trails south -central CO. I also have the North-central CO but haven't used that one much.

I often use http://www.traildamage.com/

Tch2fly
08-05-2008, 05:56 PM
I like the different sites that provide ratings as BASE info and go from there. One of the problem with using RR 4 wheelers (or the Wells books, Traildamage, etc) is the timeliness of the info. Trails change and so does the equipment we use. The Red Rocks guys had to go from a 1-5 to a 1-10 recently to be more flexible with the ratings. The Wells books tend to be conservative so I like to recommend them to beginners

I like Kenís approach, similar to what I use to give my opinion to beginners.

Caribou Sandstorm
08-05-2008, 05:58 PM
Mike Thank you for starting this thread. All comments really helpful.

Uncle Ben
08-05-2008, 06:01 PM
I think its better to group them wide as everyone is a bit different

Easy - you could check your e-mail on your blackberry during the most difficult spots

Moderate - some skill is required as in you know how to pick a line. Anyone who picks a decent line will come out unscathed with no issues

Intermediate - Need some equipment like sliders and stuff to avoid damage. Lockers will help you here along with better tires. That and having adequate experience will keep you from damage and you will come out all right

Challenging - Better keep the blackberry put away, have appropriate armor, 33" tires and at least a rear locker and have good driving skills for this level. Damage may occur to anyone if you don't pay attention.

Difficult - Man on man, do this trail if you want to beat the crap out of your truck and even with good spotting you will break something. Best thought of as a rock crawler type trail and not 80 friendly

So I stay away from what I think of as difficult

I put Holy Cross, Rubicon, etc. in the challenging category. Where they fit within depends on the vehicle and the driver. (I haven't run HC so I am guessing)

Intermediate - to me would be like Steele Bender and Chinaman's

Moderate to me would be like Fins

Easy would be like Forrest roads or trails like that. Lots of what is done on the ghost town run fits here

So thats one way to look at it.

I like your rating system Romer! I would separate the catagories one more time and add Extreme.

Rubicon, Holy Cross, Blanca, etc... are difficult trails and easily done in a modded 80.

Independence Trails, Montrose Trails, BFE Trails, etc.... fall into an extreme cat and you better have some hardware to play!

Short wheel base rigs will view things differently also. While Holy Cross is pretty easy for the most part in an 80 it can raise heck with a 40. On the same note a trail like Rubicon requires a wagon driver a lot more attention where as a 40 dude can breeze through most of it effortlessly!

J Kimmel
08-05-2008, 10:34 PM
I judge by what sort of vehicle the reviewer drives, some trails may be easier or harder depending on vehicle build.

Uncle Ben
08-05-2008, 11:44 PM
I judge by what sort of vehicle the reviewer drives, some trails may be easier or harder depending on vehicle build.

Good point!

Cheeseman
08-06-2008, 09:56 AM
It's something like movies. When I ask someone how a certain movie was, I also ask what kind of movies that person most enjoys. An easy trail to Uncle Ben, me, Rudy, Yoder or whoever may be a totally different answer than someone else.
________
Old man vid (http://www.****tube.com/categories/29/old-man/videos/1)

Tch2fly
08-06-2008, 11:39 AM
It's something like movies. When I ask someone how a certain movie was, I also ask what kind of movies that person most enjoys. An easy trail to Uncle Ben, me, Rudy, Yoder or whoever may be a totally different answer than someone else.

Yep, exactly what inspired me to start this .... give others a chance to understand what each of us is thinking whe we make a recommendation.

One of the things that frequently gets brought up is tire size. I think it is a valid point but depending on the vehicle is can also be a bit misleading. Saying "33s are too small you need 35s" or see a sign saying 35s are the smallest recommended tire might not apply.... other factors come into play.

For example I have 315s on my 80 and I measure a shade less than 11" under the rear diff while my son's 4runner has my old 285s and measures about 10 3/4" under the rear diff due to the smaller housing. A guy running a D60 axle might need 37s to get the same measurements. So again when you make a comparison you need to consider all the variables.

Uncle Ben
08-06-2008, 12:02 PM
Why does it always come down to size? :rolleyes: ;) :eek: :lmao::lmao:

Tch2fly
08-06-2008, 12:32 PM
Why does it always come down to size? :rolleyes: ;) :eek: :lmao::lmao:

When I was younger my girlfriend told me what she wanted me to give her on her birthday :confused: so I got her this ...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v108/livnletdie/rooster.jpg

treerootCO
08-06-2008, 01:21 PM
Pick any rating scale and add 5 for complacency. Take your mom's CRV up Bill Moore road to baseline you and your rig's ability. A 2nd way to baseline your ability is to 'attempt' to drive UB's 80 on the con without causing more harm than good. :D