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Bruiser 07-27-2014 11:47 PM

Pearl Pass
 
Ok, looking for some feedback as well as tossing out an open invite if anyone wants to join for a leg of the trip.

A buddy and I are headed to Crested Butte on Aug 28. We thought we would make a day out of it and head over Pearl Pass from Aspen. Of course that all depends on whether it is open by then, which at this point is still questionable. I have a couple of questions though.

1. Does anyone know roughly how long it will take to get from Aspen to Crested Butte over Pearl?
2. I have never run this trail. Trail Damage rates it 4-6. Anyone have any experience they can share on how difficult it is.
3. Does anyone want to go? We would leave Denver in the morning.

Planning on heading home on Saturday Aug 30, possible Sunday. For the trip home, the thought was to head up Italian Creek toward Taylor. We would probably stop some along the way or at Taylor to do a little fishing, but would like to be back in Denver that night.

This trail seems pretty moderate, especially if you stay on the Lower Reno Divide trail. Anyone have any thoughts on this segment? Would anyone like to join.


Appreciate any feedback anyone has.

Justin

baja1d 07-28-2014 09:10 AM

Went from Aspen to within 3 switch backs of the pass- blocked by snow. Trail wasn't bad; rented jeep rubicon did fine. Took us an hour to get to that point. Wish I could go...

FJCDan 07-28-2014 09:13 AM

Hi Justin, I did Pearl pass probably over 20 years ago from Crested Butte to Aspen. It is a long trail 40 miles, I think it might have taken me 5-6 hours. I did it in my 88 pick up with open diffs and 30-9.50's muds. very rocky just long. Lonely trail, I did it mid week and saw one person on bicycle on the beginning of the Butte side and never saw another person all the way to Aspen. A fews years later my wife and I did Itallian creek also and it was another very long trail, well worth the time. You will enjoy both,but allow a day for each trail. Dan

AxleIke 07-28-2014 12:18 PM

As long as its open, it is a pretty tame trail, given the stats of your rig in your signature. It does not require a locker.

I've been over a couple times, but always took a whole day (hiked, picnicked, enjoyed the stunning scenery), so I cannot comment on the minimum time to get over it.

Keep in mind that it can always change every year after the snow/runoff, so what it was last year is not guaranteed to be what it is this year. I add that as a disclaimer, as I haven't been there this year.

It is a great drive though, and I highly recommend it!

Inukshuk 07-28-2014 12:24 PM

Its been since 2001 for me, but not difficult. Beautiful

Bruiser 07-28-2014 10:14 PM

Thanks for the replies. I wonder why the Wells book rates it as difficult. I guess he is just extra conservative or maybe just rating it relative to a stock SUV.

Justin

Burt88 07-28-2014 10:29 PM

I've been wanting to do Pearl Pass since I live so close but the snow this winter was heavier than recent years. I might make a run at it before you get there and I may try to join you for a leg of the trip. I'll give you an update if I can. As of a month ago, at a lower elevation, Aspen Mountain Road and Richmond Hill were still impassible.

Bruiser 07-28-2014 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Burt88 (Post 253696)
I've been wanting to do Pearl Pass since I live so close but the snow this winter was heavier than recent years. I might make a run at it before you get there and I may try to join you for a leg of the trip. I'll give you an update if I can. As of a month ago, at a lower elevation, Aspen Mountain Road and Richmond Hill were still impassible.

For sure, I will keep this post updated in case plans change. Definitely post up an update if you get a chance to hit the trail between now and then. I have been checking http://bushducks.com/tripreps/passopen.htm#pearl and the last update on July 17 indicates that it is still pretty questionable that it would open.

If it does not open, we will be evaluating other trails in the area if you have any ideas. Seems like I am limited to Schofield and Italian Creek if I want to end up in Crested Butte.

Justin

farnhamstj 07-31-2014 06:42 PM

I believe Pearl pass is still impassible due to snow. I would guess Schofield is the same. Both should be clear by that time. If not I'll suggest, from Aspen you could go over Taylor Pass then Italian. Peal is relatively easy, but has some consequences if you did something dumb. Mostly Dusty, then baby heads, bunch of tallus, some exposed granite with little waterfalls. Easy in a truck, PIA on a dirtbike. Creek crossings on the South side can be deep sometimes. Maybe that's the reason for the higher rating.

Keith 07-31-2014 09:55 PM

I was just in the neighborhood. I have a post in the trip reports section describing the trip.

We took Italian Creek to Reno Divide to Cement Creek. It was a beautiful drive but it was also chock full of ATVs.

IIRC, schofield is open. We thought about going home that way but for that part of the trip we'd have a stock Taco with us and it didn't seem like a good idea.

Woodsman 08-01-2014 10:16 AM

7/17 report says it may not be passable until September.

http://www.bushducks.com/tripreps/passopen.htm#pearl

Rzeppa 08-01-2014 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruiser (Post 253694)
I wonder why the Wells book rates it as difficult.

He rates Bill Moore Lake as "difficult" too. He drives a j**p.

Bruiser 08-02-2014 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodsman (Post 253806)
7/17 report says it may not be passable until September.

http://www.bushducks.com/tripreps/passopen.htm#pearl

Yeah, I have been watching that site. Keeping my figures crossed.

Bruiser 08-02-2014 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rzeppa (Post 253849)
He rates Bill Moore Lake as "difficult" too. He drives a j**p.

Ah, I did not see that. That is helpful. I have done Bill Moore many time.

Rzeppa 08-02-2014 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruiser (Post 253852)
Ah, I did not see that. That is helpful. I have done Bill Moore many time.

If you look at his Moab book, and look at the trails we do for Cruise Moab, we basically ONLY do the most radical trails Moab has to offer, at least the ones in his book.

I don't think he's got Spring Creek listed in either of his Colorado books, but if he did it would probably be rated "impassible" :lmao:

I will say that sections of it have gotten harder over the years.

We now return to your regularly scheduled Pearl Pass discussion...:p:

pmccumber 08-11-2014 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by farnhamstj (Post 253789)
I believe Pearl pass is still impassible due to snow. I would guess Schofield is the same. Both should be clear by that time. If not I'll suggest, from Aspen you could go over Taylor Pass then Italian. Peal is relatively easy, but has some consequences if you did something dumb. Mostly Dusty, then baby heads, bunch of tallus, some exposed granite with little waterfalls. Easy in a truck, PIA on a dirtbike. Creek crossings on the South side can be deep sometimes. Maybe that's the reason for the higher rating.

Was up at Schofield and it is open from CB through Marble. The big annual drift that was bigger this year on the Gothic side of Schofield Pass was gone about three weeks ago. I was just up Castle Peak and it was clear all the way to 12,800' so I would say the odds of Pearl being open are pretty good.

Fishy 08-11-2014 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rzeppa (Post 253872)
If you look at his Moab book, and look at the trails we do for Cruise Moab, we basically ONLY do the most radical trails Moab has to offer, at least the ones in his book.

I don't think he's got Spring Creek listed in either of his Colorado books, but if he did it would probably be rated "impassible" :lmao:

I will say that sections of it have gotten harder over the years.

We now return to your regularly scheduled Pearl Pass discussion...:p:

:SOAPBOX ON:
In the interest of safety to the non-wheeler who doesn't know any better, I think his trails are rated appropriately. The machismo that's related to offroading makes no sense to me. My wife drove Fins and Things this year in Moab. To her, it was a difficult trail and you, me or anyone else has no place to tell her any different. It's all relative. Black Bear Pass is impassable to her, even on foot. Let's just worry about getting outside and promoting something that we all enjoy, regardless of trail ratings, books or vehicle types. Clean trails, fresh air and good people.....
:SOAPBOX OFF:

Rzeppa 08-12-2014 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishy (Post 254228)
It's all relative.

Um, that was the point I was making.

Inukshuk 08-12-2014 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith (Post 253794)
IIRC, schofield is open. We thought about going home that way but for that part of the trip we'd have a stock Taco with us and it didn't seem like a good idea.

"it didn't seem like a good idea" That's the key. Judgment. Relative, and personal.

I drove Red Cone, Radical Hill, North Fork of the Swan, Hoosier, Mosquito, Hagerman, Schofield, Cottonwood and Kenosha, this past weekend. Each one its own type of challenge. Route finding, fear, technical, mechanical, weather, traffic, logistics, and more.

What's harder / more dangerous: Schofield dry mid afternoon when alert and there is no oncoming traffic, or Kenosha at 70MPH, 10PM with a bunch of tired in-a-hurry-to-get-home drivers. Red Cone when smooth and clear, or Cottonwood slick with rain, socked in by fog, being tailgated by a monster truck, and facing lots of inexperienced dirt road oncoming divers.

riderjgs 08-12-2014 11:49 AM

Did Taylor pass from Ashcroft to Taylor Park this past weekend in an FJ55 w/3" lift and 33s, no lockers. Pretty gnarly coming down, especially just above and during the stretch that runs down the creek bed. Did Schofield last summer and I'd say Taylor on the reservoir side makes Schofield look like a walk on the beach, but then I don't think Schofield is as difficult as many say it is except for the off camber piece near the Punchbowl. Only saw three other vehicles, all prepared Jeeps, but a half dozen dirt bikes and about a dozen ATVs and side-by-sides, apparently the new off road conveyance of choice.
The road over Italian Mountain from Taylor Park to Cement Creek, which we also did last summer, is basically a forest service road and not difficult at all. Even saw a big pickup towing a stock trailer on it.
According to one of the Jeep drivers, who'd tried to do Pearl Pass, it is still blocked.

rover67 08-12-2014 12:31 PM

bushducks shows pearl pass open as of 8/11

MTSN 08-12-2014 01:56 PM

I'm going to Crested Butte to go camping Friday morning, and Pearl was one of the trails we talked about running. I'll post up pictures and details if we end up doing it (though I may do it on the dirtbike).

Burt88 08-12-2014 05:39 PM

Will you still be in Crested Butte on Saturday for camping? I'll be headed there via Schofield Pass with Ace and and couple other people from Book Cliff Cruisers. They are heading back to GJ but I plan to camp and head back to Aspen over one of the passes on Sunday.

Fishy 08-12-2014 05:47 PM

Bring a megaphone...... Ace's hearing isn't what it used to be. I camped with him a bunch over the last few years, you really have to shout the punch lines of all your jokes.

Sounds like a good group coming together.

MTSN 08-12-2014 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Burt88 (Post 254293)
Will you still be in Crested Butte on Saturday for camping? I'll be headed there via Schofield Pass with Ace and and couple other people from Book Cliff Cruisers. They are heading back to GJ but I plan to camp and head back to Aspen over one of the passes on Sunday.

Yep I'll be there Friday morning through Sunday. I'd be interested in heading back via a pass through Aspen on Sunday if you'd like to try to meet up!

Inukshuk 08-12-2014 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by riderjgs (Post 254269)
I'd say Taylor on the reservoir side makes Schofield look like a walk on the beach, but then I don't think Schofield is as difficult as many say it is except for the off camber piece near the Punchbowl.

Whoa! I thought the trail surface of Schofield was easy, but there were plenty of big rocks that could give many drivers pause.

Now I need to drive Taylor!

baja1d 08-12-2014 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inukshuk (Post 254308)
Now I need to drive Taylor!


You'll only need to do it once. Picture Spring Creek's rock garden but much longer... Even in a brand new rented Rubicon

Bruiser 08-25-2014 10:19 PM

I am still heading out on Thursday morning and plan to head over Pearl by late morning if anyone wants to come. I will be headed back to Denver via Italian Creek if anyone is interested in that.

Justin

Old40Dog 08-26-2014 12:37 AM

Justin, Wish we could leave earlier on Thursday. We're heading for Ouray, but Pearl would be a fun route. We don't need to arrive until Saturday morning.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inukshuk (Post 254308)
Whoa! I thought the trail surface of Schofield was easy, but there were plenty of big rocks that could give many drivers pause.

Now I need to drive Taylor!

Its a fun trail Daniel, took the M-416 up Taylor behind the FJ80 in August 2012. Idelle did it in her un-lifted, open FJZ80 in 2011. :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by baja1d (Post 254325)
You'll only need to do it once. Picture Spring Creek's rock garden but much longer... Even in a brand new rented Rubicon

I have to say I agree with Jeff, Charles drives a j**p. And yes, it's all relative, but Cruisers are the real deal. :cool:


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