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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.


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