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Old 08-17-2011, 09:48 AM
gaterose gaterose is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: AL
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Default Wheeler Geologic Area

Hi everyone, I'm from AL but wanted to share this because I wouldn't have made it without the help of this forum....

I took a road trip to CO at beginning of August and decided to take the trail to Wheeler Geologic Area. I attempted the trail last year but only made it a couple of miles before turning back as it was getting dark and my 4R was stock (and 2WD). Well since then, I've added bigger tires and sliders and decided to give it another shot. This time I made it the whole way.

After months of searching for info about how much more difficult the trail was than what I tried the first time around I found a thread here. After talking to DaveInDenver about the area I decided I could make it and here are the results…

Oh yeah, I also have some video, but haven't had time to edit/upload it yet, I'll update the thread when I do.

Just after the trail started

The trail took almost two hours to complete, and I was driving a lot faster than the Jeep I ran into so I can't guess how long it took him. The only other traffic we saw on the 15 mile trail were a couple of groups of ATVs. Luckily we ran into the Jeep, about 2 miles past where I stopped last year, going up and since he had 35s I wasn't too worried about getting stuck and/or stranded. Needless to say we blazed up the rest of the trail and with the exception of scrubbing the skids and sliders I had no trouble.

4x4 Trail End/Hiking Trailhead

My friend & the dogs on formation

The bigger formations

There were better shots to be taken but my passengers were complaining about rain so I only got a few before realizing I was alone; they headed back and I had the keys.

The Jeep that followed me

The only real action shots we took on a couple of flexy parts of the trail.

End of the trail

I'm really surprised a lady at the Creede visitor center looked at me like I was crazy (as did the Jeep driver) when I told her I was going up there in a 2WD. I only scrubbed my skids once or twice, hit the sliders once (which I avoided on the way back with a different line), and spun once despite rain throughout the trip on both ways.

More pictures of Pool Table Mtn and Creede here

I also hit a trail on Mt. Zirkel near Steamboat Springs, and in January I drove a bit up Lake Como Road to Blanca but didn't go far at all. My friends own a ranch not too far from Blanca on Wolf Creek Pass.

Here are a couple pictures of that for your enjoyment as well.
Mt. Zirkel

Mt. Blanca

For anyone interested there are more pics of my trip and stops (South Fork to Steamboat via CO285) here

Thanks for the info guys! Hope I'm not imposing on the forum, I just figured everyone would enjoy pics of someone beating on a newish 4Runner. I'm very jealous that you guys live out there and get to wheel the snot out of such beautiful places, hopefully after I'm done with school I'll move out that way.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:18 AM
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Jacket Jacket is online now
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Awesome! Thanks for the trip report, and the great pictures. I can't wait to get up there and see it for myself.
- Matt
1976 FJ40 - green and mostly stock
1996 FZJ80 - not so stock
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:10 PM
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Woodsman Woodsman is offline
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Very cool area to check out.

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Old 08-17-2011, 12:19 PM
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corsair23 corsair23 is offline
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Thanks for posting up about the trip

I've lived in CO my entire life and apparently I need to get out and see more
Jeff Z. (the "not quite as skinny" one)
TLCA #17037
'97 LX450 - aka "The Whale"
'97 FZJ80 Antique Sage AE #267, stock
12/74 FJ40, 2F, SM420, 4" Lift, ARBs, 33" MTRs


"...anything else i can do for you guys, how about i wash your car or mow your lawn while you figure out your firewall system? I am now boarderline insane/unibomber." Kipper

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Old 08-17-2011, 12:43 PM
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subzali subzali is offline
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Cool trip report! You got around while you were out here!
Matt Miller
"Stay the Trail," "Tread Lightly," and "Leave No Trace" ethics
TLCA# 13684
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1977 FJ40 2F "Brahma" + Lockright, tach, Warn 8274, FJ60 Power Steering, soon to lose the Sanden OBA to go back to factory emissions
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:46 PM
gaterose gaterose is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: AL
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Thanks guys, glad you enjoy the pics; I love it out there. You're all very lucky and those of you who haven't found time to see the stuff that isn't local should definitely try to find the time because you have a beautiful state!!

If you like the photos be sure and check out the links, and the linked albums in those links. I have a ton of pictures of the Mineral County (95% public land!), San Luis Valley area, & southern CO in general (Durango, Telluride, Ouray, etc.)
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:00 PM
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Chris Chris is offline
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Nice report Gaterose! I have yet to make it to Wheeler Geologic Area but plan to soob, thanks for the photos.

Nice 4Runner!
1988 FJ62 - gone
2005 4Runner Limited V8
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:28 PM
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velorider4 velorider4 is offline
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Nice rock formations. Looks like a place I need to get to.

Roll Tide.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:32 PM
gaterose gaterose is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: AL
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Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Nice report Gaterose! I have yet to make it to Wheeler Geologic Area but plan to soob, thanks for the photos.

Nice 4Runner!
Thanks Chris, I think I've seen yours on the 4R forums (T4R & T120) looks like you've got a nice white 4Runner yourself

The rest of my trip is posted on both of the 4R forums with more pics; if you get bored and like pictures, I took a lot!

Originally Posted by velorider4 View Post
Nice rock formations. Looks like a place I need to get to.

Roll Tide.
Yeah, the whole area is beautiful (really the whole state IMO, though I haven't seen much of the Western Slope).. If you get a chance I recommend visiting Wheeler Geo, and while you're in Creede do the Bachelor's Loop, there's a couple 4x4 trails along the loop and it's a beautiful place. Also Como Lake Road (Mt. Blanca) and the Old Spanish Trail are only about 45-60 min away.

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