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Old 05-06-2014, 03:31 PM
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Default 4 days to get to Crested Butte in late July

So, a couple friends are getting married in Crested Butte July 27th. I have off from the 22nd to the 28th and so does a good friend who is also going to the wedding. Thus begins a plan in my head. Would love to have some input from you fine folks. Would love it even more if anyone wants to join us.

Thus far it'll be myself driving a 2005 Taco w/ OME lift, BFG AT 265s, sliders, RTT, fridge, etc. I'm also pretty sure my friend Tim will be coming along and driving his 2010 TRD Taco that is stock except for BFG AT 265s. So, we wanna have fun, see cool stuff, fish a bit, and keep the wheeling relatively mellow.

The rough plan I just sketched out looking at an Atlas:

Tuesday the 22nd: We'll probably get a late start. Would like to drive Argentine Pass and camp on the far side.

Wednesday the 23rd: Drive out to Keystone/Dillon for gas and gear. Hop on 70 to Vail Pass and camp on Shrine Pass.

Thursday the 24th: Here is where I start to be really unsure of what to do. I don't know this area at all. Was thinking about taking a road labelled "708" toward Pando and Camp Hale. Then a road labelled "705" or No Name Road toward Leadville. Then pop into Leadville if we need gas or anything. Then take Hagerman Pass to Fryingpan Lakes and camp on the Frying Pan.

Friday the 25th: Thinking we'll fish the Frying Pan for a bit because it's all famous and whatnot. I think we can just keep heading South along the Frying Pan all the way to Independence Pass. Then we could drive Independence Pass to Aspen. Then I'm reading we can take either Pearl, Taylor, or Schofield Pass to Crested Butte. I don't know anything about any of these passes, so please chime in.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:56 PM
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There is a ton of stuff to do right around Crested Butte. But heading up to Leadville and around Vail/Eagle/Dillon is cool for someone out of state.

Crystal Mill & Marble

Some combination of Schofield/Taylor/Pearl/Italian Creek Passes is what constitute the Miller's Triple Bypass
Camp in Dorchester Campground

Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Blue Mesa and Paonia Rez

Drive down to Lake City and do the Alpine Loop
Wheeler Geologic Area
Maroon Bells if you're into hiking and tourist buses

Be aware that with our higher than average snow pack it's possible that stuff will still not be fully open in July. The Triple Bypass usually happens in August and some years it's touch and go.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:12 PM
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you confuse me on frying pan. if you take hagerman it'll dump you out at basalt. you don't go back up independence. from basalt go over pearl or go south to carbondale and then to marble and schofield or keep going over mclure pass to kebler pass. depending on what you feel comfortable with. I doubt Pearl will be open by then. if it was a lean snow year it would be but It's not usually passable til aug for your type of rig. esp going aspen to CB.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:23 PM
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Argentine doesn't go over the pass, just to the top, so you'll have to go back down and around to get to Dillon
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:19 PM
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Schofield can get avalanches that close it until late in the summer. Check bushducks for updates.

Camping in Argentine isn't a bad idea; but I would come back out and go south to 285 at Grant and then head to Boreas Pass or Mosquito Pass, depending on where you want to pop back out. Assuming you take Boreas to Breckenridge, you can camp at Shrine Pass. Then take some of the roads in the Camp Hale area and drop down to the highway, then run over the Leadville. From there I would head south toward Buena Vista and camp/fish at Twin Lakes maybe or push on to Taylor Park over Cottonwood Pass and fish that area. You can pick your way down the Taylor River until you hit the road up from Gunnison and finish it off in CB. If you're a mountain biker you can spend many days riding around CB, so if you get there early no big deal.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:09 PM
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I did a similar route 6 or 7 years ago and like others have said, there are lots of options. My route was:

US285 South to Fairplay, then take Weston Pass over toward Leadville/BV. Tons of camping on both sides of Weston, although the west side has incredible views of Massive and Elbert.

Head down from their toward Mt Princeton, and then take Tincup Pass. The nice thing about Tincup is that you get two nice ghost towns on either end of the pass with Tincup and St Elmo. Good for a stop to walk around. You can also take a dip in the hot springs. Tincup can be late to open because of a snowdrift near the top of the east side, but I'm thinking that late July should be safe.

On the other side of Tincup you are in the Taylor Park area, which opens up a huge amount of possibilities. You can pop out and head to Crested Butte on the highway, or take another detour up Taylor Pass or Italian. Like Wes said, those routes have more snow and you may need to monitor into the summer to see what opens up.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesintl View Post
you confuse me on frying pan. if you take hagerman it'll dump you out at basalt. you don't go back up independence. from basalt go over pearl or go south to carbondale and then to marble and schofield or keep going over mclure pass to kebler pass. depending on what you feel comfortable with. I doubt Pearl will be open by then. if it was a lean snow year it would be but It's not usually passable til aug for your type of rig. esp going aspen to CB.
I heard Crested Butte ski resort is open for spring skiing for the first time in a long time (maybe ever) so I really doubt pearl will be open.

Justin
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesintl View Post
you confuse me on frying pan. if you take hagerman it'll dump you out at basalt. you don't go back up independence.
It looks to me like Hagerman Pass runs from the West side of Turquoise Lake, over the Continental Divide and then down to Ivanhoe Lake. Near there it looks like I can pick up a road called Nast Tunnel Diversion Road to Frying Pan Lakes. It looked to me like I could follow the Frying Pan river south to CO-82, but I now think that's actually just a hiking trail. Bummer.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by MDH33 View Post
Argentine doesn't go over the pass, just to the top, so you'll have to go back down and around to get to Dillon
Uh... Well I'm an idiot. Also a bummer. Thinking now about...
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacket View Post
I did a similar route 6 or 7 years ago and like others have said, there are lots of options. My route was:

US285 South to Fairplay, then take Weston Pass over toward Leadville/BV. Tons of camping on both sides of Weston, although the west side has incredible views of Massive and Elbert.

Head down from their toward Mt Princeton, and then take Tincup Pass. The nice thing about Tincup is that you get two nice ghost towns on either end of the pass with Tincup and St Elmo. Good for a stop to walk around. You can also take a dip in the hot springs. Tincup can be late to open because of a snowdrift near the top of the east side, but I'm thinking that late July should be safe.

On the other side of Tincup you are in the Taylor Park area, which opens up a huge amount of possibilities. You can pop out and head to Crested Butte on the highway, or take another detour up Taylor Pass or Italian. Like Wes said, those routes have more snow and you may need to monitor into the summer to see what opens up.
Maybe doing this but taking Guanella Pass to 285. I really like where Tincup Pass puts us out. Gives us lots of options to get to Crested Butte, and I think spending a day fishing the Taylor River might be awesome. I guess we'll have to wait and see what the snowpack does.

Also, if we are going to be over here... What do folks think about a stock Taco taking on Slaughterhouse Gulch?
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