Volvo Xc90 on nellie creek 4wd road

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Volvo Xc90 on nellie creek 4wd road

Postby butterflyer » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:29 pm

I have a volvo xc90 and would like to do uncompahgre, but I was wondering if a 2008 volvo xc90 would make it up to the 4wd trail head?
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Re: Volvo Xc90 on nellie creek 4wd road

Postby Taillon75 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:25 pm

Throw some Deuce Deuce's on it and it will!
Catchy saying from someone famous.
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Re: Volvo Xc90 on nellie creek 4wd road

Postby gdthomas » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:39 pm

You have a nice car and if you want to keep it that way I'd probably not take it up to the 4WD TH.
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Re: Volvo Xc90 on nellie creek 4wd road

Postby cheeseburglar » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:46 pm

If you or a friend don't have a story about losing an expensive part or a large amount of oil from an expensive vehicle trying to get to a 14ers trailhead, you aren't serious about the 14ers.
I haven't been on that road in about 8 years. But it would have been a very risky idea with your volvo then, unless you did an in depth cost/benefit analysis of a bad and funny story vs a towing and repair bill.
The marmot said “Nobody is perfect and you are not nobody.”

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Re: Volvo Xc90 on nellie creek 4wd road

Postby Sixpoint » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:51 pm

Just traveled to this trailhead on the 25th. I was considering trying it with my Audi Q5 and am I ever grateful that I rented a Jeep in Lake City instead. You could probably make it with some careful maneuvering, but I would recommend that you don't risk it in your Volvo.
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Re: Volvo XC90 on Nellie Creek 4WD Road

Postby TallGrass » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:44 am

Based on I'd say it'd be fine. There were similar SUVs driven up by other trail crew when working on Uncompahgre a month ago, some were even just 2WD. A F150 with soft suspension was reported to drag (bottom out) in a few places.

There are a few stream crossings and not many places to turn around. It's steep in several places and can be slick in others depending on how recently it rained. I rode up it (1WD, street tires) and it seemed worse likely due to fatigue as the ride down was easy (rested). See my TRs for video and pics of the road. I can send you links to just about the whole route down from the perspective of a Ford Ranger following which was easy to outpace being on a single-track vehicle.

I think comfort level and driver experience are greater factors, but you don't improve either by sticking to pavement. Budget at least 30-45min for the drive up, be patient/calm, and consider topping off your oil if you have a wet sump due to the incline. Get a bunch of maps from visitor info include one for the Alpine Loop. There are a bunch of roads to play or cut your teeth on depending on experience. If you get uncomfortable at any point, just let me drive. :)

Here are some more links.

This trail is mostly one-lane and courtesy is to yield to the party going uphill (if same vehicle; hikers v. horses v. ATV ... differ). There are a few places where this might be easy or practical.

P.S. If your age listed is correct make sure the owner approves of you taking it on NCR. Might be wise to have a passenger to act as a spotter if you encounter unfamiliar obstacles or to help backing up when meeting another vehicle. But if all your ducks are in a row (insurance, gas, supplies, tools, etc.), go for it!*

* After all, ain't my car. And if you like it, there's always Engineer and Black Bear passes! :)
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:
"A few hours' mountain climbing make of a rogue and a saint two fairly equal creatures.
Tiredness is the shortest path to equality and fraternity - and sleep finally adds to them liberty."
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Re: Volvo Xc90 on nellie creek 4wd road

Postby jeffskio » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:47 am

I took my 2005 honda crv with 8.1 inches of clearence up there and had no problem.
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Re: Volvo Xc90 on nellie creek 4wd road

Postby LuLuLuv » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:09 am

I have been up there 2 times this summer. Once in a stock Nissan Xterra and once in a Toyota 4Runner. We made it in both vehicles, but it was slow going and the road is ROUGH. We took the Nissan up the weekend of the mudslides/rockslides on Cinnamon Pass, it was very wet and pretty scary slipping around on that road. So take dryness into consideration. I looked at Tallgrass's link for the Volvo, it is a very nice car so really consider how much you care for it before you go.
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Re: Volvo Xc90 on nellie creek 4wd road

Postby ColoradoSherpa » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:40 am

I drove up to Nellie Creek TH in a stock Isuzu Rodeo about a week ago without any real problems. There wasn't any mud to speak of and the road was dry. There were a couple of water breaks where I scraped slightly. Also on the river crossing there's a huge rock that can be avoided by hugging the right side (going in). I didn't see it until it was too late and also bumped the bottom. In light of the water breaks, I probably wouldn't have felt comfortable driving the road in a vehicle with lower clearance. Good luck on trip....Uncompahgre is a great mountain!

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