Trailhead:  South Colony Lakes
Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  zsmith
 Date of Info:  07/22/2013
 Date Posted:  07/23/2013
Three spots have become torn out and difficult to pass in the last two miles before you reach the upper 4wd trailhead. The first spot you will encounter is the worst. Going up it is tricky but passable in a truck-based SUV or pickup (XTerra, Jeep, pickup, etc). It is definitely not passable in passenger car. It would take considerable skill and a some luck to get up in a car-based CUV (Rav4, CRV, Pilot, etc). Going down is even more difficult because there are large (read oil pan penetrating) rocks to straddle and it‘s difficult to judge how deep the holes are on the back side of the rocks in the tire tracks. You will have to inch down to avoid hitting your underside on the downward bounce. The section was a handful even in an XTerra OR.

 Comments or Questions

07/26/2013 02:35
This seems awful compared to the yellow brick road my Forester went up in April.


Subaru's have higher clearance
07/26/2013 04:17
You bring up a good point. Subaru's have higher clearance than most car-based CUV's since they have a horizontally opposed engine that sits higher in the chassis. This allows the oil pan to sit higher. They tend to be fairly capable. I'm assuming your are making a joke about April? Other trip reports indicate the snow did not melt until early June. Otherwise I don't have a point of reference for comparison.


07/28/2013 02:14
for the insight about clearance. Foresters have almost 9” but I wasn't certain about the other cars.

Drove up 4/27 and I think we made it 600' vertical below the Rainbow TH.


07/29/2013 14:51
Thinking of taking my '02 Forester up there this weekend. I've had it up there a couple of other times but the most recent was 2 years ago. Seemed more like the 'yellow brick road' that zdero1 is referring to. Has it gotten that bad in recent months??? Now I'm nervous about going up...


Tricky to Gauge
07/29/2013 15:28
Since it was my first time up that trailhead, its tricky for me to have a baseline for comparison. Most of the road was not bad. So Im guessing it has just gotten torn out in a couple places. The one bad spot had many tracks trying to get around it so Im confident others thought it was a hazard too. You can try to skirt it to the left (going down), but it got a little close to the soft edge. Since I was able to make it down the center, I didnt want to trample the side and tear up the shoulder more (or slide off the road). The Lincoln/Democrat/Bross road was similar. It has always been very good, but this year one particular spot became more difficult. For a 02 Forester, Id call it iffy in that spot. With care, you may get past it. But I think vehicle damage may be a possibility, particularly going down. I only saw large pickups, Jeeps, FJ Cruisers and XTerras at the trailhead. There were no cars or CUVs Monday morning.

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