Sugarloaf Mountain Road is a beautiful dirt road that offers great views and is close to Boulder. We got to Sugarloaf Mountain Road from Switzerland Trail and Gordon Gulch its a fun group of trails to run together.
There are several nice offshoots which will likely need to put your Range Rover into low range for. At the end of Sugarloaf Mountain Road you can run Pennsylvania Gulch but if your in a Rover your car is just going to be scratched up with tons of trees whereas sugarloaf mountain does not offer that drama.
We then drove down on roads and took a hike on the Boulder Canyon Trail
“Switzerland Trail of America” is an old narrow gauge railroad system that was washed out around WWII.
It is accessible from Gordon Gultch and offers views similar to what you’d see in Switzerland or so they say. Its a very mellow trail which can be run in high range. There are some pretty views and overall its still fun to drive a truck offroad even when you don’t get the adrenaline from potentially making expensive decisions.
We ran Gordon Gultch to Switzerland trail. At the end of Switzerland Trail is Sugarloaf Mountain Road. Which is a similar trail in composition of being more of a dirt road with rocks and views.
Yesterday we ran Gordon Gultch which was somewhat tricky to find considering the directions on trail damage were to take Highway 72 north for five miles after the Nederland roundabout, and CO-72 is east west. But we went west on 72 and found it.
Once there we were really pleasantly surprised by a good sized camping and trail system. There are beautiful overlooks and rocks and plenty of easy trail with some challenging offshoots.
The L322 was great we played enthusiastically in puddles and some water crossing, and she climbed loose dirt rocks very well. This is a nice trail without many sharp rocks which is always comforting.
We played on Gordon Gultch for a few hours then drove up 233 to Switzerland trail turning right brings you up the Switzerland trail and finishing this trail sets up the Sugarloaf mountain trail.
Pole Hill Road:
We took Coco, a 2006 Range Rover, up to Estes Park, CO. With a quick stop over on both sides of Pole Hill Road (do not point your GPS to late numbers on Pole Hill Road to get to the trail head). Pole Hill Road is an Old Wagon Trail, with one side being a private road near Carter Lake CO. Carter Lake is very pretty with cascading lakes surrounded by mountains. Taking 34 provides a beautiful drive through “classic” CO.
Once we got done walking around we headed up to the other side of Pole Hill Road which according to signs promising prosecution is not accessible from the crater lake side. So a 32 mile trip later lands you right at Pole Hill Road. Which is a family neighborhood that turns into a network of trails. You can tell you’re on the right path when you see an esoteric but official “level 5 road” sign.
Pole Hill Road becomes a trailhead near the top and presents some of the most challenging obstacles if you choose to take the rocky course. There are many different trails with many “semi trails”. Many trails feature rocks that will flex the Range Rover suspension but with constant relevant throttle applied the L322 Range Rover and P38a can run this trail stock despite a “4-5” rating on TrailDamage.com. Above are typical rock obstacles to be dealt with on Pole Hill Road. I can’t believe people took pioneer wagons and Subarus up here.
There are some dirt sections which are fun and a welcome down time. There are also sections with some loose hill climbs which are fun. We continued on to Estes Park to the Stanley Hotel where we walked around and had drinks at their bar (always a nice time and they stocked absinthe perfect for the location).
|The Stanley Hotel Estes Park, CO|
We headed back on 36 which despite going through Boulder is not as pretty or fast as 34 to 25.
In perhaps the last run of the season we took Coco out to I-70 area around Georgetown, CO and Idaho Springs, CO. I believe it is referred to as Saxon Mountain Road Spring Creek on TrailDamage.com but honestly I don’t know. We took Main Street out to Alvoardo or something to where you could continue on a “Road” or go on to a trail head that is marked with a “do not block road”. It was a good trail to run in the snow, although there are areas where spurs get very narrow.