My Buddy Mike came to town so we made a run up to Tommy Knocker in Idaho Springs Colorado, after that we explored some of the back ways to Black Hawk. We ended up taking a road that was not maintained in winter. On the 2011 Range Rover SC we have street tires. I switched it over to snow mode but we couldn’t continue to climb through the snow during an especially high peak. I think perhaps if we put turned off DSC it may have helped, but for now, I am a bit disappointed in DSC, because I felt it limited my power up the hill when I needed it most.
The rest of this story is now featured in our first Range Rover Book Cliff’s Unofficial L322 ‘Full Fat’ Range Rover Buyers Guide. Please consider purchasing the ebook to support the site, you can also find it under local amazon with keywords L322 Book. Finally the moral of this story is always ALWAYS TURN OFF DSC in snow, on mountains, in limited traction scenarios.
Driving a Range Rover in a Blizzard makes you feel like a bad person. Read more of this post in our Range Rover book.
This is a trip I’ve wanted to do for a while. I wanted to see the ghost town Nevadaville and with a dozen or so casinos nearby it is an excellent day trip about an hour away from Denver.
We took route six up to Blackhawk and checked in at the vegas style Ameristar. Blackhawk and Central City are two old mine staging towns that once had narrow gauge railroad run to them, in fact the Lodge Casino is the old Blackhawk station.
Today Blackhawk is a mini-vegas and Central City has many smaller casinos that fit in more with the seemingly all original city. It feels like you are in the west. Though there is new building going on and Central City is now getting an interesting taste of new and old.
If you need to go further on the frontier, like I do, I took the Range Rover up Nevadaville Road to the ghost town of Nevadaville, where only Masionic Meetings still occur at one of the first lodges in Colorado.
I will try to upload more pictures later of Nevadaville.
The road from Central City up to Nevadaville is fairly steep and somewhat loose. The Range Rover terrain response snow and gravel setting is excellent for descending or ascending this hill in snow. However our weather was good so I left it in special programs off and hit the throttle a few times. There is a large mine that is closed, and a sign about a minning disaster.
About a thousand feet further lie Nevadaville, but don’t blink or you might miss it. Keep on this road and make a right on to Bald Mountain Road and you will loop back to Central City. Passing an old western graveyard.
Pennsylvania Gulch is at the end of Sugarloaf Mountain Road. The part we ran was cool with uphill climbs horizontally inclined but the trail and trees are in such a way that they often brush against your car. We ran the trail for about a mile before turning back (not easy on this trail) because we didn’t want to scratch up Coco.
Definitely not a trail to run in a nice land rover.
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.