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.