Full size trucks on jeep trails advice

mikekey

Deplorable
All those HARD rated Jeep only trails in Moab I've done.

Out west there are a lot of Jeep trails that Fullsizes can do just fine and dandy. Jeep trail seems to really just be a non-descriptor for a lot of roads that are bigger than two track but difficult for your average passenger vehicle.

Although I have found some "jeep trails" here in the PNW have turned into dirt bike trails, especially if they're on the old USGS and FS maps marked as Jeep they're usually old trails. Not used very much.
 

zoomad75

K5 Camper guy
YUP!!

Where I usually trail ride in NW Arkansas, it's mostly dense forest trails that are really tight, and my 2-door Tahoe (full size Blazer) barely squeezes through at times with the mirrors folded in. On more than one occasion, I have received some strange looks from the ATV and SXS operators, and you can tell they are wondering what in the world a diesel Blazer is doing out here on these trails. One guy even stopped me and said, "You know it gets pretty tight up there, right?" I had faith that my trail guide (in a TJ) knew what he was talking about when he said I would fit, and I did without any problems.

Casey

Yep, we did Pear Pass this fall (Larry couldn't make it-bummer) with 3 other Jeeps. Pearl pass connects the Crested Butte to Aspen and is every bit a Jeep trail. Maintained by the good folks of the Blue Mesa 4 wheelers, the trail is tight between trees below timberline and then narrow shelf above timberline. While leading the Jeeps in my Blazer out of one crazy scramble over a scree field we entered tight trees again. My buddy John in the tail gunner spot radioed up to me somebody in a SXS was trying to pass the group. I responded back, good luck as I couldn't find a wide enough spot to let a mountain bike past us where I was at, the SXS was going to have to wait. A little later I found a spot where we could all get out of the way and let this impatient couple in thier SXS through. Needless to say the look on thier faces when the saw my portly K5 up front was priceless. They stopped next to me and asked how in the hell did I get that thing up this far? I laughed and responded "the same way you did, I drove it up here!" I don't think they liked my sense of humor.

Up on top there isn't much of a flat spot to park my truck much less 3 more Jeeps.
36559370932_1d26914b66_b.jpg


I'm not a Jeep hater either. My buddies drive them. I just "fit" a full size better.
36333353200_d15af52027_b.jpg


I wish I had my gopro running when the SXS people rolled up to me though. They were genuinely annoyed my truck was in thier way. Made me proud..
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
Yep, we did Pear Pass this fall (Larry couldn't make it-bummer) with 3 other Jeeps. Pearl pass connects the Crested Butte to Aspen and is every bit a Jeep trail. Maintained by the good folks of the Blue Mesa 4 wheelers, the trail is tight between trees below timberline and then narrow shelf above timberline. While leading the Jeeps in my Blazer out of one crazy scramble over a scree field we entered tight trees again. My buddy John in the tail gunner spot radioed up to me somebody in a SXS was trying to pass the group. I responded back, good luck as I couldn't find a wide enough spot to let a mountain bike past us where I was at, the SXS was going to have to wait. A little later I found a spot where we could all get out of the way and let this impatient couple in thier SXS through. Needless to say the look on thier faces when the saw my portly K5 up front was priceless. They stopped next to me and asked how in the hell did I get that thing up this far? I laughed and responded "the same way you did, I drove it up here!" I don't think they liked my sense of humor.

Up on top there isn't much of a flat spot to park my truck much less 3 more Jeeps.
36559370932_1d26914b66_b.jpg


I'm not a Jeep hater either. My buddies drive them. I just "fit" a full size better.
36333353200_d15af52027_b.jpg


I wish I had my gopro running when the SXS people rolled up to me though. They were genuinely annoyed my truck was in thier way. Made me proud..

Oh how I miss the passes in Colorado, one weekend we did Hagerman, Mosquito, and Pearl, definitely some of the best scenic trails in the country. On Mosquito we had a lightning storm with hail come in fast and had to drop down the other side a bit faster that we would have liked.
 

zoomad75

K5 Camper guy
Oh how I miss the passes in Colorado, one weekend we did Hagerman, Mosquito, and Pearl, definitely some of the best scenic trails in the country. On Mosquito we had a lightning storm with hail come in fast and had to drop down the other side a bit faster that we would have liked.


Passes like Pearl are have all the great points of a fun trail. Steep rocky sections, check. Scenic forest sections, check. Panoramic views, check. Serious pucker factor, check. I was amazed how well my Blazer tackled the terrain despite it's size. I love taking on trails like this one. To have it and others like it within a couple hours from my house is heaven. We did 3 passes that weekend. Tincup, Reno creek/Italian Divide and then Pearl. Plus we had the joy of coming back by way of Independence Pass which despite being paved, is almost a scary when the upper crust from Aspen is using it like it's the Monaco Grand Prix.
 

MagicMtnDan

2020 JT Rubicon Launch Edition & 2021 F350 6.7L
Don't get discouraged. It can be done and it is done - all the time. But as noted, trees are not a full-size truck's friend. Here in the Southwest (desert) we have more places to run full size trucks. But even in the desert we have trees and many have nasty pointy bits that like to desert pinstripe trucks.

I've driven many miles offroad in full size trucks and running one side's wheels in the Jeep trail while the other side's wheels are blazing their own trail is commonplace.

I know one guy who bought a roll of magnetic sheeting and cut pieces to cover the sides of his truck to protect it.
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
Don't get discouraged. It can be done and it is done - all the time. But as noted, trees are not a full-size truck's friend. Here in the Southwest (desert) we have more places to run full size trucks. But even in the desert we have trees and many have nasty pointy bits that like to desert pinstripe trucks.

I've driven many miles offroad in full size trucks and running one side's wheels in the Jeep trail while the other side's wheels are blazing their own trail is commonplace.

I know one guy who bought a roll of magnetic sheeting and cut pieces to cover the sides of his truck to protect it.

The issue here (as the above poster has admitted to) is that "blazing their own trail" leads to erosion and other trail damage that gives the tree huggers more ammunition to close trails.
 

Coachgeo

Explorer
Like others say in here...... not good for truck NOT good for trail..... REAL GOOD at getting nature lovers pissed and trying harder to get trails closed off for EVERYONE. Don't Do It.

That being said..... "Don't Do It" more because.... that is the right thing to do! Respect mother nature. Respect the other off-roaders. Bigger rigs on trails not fitting for them causes unnecessary damage as mentioned, not good for Mother Nature. Scared tree's, worse erosion, etc etc. It also causes damage to the trails difficulty ratings at times. Fun trails for the size rig mother nature decided to let explore her, when abused by larger rigs end up becoming highway's your mother in law can drive up/over. That is not good for your fellow off-roaders.

Two negatives never make a positive.
 
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Coachgeo

Explorer
...I wish I had my gopro running when the SXS people rolled up to me though. They were genuinely annoyed my truck was in thier way. Made me proud..
hmmm.. IMHO you might consider a bit of reflection back on this "pride" some. Kudo's to your driving skill to make it happen... but at what expense to others??, too nature.... wasn't there myself so maybe there was no cost to others but.... hmm sure sounds like..... I don't give a Fawk about damage to nature or others... just being a devils advocate.
 
Great thread.

If you really want to spend a lot of time on hardcore trails recommend a 4x4 truck to get you there and a good ATV or offroad golf cart (2wd is fine) that will fit in the back. This way your not tearing up your expensive ride home. Much funner when your less worried about breaking $omething.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
hmmm.. IMHO you might consider a bit of reflection back on this "pride" some. Kudo's to your driving skill to make it happen... but at what expense to others??, too nature.... wasn't there myself so maybe there was no cost to others but.... hmm sure sounds like..... I don't give a Fawk about damage to nature or others... just being a devils advocate.

Relax Cletus. I don't think he's advocating running over cactus or anything. Just has a tire up on one side of the trail for a bit. No ones planning on wrecking jeep sized trails here.

The SxS guys can be serious dooshes. They don't like sitting behind a slow moving jeep or expo guy. Us motorcycle guys point and laugh at the SxS guys, when we zip by the jeeps on either side. Sometimes jump right over them. LOLz.

The Razor and SxS people are this years version of 1990's jetski idiots.
b80c29ecde3bc4d08b44534d04a93fa8.jpg


And if any of ya'll gave a frack about the trail or the environment, you'd have proper drainage on your trails to prevent erosion and giant mud pits in the pic above. That'll just grow the trail wider as people bushwack around the pit. There's nothing natural about traffic. Horse, bike, foot, truck, it doesn't matter. Good trails need good maintenance.
 

Dalko43

Explorer
Like others say in here...... not good for truck NOT good for trail..... REAL GOOD at getting nature lovers pissed and trying harder to get trails closed off for EVERYONE. Don't Do It.

That being said..... "Don't Do It" more because.... that is the right thing to do! Respect mother nature. Respect the other off-roaders. Bigger rigs on trails not fitting for them causes unnecessary damage as mentioned, not good for Mother Nature. Scared tree's, worse erosion, etc etc. It also causes damage to the trails difficulty ratings at times. Fun trails for the size rig mother nature decided to let explore her, when abused by larger rigs end up becoming highway's your mother in law can drive up/over. That is not good for your fellow off-roaders.

Two negatives never make a positive.

Full sized trucks aren't the problem. It's people who deliberately go off trail and/or ignore posted regulations who cause the problems. As well spinning wheels (which usually comes about from lack of proper tires, pressure, traction aids) gradually degrades the trails.

Be smart, follow the rules, use the least amount of power necessary to get over tough obstacles, and you'll be fine. There is no need to alienate full sized truck overlanders. If a midsized truck can make it through the trail, chances are good that a full-sized can make it through as well, albeit with a bit more pin-striping.
 
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zoomad75

K5 Camper guy
hmmm.. IMHO you might consider a bit of reflection back on this "pride" some. Kudo's to your driving skill to make it happen... but at what expense to others??, too nature.... wasn't there myself so maybe there was no cost to others but.... hmm sure sounds like..... I don't give a Fawk about damage to nature or others... just being a devils advocate.

Hey dude, did I say anywhere I was breaking trail? Did I say I was bushwacking trees beating the snot out of my own ride? NO. I'm quite the considerate wheeler. I stay the trail, don't dig holes by going nuts trying to get through an obsticle and if I have too I'm not afraid to take a tug on my winch with the correct equipment to not damage anything I'm going to anchor too. Yes I drive a fullsize. With 35" tires which compared to some of the Bro's in JK's running 37's to 40's I'm actually leaving a smaller footprint on the dirt. Not to mention I pack my trash out and any other I find on the trail to keep the greenpeas from bitching about our 4wd's use.

Honestly it's the holier than thou attitude of those like you that only belive they are allowed on the god damn trail. None of the example I gave indicated I tore any of the trail up. Sure it was narrow, but I didn't even have to fold in my mirrors. So why don't you back the fawk down on assuming what the hell I did on the trail.

You seem to miss the point. Much like the SXS people giving me the "look" and comment for being up there, your pissy attitude is no different. You are right it took some skill to drive, but just because you drive a smaller rig don't mean I can't drive a larger one as long as I'm carefull of my truck and the surroundings. You seem to miss another point as well. I'm not one to want to tear my ride up. I've worked my butt off to get my rig where I'm at with the help of others. The last thing I want to do is go bounce it off of trees and boulders denting and beating the snot out of my vehicle just to say I made it. Unlike some here, I'm not made of money and can't afford to trailer my rig up to the trailhead with some $70,000 diesel rig so I can bash the snot out of it and limp it back on the trailer. I drive my ride to the trailhead and need to be able to drive back home wether it's 2 hours or 8 hours away. So tearing it up is counter productive to my goal. Go wheeling, be in nature and have a good time and come home in one piece.

Wheeling in a fullsize isn't the problem. Anybody in anysize ride can tear up the trails if they don't drive responsibly. SXS to fullsize and all the sizes in between. What I don't appreciate is web wheelers making assumtions based on a limited bit of information that I didn't drive responsibly.
 

Yroundrdn

Observer
AGREED Zoomad75!
I've seen idiots in a JK do far more damage to a trail with a heavy foot than my full size sub will ever do! That is some very small minded thinking to come to a conclusion as that. In my experience with a very large diesel F350, a GM 2500 HD and the Sub I have now, you can get into many places as long as you take it slow and smooth and don't mind the occasional "pin-striping". I just go real slow and spot everything. So far my only damage has been sliding to a stop in mud and spinning gears in the steering box of my F350, something that would have happened on any rig in that situation.

There are some trails I don't do that used to be done in my XJ but for exploring purposes, I've made it through all the trails that were open and was grateful to have a rig large enough to comfortably enjoy the trip.
 

ExplorerTom

Explorer
I've seen several mentions of "occasional" pin striping. I think most are coming from people in the desert southwest. Here in the Rockies, pin striping is mandatory. This is my "mid-size" Explorer:



So don't come to the Rockies thinking you'll fit down all those Jeep trails. You won't. But there are still plenty that you will.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
If anything, the jeep guys should be thanking the fullsize guys for trimming the trail back a hair.

Without traffic, the trail gets overgrown. It ain't much fun when the soft top on your jeep gets shredded by thorns.
 

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