Thread: San Juans in the WK2

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  1. #1 San Juans in the WK2 
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    Pam and I went down to Ouray and Silverton for a week here recently and had a good time. We picked up a travel trailer earlier this year, and wanted to take it down there but also do some mild wheeling. The ZJ isn't up for the drive down there, and the truck would be busy hauling the camper. We could have just wheeled the truck, but it is a ROUGH ride so we decided to take the WK2 down there since it would be all relatively easy stock wheeling.

    We camped for the first 2 nights at the Eureka Townsite outside of Silverton. The first full day we were there we went up to Animas Forks and did the Alpine Loop.













    Broken dam at Henson




    Summit of Cinnamon Pass


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  2. #2 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    The next day we headed up Eureka Gulch, you can see the campground at the old townsite down below.


    Parts of the old tram system






    The area in the middle of the pic used to be a lake, that actually drained into the mine that was below it in the 1970's. They compared it to flushing a toilet. Luckily the mine was closed that day, and nobody was killed.


    They created a new drainage for the lake so it would not refill and flood the mine again.


    Heading back down. More components of the tram are visible.


    We spent the next day in Silverton, and "camped" in town. Not much exciting going on there, just wanted full hookups for a bit. After that, we headed up South Mineral Creek hoping to find a good campsite there. A few years ago we had stayed there in late September and had an awesome site right up against the creek. The campsite was mostly empty on that trip, so it was easy to get the primo spot. As luck would have it the people who had been staying in that same spot left the morning we drove up, so it was available for us again.





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  3. #3 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    That afternoon we wanted to get a little fishing in, so we headed up the road to Clear Lake, which was very close to our campsite.



    Good spot to fish, but everybody was catching fish with live bait, and they weren't biting on any of my lures.








    The next morning we headed up Black Bear with plans of going back over Imogene and visiting Yankee Boy Basin as well. The trip to the top of Black Bear was uneventful, and we ran into trailbud on the way up too.

    At the summit.


    Ingram Basin




    Telluride


    This is where things started to get hairy. The WK2 had done great up until this point, but this was pushing it. The complete lack of ground clearance and articulation made some of these spots a bit more difficult than we were hoping for. We bottomed out a few times on the turn by Ingram Falls, and it took us a lot longer to get through there than I would have liked. An area that is quite easy in the ZJ, not so much in the WK2.

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  4. #4 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    Then things got even dicier at the major switchback. The lack of ground clearance and articulation meant we had to pick our line VERY carefully. The WK2 has a quite impressive turning radius though, so I figured I would use that as an advantage and try to cut the corner pretty sharp. Well the back driver tire went up in the air a bit, moreso than you see in this pic, and the front end didn't quite go where we wanted it it, and we got hung up on the front bumper on a rock.



    The traction control system had been impressive so far, but it wasn't enough for us to back up out of this predicament so we pulled some cable and took a different line, trying to keep the passenger side high on the rock that had held us up. I was worried about having enough clearance to make that line, but it worked great and we made it around the corner.

    Obviously Cyril (trailbud) had zero issues on the turn.


    Bridal Veil falls awaits as you make your way down to Telluride.


    Taken from the gas station west of town, you can make out the road coming down the box canyon and see Ingram Falls.




    After Black Bear we had about enough wheeling in the WK2 so we skipped Imogene and took the pavement back around through Ridgway planning on stopping at Colorado Boy Brewing. Welllll they're closed Mondays so we decided to head up to Yankee Boy Basin to check out the wildflowers. The flowers had been quite impressive everywhere else so far, so we figured Yankee Boy would be amazing. Yeah. Not so much. Not sure why but there were almost no flowers there at all. Still beautiful though.



    Overall I liked the WK2 as an easy trail rig, the ride was very smooth, but I would want some better tires and little more ground clearance if I was to do much more with it. Hopefully the ZJ will be highway worthy in the future so we can make more trips like this, but with a more capable trail rig.
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  5. #5 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
    Senior Member Ken L's Avatar
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    Great pics, Dave. Looks spectacular! It's on the list to explore, for sure!
    Ken L
    '96 ZJ with stuff
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  6. #6 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    Beautiful.
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  7. #7 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
    The class retard Lifetime Supporter ajmorell's Avatar
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    Geez, you're really making me want to move back out west already
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  8. #8 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    x2 with all the above, it looks awesome out there. Definitely putting it on my list for 2015.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek33
    Its a jeep, it doesn't have to make sense.
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  9. #9 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    Great trip! Would you do those trails again in the WK2? I wondered about them in my Pathfinder which has a similar setup and dimensions to the WK2.
    02 WJ, Lift, dents, noise and smoke.
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  10. #10 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    I would do everything but black bear again in the wk2.
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  11. #11 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
    Senior Member redneckrollercoaster's Avatar
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    Clear lake and the falls just north of south mineral campground...two of my happy places! Yeah, you either have to be a flyfisherman or have some worms on-hand to successfully fish around silverton. My son has pulled many 13-14" brooks out of south mineral creek and the creek that runs through the culvert up there


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  12. #12 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    Are the falls you mention what everybody parks across from the campground for? Been there twice now but never went to see what all the hubbub was over there.
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  13. #13 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
    Senior Member redneckrollercoaster's Avatar
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    Theres a four mile trail people hike from there to go up to Ice Lake. Hard but worth it. There are falls there but the best ones are directly just west of the cg about 300yds or so


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  14. #14 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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  15. #15 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    We'll definitely have to check those out the nex time we're up there. We did continue up the road a bit further to where it dropped down across the creek in that big valley and found some neat campsites if we were up there in the ZJ and the tent trailer.
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  16. #16 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaveZJ View Post
    I would do everything but black bear again in the wk2.
    Looking back, should you have skipped it? Was it a fear of vehicle damage or personal injury?
    02 WJ, Lift, dents, noise and smoke.
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  17. #17 Re: San Juans in the WK2 
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    Yup. If I had the quadralift thingie and better tires I'd consider it.
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