LaborDay 2022 – Southwest Colorado – The Swiss alps of America.
This year’s Letzroll Adventure labor day trip presented by Nacho Offroad Technology lead us to SW Colorado which could also be known as the Swiss alps of America. The group consisted of 10 rigs. Ranging from the coolest overland CJ7 ever built, to Gladiators, Broncos and even a H3. The group staged out of the Flying A ranch outside Durango Colorado. 21 people and 7 dogs were in the group this year. With a 7AM wake up call and some last minute prep and provisioning, the group headed up the million dollar highway to Silverton. After a quick fuel stop we were on our way above 12000’ to the continental divide at the top of Stoney pass.
After some amazing views at the top of the world, we headed back down the headwaters of the Rio Grande. Our first night was spent camped on the Rio Grande at about 10,000’. We were completely alone and did not see another vehicle the rest of the day. Mikey Adams, our 15 year old fly fisherman was able to pull some killer trout out of the river we enjoyed as a snack while we set up camp and waited for dinner. We not only had a great dinner but shared the laughs of the day together around the camp fire.
The next morning we decided to split the group for fear we would lose out on the limited camping areas on the alpine loop on the holiday weekend. 3 brave jeeps turned back around and belined to the junction of Mineral creak and Poughkeepsie creeks. The 3 rigs were able to visit Animas Forks, and near Eureka ran into about a dozen healthy deer and 5 large Moose. Splitting up was a great decision, our camping spot was on an amazing point split between 2 creeks!
Most of the group continued down Stoney, up over Spring Creek and Slumgullion pass into Lake City for a ice cream. After lunch in Lake City, we took Engineer pass once again above tree line and more amazing views at Odom Point. After all the required pictures, we dropped down Mineral creak to meet the advanced group at camp. This camp was a treat surrounded by 2 flowing creeks full of fish and cool refreshing water. History was repeated and we again were able to enjoy a snack of trout and an awesome dinner cooked by the camp chef Oday.
On Saturday morning we broke camp after an amazing breakfast and dropped down to the highway. We than ran up Red Mountain Pass and turned onto Black Bear pass (A must do for the area). This trail not only peaks at 12k + feet it also has some of the best views of Telluride you will ever see. You literally descend down the side of a cliff into the town. It’s also one of the more technical trails with off camber rock ledges and tight switchbacks with amazing exposure. The traffic was high on the trail but we were not looking to rush this trail. After completing the trail we decided to skip downtown Telluride on a holiday weekend and head back to the hills where we were having so much fun. We than entered an area none of us have ever been and worked our way up Fall Creek road to Beaver Park and to the western foothills of Mount Wilson and Lone Cone. We camped on the absolute western slope of the rocky mountains and could see for hundreds of miles west into Utah. So isolated on the western western slope, we found some of the coolest beaver dams we have ever seen. While the adults enjoyed a last evening at 10k’, the dogs had a great time playing in the water.
On the final morning of the trip we worked our way around the Lizard Head Wilderness Where the group split. Half the group headed home by way of Cortez while the others took Bolam Pass back into Durango and back to the ranch for some end of the trip deck drinks.
The trip went perfectly to plan with no issues. Only great times, stories, photos, and laughs. 10 Passes over 11k’, over 150 miles of dirt, perfect weather and the perfect group to explore together with!
Can’t wait until the next one! We’ll see everybody in Rocky Point in November for Tacos and the Beach!
Special Thanks to our sponsors
Nacho OffRoad Technology https://www.nachooffroadtechnology.com/
Yukon Gear https://www.yukongear.com/