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Author Topic: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans  (Read 5916 times)

FrontrangeRVer

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Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« on: June 16, 2013, 01:04:42 PM »
In July, I'm doing Black Bear in SW Colorado with my stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK in July.  Well....almost stock.  I have a leveling kit on it, but with the stock BFG Mud Terrain tires on it.  Standard lockers, Dana 44 front and rear, sway bar disconnect ect.  No winch (have no intention of ever getting one).  It will be only my wife and I, and I have no plans on going with others.  :)

Am I going to:

A.  Be looked down on by 4-wheelers that own crawlers hoping I will go over the edge, OR

B.  Show them how it's done with a stock Rubicon 2-door

I haven't 4-wheeled in the San Juans in many years, so where else would be good side trips for a couple more days?
2015 Winnebago Forza 34T
2 toads, depending on purpose:
2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
2005 Hyundai Elantra

RoyM

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2013, 01:29:53 PM »
More power to you but doing it alone seems a little foolhardy. It is a long walk out if you break.
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hes4all

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2013, 03:13:52 PM »
In all honesty, it is not that hard of a trail. The biggest things is the cliffs & ledges. As for doing it by yourself, that is your call. This is a well used trail so most likely there will be others on the trail. Go to this link to read more http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=79!
Terry and Janelle
Jeep Wrangler TJ
2 grand babies who will be Jeepers?
There's Life in the Red (read) Letters, Idaho

FrontrangeRVer

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2013, 03:27:48 PM »
In all honesty, it is not that hard of a trail. The biggest things is the cliffs & ledges. As for doing it by yourself, that is your call. This is a well used trail so most likely there will be others on the trail. Go to this link to read more http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=79!

Thanks for the reply Terry.  Those are my thoughts also. I am "hoping" not to break down, and I am an experienced 4-wheeler.

What other trails around the area do you recommend for scenery?
2015 Winnebago Forza 34T
2 toads, depending on purpose:
2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
2005 Hyundai Elantra

hes4all

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2013, 03:29:18 PM »
Here are a few pictures of the trail for you.
Terry and Janelle
Jeep Wrangler TJ
2 grand babies who will be Jeepers?
There's Life in the Red (read) Letters, Idaho

hes4all

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2013, 04:01:44 PM »
Now you are going to challenge me to remember!

There are so many trails that you can do and many obstacle have a "easy, by-pass" way to get around them.

One trail that come to mind is Hancock Pass. You can take this trail to see the Alpine Tunnel. Really cool to see.

Some others are, Alpine Plateau, Alta Lakes, Clohesy Lake, Crystal City, Mosquito Pass and one of my favorites, Iron Chest.

I like Iron Chest because it is short and hard! If you do Hancock Pass you go right by the start of Iron Chest. Take a few minutes and walk up the trail and you will see why it is fun. It is called Iron Chest because there is a big Iron Chest at the start of the trail. After about a 1/4 mile the trail gets easy. The start is the fun part.

Trail Damage.com is your best net for trails and maybe John Canfield can tell you some too?

Here are a few pictures of Iron Chest for you and the Holy Cross sign!

Terry and Janelle
Jeep Wrangler TJ
2 grand babies who will be Jeepers?
There's Life in the Red (read) Letters, Idaho

Photog

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2013, 06:53:08 PM »
Mark,

You should have no problem.  Enjoy the great views!!!  :)
Bill
2004 Winnebago Adventurer 38R

John Canfield

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 08:16:33 AM »
Mark - you will be fine with your equipment, we've seen pickups, RAZRs, dirt bikes, side-by-sides, rental Jeeps, SUVs, etc. on the trails.

Running Black Bear seems to necessary as a 4-wheeler "right of passage", but I think you spend so much time worrying about making the sharp switchback turns near the initial descent that it's difficult to relax and enjoy the scenery.  We ran it backwards last year (video here) with our club (it was closed down for us) and it was a neutral experience for us, I far prefer running the other trails in the area for scenery value.

I recommend you do the Alpine Loop, that is your best set of trails for scenery and you will be fine in your stock JK, we ran it in the Jeep Liberty a few years ago and had no problem.  The loop will take all day but it is great fun.

Corkscrew and Ophir are fun and you could easily do those.  Animas Forks is a must-see ghost town.  Like Terry mentioned, Alpine Tunnel is interesting (it's near Salida.)

The only trail I wouldn't run alone in the area is Poughkeepsie - the wall there isn't particularly difficult for an experienced wheeler in a well set up vehicle, but you would want to have a spotter and company for that one.  Our club has funding to build a bypass there but I don't know when that's going to happen.

Our club does some runs in the Grand Junction area but we haven't managed to make one of those as yet.

Suggest you buy the Charles Wells trail guide before you go - it is the go-to trail resource and you will want one for navigation when you are running the trails.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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hes4all

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 04:37:25 PM »
I knew John would give you some good trails to do!

Alpine Loop is a good one!
Terry and Janelle
Jeep Wrangler TJ
2 grand babies who will be Jeepers?
There's Life in the Red (read) Letters, Idaho

FrontrangeRVer

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 09:01:00 AM »
Yes I knew John would provide some good ideas and I appreciate it!  Thanks also to Terry for the excellent pictures!  :)

Most of our sightseeing will be in Ouray County and we plan on doing several trails there. We also have plans to stay a few nights in Redstone and will do the Crystal Mill and Devils Punchbowl as these are great for pictures and we have been there several times.

Thanks again both of you guys!
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2005 Hyundai Elantra

17 Oaks

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2013, 01:31:45 PM »
STOCK Rubi, I know of no high volume built vehicle that will out perform a showroom stock Rubicon.  There are few trails that cannot be challenged and won with a Rubicon and those are based mostly on limitations of stock height or tires.  At the same time you can get in some deep trouble with a Rubicon due to its abilities.

As for doing a trail alone, any trail I would not recommend it, too much can go wrong with too many things.  I would STRONGLY suggest you invest in a life saver...a winch.  You can buy a decent winch at COSTCO/Sam's for about $300 bucks that will work.  If want to raise the bar then I would suggest the Warn HP Powerplant which gives you a built in air compressor.  But no matter how you slice it a winch an be at worst your best friend and at best your life saver.
Don
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John Canfield

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2013, 05:08:28 PM »
Yes, a stock Rubicon is an extremely capable vehicle and with a skilled driver can go almost anywhere except for difficult rock crawling - like you say it would struggle with stock tires and stock armor.

Doing a trail solo is risky if it is a lightly used remote trail however Mark would be fine wheeling alone in the San Juans - the trails are always busy in the summer and none are difficult (except for Poughkeepsie.)
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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max49

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2013, 10:50:18 PM »
Hey Mark,

We did Black Bear, , Ophir , Hurricane, Engineer and Cinnamon passes in my pretty much stock '97 TJ.  Also Yankee Boy, California Gulch and few others.  Every one of those  trails are just awesome but I don't even remember worrying about being able to do any thing. I even left my 30 PSI in my 31" tires.
 My wife would'nt let me take the Poopkeepsie shortcut; we did that on the ATVs, a year before, and I was in the dog house for several hours after wards even though I had to drive both ATVs over the hard stuff.
  We have reservations at Ridgeway State Park for Aug 15th through 21st and I'm sure we will run some new trails but I might would do all those trails again, they are that awesome.

We did Imogene Pass on the ATVs before and it's hard to compare the Jeep to the ATVs, but I think Imogene may be a little more difficult.   What do you guys think? Can a stock TJ do Imogene?

Black Bear Pass was just awesome but Black Bear Swing was one of the most exhilerating and scary things I have done. After seeing the picture, I don't think I will do it again.

(http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee6/firstmrmax/th_BlackBearSwing10_zps519c0a6a.jpg)[/url]

I guess i don't know how to do pictures on RV Forum
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 11:09:44 PM by max49 »
Max

John Canfield

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2013, 08:58:30 AM »
We did Imogene Pass on the ATVs before and it's hard to compare the Jeep to the ATVs, but I think Imogene may be a little more difficult.   What do you guys think? Can a stock TJ do Imogene?..
We just ran Imogene Saturday with the club (Western Slope 4-Wheelers) and while it's a little more torn up than some of the other trails, a stock TJ would be no problem if you stay on the easy part of the trail.  I enjoy Imogene because there are some optional play areas on each side of the pass which you might not want to do with a stock TJ, however it's more about driver skill than equipment on the Imogene optionals.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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FrontrangeRVer

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2013, 10:20:20 PM »
Thanks for all the above posts....Im planning on doing all the above trails.  Look forward to it!  ;)
2015 Winnebago Forza 34T
2 toads, depending on purpose:
2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
2005 Hyundai Elantra

max49

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2013, 10:25:04 PM »
  So come on Mark, how was the trip? I'm going down there in 2 weeks.
How's your 8.1 pull that Rubi over our mountains?
Max

FrontrangeRVer

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Re: Stock 2012 Rubicon 2-door JK doing Black Bear in San Juans
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2013, 08:23:37 PM »
Hey Max!  We just got back to town yesterday....Yeah, going over Wolf Creek Pass is terrible....I don't like to run 4,000 RPM, so I kept it at about 3,500 RPM, and was slowed to about 20 mph...yeah....rediculous....We've been toying around about buying a DP, but have changed our mind several times recently as we will keep ours for a bit longer.  ::)  Not much longer though.   ;)

The Rubi on the trails was awesome...there wasn't anything we went on that required any more than we came with.  :) The monsoons have finally arrived there, and makes the shale slick, but we went on anyway, and had a wonderful time.  We met up with some friends that own a Toyota FJ, and we prefered our short wheelbase. 

Going to Breck in a couple of weeks and will do a couple trails up there.   :)
2015 Winnebago Forza 34T
2 toads, depending on purpose:
2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
2005 Hyundai Elantra