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Central Colorado Road Question
For those familiar with area is RD 105/Fraying Pan Road manageable from Turquoise Lake outside of Leadville to Chapman Reservoir to West in every day driver 4x4 pickup. Or no jeep or something with higher ground clearance. Looks like it would shave several hours off of driving west and then back tracking.
I have not driven it but the recommendations online are for high clearance 4x4 only. Creek crossings, rocky sections.....not sure an every day driver 4x4 would be a great option. From Turquoise Lake it is called Hagerman Pass Road until it goes west over the pass....turns into Frying Pan Road.
It is possible to access Hagerman Pass from both Leadville and Basalt, Colorado. At the summit, Hagerman Pass Road becomes Frying Pan Rd, heading west.
Seasonality – Access to Hagerman Pass typically opens in late May, with snow usually blocking the pass until as late as early July. The pass remains open until the first major snowstorm each fall, which is usually in late October or early November.
Vehicle Restrictions – 2WD vehicles are not able to reach the summit, due to rocky terrain and multiple stream crossings. Hagerman Pass Rd is relatively easy for high-clearance, 4WD, and off-road vehicles.
Only experienced drivers in Jeeps, OHV’s, etc. should continue through Hagerman Pass into the White River National Forest. The west side of the pass has steep switchbacks as well as the infamous “Hell Gate” section.
We drove this road about ten years ago, for the same reason you're considering doing so, and in the two subsequent trips since to the same destination, we've taken the longer route through Basalt. Why? It's steep and rough, to the point you'll beat the crap out of your truck and much of the stuff in it. Its been long enough that I don't remember all the details, but I do remember the overall steepness and sections of the roadbed composed of basketball to beach ball sized boulders. Once we got into I regretted it, but we pressed on anyway, and did make it.
One thing for sure is that different people have different opinions about these types of things. Some enjoy 4-wheeling on very rough roads and others don't. I remember calling the Forest Service office before that first trip and the nice young lady on the phone told me the road was in good shape and we would be just fine. Either she didn't really know, or maybe she did and thought it was in good shape. I drive an older Toyota T-100 that is pretty capable, but if I can avoid putting it through hardship when there's an easy alternative, that's what I'll do. For someone driving a tricked out Jeep Rubicon, this road might be "fun". For me in my older Toyota, it wasn't.
Bowsite is the bomb....thanks guys Labguy 2004 tundra brother to your T-100 your comments were exactly what I was looking for. Basalt it is, thanks guys!!
I drove it twice last year in my 2003 chevy crew cab short bed with standard size tires, no lift. It was rough and slow. Probably time wise was faster than driving the hwy around. But a little rough on the truck. Seen something interesting up there. About a mile west of Hagerman Pass on 105 there was a 2 wheel drive car getting ready to try and climb on over the pass. When I met him on the road. He asked how bad it was to get up and over. I told him he better turn around. Not sure if he did or not. I was positive he wouldn't make it over