View Full Version : Gillespie Gulch 05.28.06 [pics]

May 28th, 2006, 08:34 PM
Dan called me up to see if I wanted to scout out some runs with him before his big CJ8 crew shows up in July. I told him that I would if I could find a time slot this weekend....fortunately, I did.

We attempted to go check out Middle St. Vrain, but neither us had done any research ahead of time to see if it was open. It wasn't. :(

So, we headed to Gillespie Gulch instead. I knew some of the area has been closed (jamestown/ward rd.)....but I had never been on Gillespie before....and neither had he....so, we checked it out.

It looks like someone has done A LOT of work on that trail. Almost the entire thing was suitable for my daily driver. There was only one section that was tough. The rest has been cleared, graded, and smoothed out. That was kind of a bummer, but what can you do? :shrug:

Throughout the course of the day we found out that this trail is really an up and back. We tried multiple spur roads that led us to either locked gates or complete dead ends. The one route we didn't try was the decent down to Rowena. I would love to hear stories of people either going up or down the widow maker obstacle at the top of the road that leads to Rowena. It looked pretty burly and unforgiving if you got on the wrong line.....we're talking beach ball down a LONG ways before you hit anything that would stop you. :eek:

Anyway...blah, blah, blah....we had a good day....here are the pics:

The only real obstacle on the trail and it has a bypass....the opposite ruts were just too much for my stocker with no locker. I did give it hell for a while though :D :


Needless to say....Dan walked right up it:


Cool view at the top:

Gnarly tree:

Trying to flex it out while I waited for Dan to hurry up and make it to the bottom :P :

May 28th, 2006, 10:44 PM
That obsticale is "Nugget Hill". If ya do a search on that, there are alot of reports. That was the second trail I had done when I first moved here, and the pucker factor is definitly there!! Sucks that they graded the road, it was kindof a fun quick trail.

May 28th, 2006, 10:51 PM
I think we went up Nugget Hill. It dead ended at a pretty cool 360 degree view.....there were a lot of loose rocks and a fairly tough climb about 3/4 of the way up. I made it in the stocker, but it took a couple of different lines and I was pretty surprised I was able to make it at all. The "local" guys that we ran into on the way down said that we did go up Nugget Hill. Or at least they confirmed it based on our description. They said the widow maker obstacle was below that and on the road that led to Rowena. It was something that I would have been hesitant to take my trail rig on....and my daily driver would have come out the other side looking much different than how it started.

:idea: I should have taken a picture of it. :P

May 29th, 2006, 10:36 AM
Yeah I didn't get a pic of it either. It looked very unforgiving and it wouldn't just be a matter of a flop either, if you go over there you are in hard core trouble it seemed to me.

Even with it graded its still a constant, rough and fairly fun climb. I bet it was pretty fun before they graded it. But it was smooth enough coming down for some one to Baja 500 it in their double D :hail:. Going into the trail there was nothing posted but when we came out and turned from Main St. onto the main road there was a sign that said "not thru traffic", it was held up buy a saw horse so I assumed the locals put it up and not the law??? I know the Jamestown-Ward road is closed but this is supposed to be open and the gate is clearly open going up and the 4X4 image is up for legal vehicles.

As Brian stated we set out to do Middle St. Vrain and Cooney but they were closed. I assumed they would be open. Does any one have an idea of when they open up for the year?




May 29th, 2006, 11:53 AM
The "widowmaker" obstacle you are talking about is actually nugget hill, that hill you went up to the top where the view is doesnt really have a name that i know of. But ya, nugget hill is that scary ass rocky section you refer to as "widowmaker". Looks like you guys had fun though, i need to get up there before its closed off

May 29th, 2006, 11:59 AM
Pics of Nugget Hill: http://arlojeep.com/Trip-Reports/Gillespie-Gulch-4-29-06/

Went down it and then back up...the truck I was with wouldn't have been able to make it.

May 29th, 2006, 12:19 PM
Right on....thanks for clearing that up. :thumbsup:

And nice pictures, ArloGuthroJeep.

Wild Hare
May 29th, 2006, 12:23 PM
I had always heard that obstical was called the "Keyhole"

May 29th, 2006, 05:53 PM
ArloGuthroJeep, nice job. Gotta give you props man that looked quite narley to me and if were to roll there you would be done for sure. I thought it looked worse than Jaws II myself.

Where in the world did you turn around to come back up it? Going down from there looked real narrow.

May 30th, 2006, 09:09 AM
I took my parents to see that yesterday (5/29). We all agreed that Ryan's got serious cojones! Just walking up and down that's hard on my nerves.

I could have sworn that when I was there with the CU-wheeling club, we arrived at the top of nugget hill on that grassy two-track. I tried taking it back though and was told by some hikers that there's no way out over there. So we just came out the way we went in--up 509 and back down 311.

Anyone know where 509 goes if you go right at the fork on the way up from Jamestown? We followed it for a while but then turned around 'cause it didn't seem to be going to Nugget Hill and that's what I wanted to show them. Dad was thinking it might go to Peak-to-Peak but I didn't think there was another way out other than Jamestown or Rowena. Does it go to that closed gate at Gold Lake?


May 30th, 2006, 09:28 AM
ArloGuthroJeep, nice job. Gotta give you props man that looked quite narley to me and if were to roll there you would be done for sure. I thought it looked worse than Jaws II myself.

Where in the world did you turn around to come back up it? Going down from there looked real narrow.

Thanks:D The props should go to my roommate for his awesome spotting skills:beer:

Did about a 1000 point turn right below the obstacle to turn around...

May 30th, 2006, 09:46 AM
aweee...your little white xj is sooooo CUTE :flipoff2:

May 30th, 2006, 02:54 PM
Gilliespie is really only fun in the winter. I heard it had been graded. There are other ways up there that are a ton more fun, but you have to be from around here to know which trail to hit that isn't someones drive way. The gate at Gold Lake is always locked. There are other ways around that too. Middle St. Vrain wont be open until 2nd week in june thru 2 week in July depending on snow pack. on a normal year it will be open by the 4th of July. Upper lakes around 11,000 feet will still be slush for the most part. Nice pics.