Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 40 of 74
  1. #1
    YJgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Your guess is as good as mine
    Member #
    2704
    Images
    57

    What constitutes on trail and off trail?

    There has been a lot of talk lately about staying on the trail, which is great, but it has gotten to the point that people do not want to post up pics of trips as a result, and this is bad. The intention of trip reports is to let people know how your trip went, not to be a trail nazi. I am also concerned that there is a huge perception on this site as to who thinks what is on or off trail and the perception does not match what the FS or BLM use to make a determination of what is wrong and right.

    First and foremost, staying on the trail is critical to keeping our trails open. I would like to give a brief overview on what Staying on the trail equates to. Staying on the trail means staying on the main road corridor. Recently there were photos of a group that were driving over boulders in the trees, pulling down trees, driving on vegetation, and drinking. Driving over boulders that are not located in the main road corridor is going off trail. Driving through the trees that is not on the main road corridor is going off trail. Creating a new line on a trail is going off trail. Destructive or harmful acts to vegetation and landscape, especially marshes, is not only going off trail but you are also destroying an ecosystem that is vital to nature and human survival. Drinking and driving is illegal and can result in a DUI regardless if you are on an OHV route or not.

    Driving up a creek bed is not off trail as long as you exit the creek bed in the designated spot. If you stay on course, you won't have an issue. An alternative deemed by someone before you, or you yourself that is not the main entrance or exit is where problems begin. Watershed is the one thing that closes trails the fastest. If the road corridor within a creek bed is not maintained and monitored, and all users do not follow the precise instructions on exit placement, the walls of the creek bed deteriorate and that in turn will cause drainage problems. A perfect example is Carnage Lefthand and why it is slated to be closed.

    Driving on a snow drift is not off trail until your tire makes contact with dirt or some form of vegetation that is not in the road corridor. This does not mean driving cross country is acceptable by any means, it simply implies that if you slide off the road corridor when snow bashing, get back on the trail. Again, if you leave the road corridor, you are off trail.

    Pulling off to the side of the road to break for lunch is not going off trail. However, parking on top of bushes, trees, and other areas that it is clearly unnecessary to park on is going off trail. An easy way to remember where good locations are to park for lunch or a break is to think about what your mom would say to you if you parked on her lawn. The grass is probably okay unless it is really muddy, but the flowers and bushes she is most likely going to beat you with the broom handle.

    Foremost, we all need to remember that we 4-wheel to have fun, we do not 4-wheel to be destructive or to be judgmental on others, so be mindful of yourself, your actions, and your posts and we can all work together to keep trails open.
    Last edited by YJgirl; June 30th, 2006 at 12:16 PM.
    TRAIL HUGGER - Enuf said.

  2. #2
    Well written Val It is really too bad when people feel weary of posting up pics of what they did the past weekend - but at the same time research where you are going first if you aren't sure what are legal and illegal routes.
    '04 WJ 4.0L @ 6" on Clayton LA's & 35" BFG MT KM2's - [center][url=www.rockfrogs.org][COLOR=DarkGreen][B]Rock Frogs![/B][/COLOR][/url] - [url=http://www.treadlightly.org][COLOR="DarkGreen"][B]Tread Lightly[/B][/COLOR][/url] - [url=http://www.staythetrail.org][COLOR="DarkGreen"][B]Stay The Trail[/B][/COLOR][/url][/center]

  3. #3
    Nicely put Val and I think that was a perfect time to post this explanation. Thank you. I would recommend a sticky for this one.
    R/C Rock Crawling ( www.rccrawler.com )
    T&T CUSTOMS ( www.tntcustoms.com )
    Cheyenne Trail Crew ( www.cheyennetrailcrew.org )

  4. #4
    I agree as well... the high and mighty attitude that people have scolding others for their photos and activities is getting a bit annoying. Be honest with what you do, and don't stress so much about others!
    Last edited by coaz4x4; June 28th, 2006 at 06:14 PM.
    This message was brought to you by Peter B
    '02 TJ Sahara '07 A3 Sportback '02 CB900f '919'

  5. #5
    REDLYNER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Member #
    6848
    Great post! I do my research and consistantly stay the trail -as all of my trail rides are with you guys or JF guys.

    But I, like many others here, have stopped posting my pictures and videos because it is just not worth having every pixel put under a microscope.

  6. #6
    Personally, I think it's really a sad reflection on us as a group when things like this have to be explained in such detail. Stay on the trail means exactly what it says, there is nothing unclear about it.

    However if it helps even one person to finally get it, then it's worth having this posted.

  7. #7
    jeephabit3's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Breckenridge, Colorado
    Member #
    2153
    Where does vehicle recovery fit into this equation? There are certainly cases where there are rollovers, flops, slides, etc. that cause the vehicle to end up off the trail. Is it purley a judgement call like your "pull-off for lunch" scenario of how to get back on the trail or are there FS/BLM guidelines in this area? For example: If you are more than (X) feet off the designated trail, one side or the other are you expected to drive or winch back on the trail? I have always assumed this to be a judgement call based on a trade-off between safety and minimizing trail damage.

  8. #8
    YJgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Your guess is as good as mine
    Member #
    2704
    Images
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by jeephabit3
    Where does vehicle recovery fit into this equation? There are certainly cases where there are rollovers, flops, slides, etc. that cause the vehicle to end up off the trail. Is it purley a judgement call like your "pull-off for lunch" scenario of how to get back on the trail or are there FS/BLM guidelines in this area? For example: If you are more than (X) feet off the designated trail, one side or the other are you expected to drive or winch back on the trail? I have always assumed this to be a judgement call based on a trade-off between safety and minimizing trail damage.
    Vehicle recovery from the standpoint of a land management agency is a judgement call. Both the BLM and FS have been known to give out both tickets and/or warnings to the vehicle being recovered, but they also understand it is necessary to recover the vehicle. The recovery vehicle may need to maneuver off trail to retrieve the rolled/flopped vehicle, and in such instances keep the analogy in mind of what your mom would do to you if you damaged her lawn and do as little damage as possible.

    I have known some groups to carry a small rake with them so they can rake over tire tracks on areas driven during recovery. I think this is a good idea so that someone else does not see the tire tracks and use the excuse of "someone else did it, so it must be okay".

  9. #9
    Driving on a snow drift is not off trail until your tire makes contact with dirt or some form of vegetation that is not in the road corridor.
    This is a little confusing. I see lots of tracks in the snow, going outside the road corridor, to get around snow drifts, then these tracks melt and/or are followed by other vehicles until a whole new route is created. The people doing it had no idea at the time they were leaving the actual trail until the whole thing melts, and voila! braiding.
    -Bill Morgan
    87 4Runner. Um, modified oh just maybe a leetle bit
    Rising Sun 4x4 Club

  10. #10
    Good explanation Val except for the snow issue. I have to agree with Red Chilli that I still don't think you should leave the trail just because there is snow and you don't touch the ground. It leaves too much open for people with a lack of common sense to wander off the trail.

    Other than that, GREAT JOB!



    Just my $.02 worth.



    Kerry
    Member of WagonMasters Off-Road Club,
    Big-T 4-Wheelers, & Trail Ridge Runners
    VP of Northern District of CoA4WDCI
    '73 Jeepster Commando - 304, 4-sp w/SOA lift & 33" BFG's

  11. #11
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Littletown
    Member #
    6666
    Can you address the camping "at large" issue. What you can do to legally set-up a camp off the trail and keeping your rig close by?????

  12. #12
    YJgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Your guess is as good as mine
    Member #
    2704
    Images
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Chili
    This is a little confusing. I see lots of tracks in the snow, going outside the road corridor, to get around snow drifts, then these tracks melt and/or are followed by other vehicles until a whole new route is created. The people doing it had no idea at the time they were leaving the actual trail until the whole thing melts, and voila! braiding.
    Exactly why the term road cooridor is used. If you leave the road corridor, chances are you are off trail. I added that in to reitterate the road corridor's importance
    Last edited by YJgirl; June 29th, 2006 at 06:00 PM.

  13. #13
    Up here there is some forest service roads that are between Laramie and Cheyenne. The Forest service is very bad when it comes to being off trail. They have fined people who have been 2 feet off trail. A guy I know was pulling a girls truck back onto the road he got a $5000 fine and manditory court appearance, Just for helping. I didn't hear what she got for being off trail. I have heard of the infamous $25000 fine but have never heard it given, Yet.
    Rumour has it the forest service monitors the CB, tracks you down and watchs from a distance till you go off trail. In the event you get stuck off trail you must call a wrecker, thus costing $2-300 or more then the fines and court costs.

    Tim
    You know it will be a good trail ride, when you need a winch to get to the campground.
    1998 Explorer XLT trail project
    2005 Explorer V8 XLT 4x4
    95 Explorer XLT R.I.P

  14. #14
    "Driving on a snow drift is not off trail until your tire makes contact with dirt or some form of vegetation that is not in the road corridor. Again, if you leave the road corridor, you are off trail."

    I too find this statement confusing. The way the first part reads makes it sound like you can go anywhere you want, even outside of the road corridor as long as your tires are only making contact with snow, but not vegetation. Then the second half states that you must stay within the road corridor. So, which is it, is it OK to go off a designated route as long as you are only making tracks in snow, or do you always need to stay within the road corridor...no exceptions?

    Thanks for the clarification, J. R.

  15. #15
    YJgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Your guess is as good as mine
    Member #
    2704
    Images
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by JRSFITNESS
    "Driving on a snow drift is not off trail until your tire makes contact with dirt or some form of vegetation that is not in the road corridor. Again, if you leave the road corridor, you are off trail."

    I too find this statement confusing. The way the first part reads makes it sound like you can go anywhere you want, even outside of the road corridor as long as your tires are only making contact with snow, but not vegetation. Then the second half states that you must stay within the road corridor. So, which is it, is it OK to go off a designated route as long as you are only making tracks in snow, or do you always need to stay within the road corridor...no exceptions?

    Thanks for the clarification, J. R.
    J.R. and All:
    Welcome to the world of the fuzzy gray area when dealing with the land management agencies. You will never get a right or wrong answer to your question regarding snow drifts because, as projectAviator sort of pointed out, the Forest Service and BLM are de-centralized agencies. What is good for one, isn't good for the other.

    My suggestion for a general rule of thumb that will keep you out of trouble when snow bashing is to stay on the road corridor regardless. If you slide off, get back on. You cannot go across country when driving on the snow, hence why I stated stay on the main road corridor when snow bashing. (I'll add that in above for clarification.)

  16. #16
    YJgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Your guess is as good as mine
    Member #
    2704
    Images
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by Blown
    Can you address the camping "at large" issue. What you can do to legally set-up a camp off the trail and keeping your rig close by?????
    I haven't answered this yet because it is a ranger district by ranger district perspective, meaning what happens in Red Feather Lakes Ranger District may not be acceptable in Dillion Ranger District. Why? Because the FS and BLM are de-centralized; each district ranger interprets the issue to what landscape lies in their district. It sounds like a dumb idea, but Colorado obviously does not want to follow the rules of W. Virginia, hence the de-centralization.

    In general, camping is allowed in designated FS camp sites, and in most ranger districts as dispursed camping. Always call the ranger district before you go to find out if you can have dispursed camping in the area you plan to wheel & camp in. A great example is Middle St. Vrain does not allow dispursed camping for the first 2 miles of the trail.
    When utilizing dispursed camping, always use a spot that already has a fire ring. In theory, you are allowed to camp in a dipursed camping spot along a trail if that camping spot is within 100 ft (some forests have it at 300 ft, so call before you go to get the facts) of the road corridor. The catch 22 of this is that you are supposed to stay 100 ft from water sources, and of course there is always an aception to the rule. Thus it is always best to call before you go if you really are not sure what the correct procedure is.

  17. #17
    COcummins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Saudi Aurora, CO
    Member #
    8624
    Images
    6
    last summer when i was busted for not having my OHV sticker on my bike (turns out it's much better to spend the $15) by st. marrie's glacier, i asked the ranger about camping and was told that they told me that people should disperse the rocks from their fire pits when they leave so the next people along are less likely to notice it as being a camp site. this way people will end up camping in different areas and causing less damage to select areas. just goes to show how all the f/s districts think differently and to check the guidelines for the area you're heading to.
    96 Ram 2500 CTD 4x4, 5spd ext. cab, 270k miles, garage art under construction.
    97 F350 4x4, CC LB 5spd, 12v Cummins.

  18. #18
    It depends on the classification of each particular area of the forest. Some are mixed use, some are flora & fauna, etc. Gotta know the areas, which like Val says, is best done by checking with the ranger and using a USFS map which shows it.

  19. #19
    USFS maps work well for some areas but I have found that with a lot of the exploring I have done west of Boulder (Nederland, Ward, Jamestown, etc...) that a lot of the old roads/trails have been closed down for one reason or another (land becoming private etc...) so even the FS maps don't help sometimes.

  20. #20
    Yeah, esp. when conditions change faster than they can print 'em. Still a good start though. As long as you have a real map to find your way as well...

  21. #21
    Man this kindda makes me not wanna go camping this Summer. Imagine you go out camping to relax and get rid of stress and you come back home with a $25,000 fine. Not that Im the type of person that will destroy the outdoors, but like they posted above. Someone getting a fine for helping someone else. Thats too much.
    Stock Second Gen Nissan X

  22. #22
    Lilly Bear ColoradoXJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Who knows... Orientation: Snow Lover
    Member #
    10233
    why would you get a fine? i've gone camping every summer and never gotten a fine... you just have to pay attention to where you're camping and where you're wheeling...
    Please consider contributing towards my Summit for Someone effort, benefiting at-risk urban youth.
    http://www.summitforsomeone.org/donate?page=4&climber=8574
    AND... don't forget to Stay The Trail.

  23. #23
    I consider my self very careful while wheeling and camping. I guess Im a bit confused by the whole parking your vehicle while you camp. When I camp I will pull to the side of the road and set up camp. But like the thread below says i can get a fine for that. Here is an example of what I do.

    Is this something Im not supposed to be doing?



    Quote Originally Posted by projectAviator View Post
    Up here there is some forest service roads that are between Laramie and Cheyenne. The Forest service is very bad when it comes to being off trail. They have fined people who have been 2 feet off trail. A guy I know was pulling a girls truck back onto the road he got a $5000 fine and manditory court appearance, Just for helping. I didn't hear what she got for being off trail. I have heard of the infamous $25000 fine but have never heard it given, Yet.
    Rumour has it the forest service monitors the CB, tracks you down and watchs from a distance till you go off trail. In the event you get stuck off trail you must call a wrecker, thus costing $2-300 or more then the fines and court costs.

    Tim

  24. #24

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Guernsey Wyo
    Member #
    10762

    Roads

    Wow this all seems to be caused by the loss of our right?s, as a result of people using our forest in an irresponsible way. I find it sad that we all justify the FS or the BLM enforcing the "kings" rules on how we use his property. Wait a minute; that?s our property; bought, paid for and maintained with OUR tax dollars. Pretty soon we will all be able to sell our 4x4 stuff and camping gear on eBay, as the only way we will be able to venture into the wild will be in the comfort of a tour buses on paved roads. We will all gather around the fire and talk about the new malls, shopping centers and housing developments that extend into the beautiful rugged Rocky Mountains. When mountain lions are eating our pets and deer and elk are rutting in our newly landscaped backyards we will all be looking to the government to do something to protect us from nature. All will be well if we just succumb to the rules that are enforced to protect us and our precious ecosystem as we reside in one of the overpopulated, pollution ridden states in the good ol? USA. So if we are all really that concerned sell your car & ride a bike, hell sell you're Jeep and take a hike. As for me I will reminisce of the day's when there where not so many of us, common since ruled and we where free to use our land in a responsible way. F the FS, the BLM and there fines! It's all about numbers and I for one will never justify the government actions to take away my rights. I will just try to be a good steward for all outdoorsmen and women. I hope we can all get on the same page and fight for our rights as a group!

  25. #25
    Whipper Snapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Aurora, CO
    Member #
    14547
    Images
    12
    I've observed several instances where the group I'm following is taking the outside lines which were cut by ATV's, Stock Rigs, or SUV's trying to miss an obstacle. I have to remind myself while in the CONGA LINE to stay the trail and fight the urge to be a "Bump Wimp".
    /l ,[____],
    l- -L-OlllllllO-
    ()_)-()_)--)_) RE 5.5 lift, ARB lockers, 44's w/4.88's, 35's & armored

  26. #26
    rodolana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Conifer
    Member #
    8195
    Images
    15

    On trail or off trail?

    I guessyou have to leave it to that little voice in your head... if you think where you are traveling off the trail you probably are regardless of the weather or road conditions. If you use our best judgement things will work out in the end.
    60% of the time... it works every time

  27. #27
    Im kind of new to the board but I have a question. I went up to Saran Wrap and Eagle rock last weekend the 21st and there where a lot of well traveled paths already it was so bad that I couldnt tell what the main road was. It was a good thing I went with the Rock Frogs or I wouldnt have known what road to stay on for future trips. If I was to follow a trail and was new to the area but it wasnt considered the main road how would you know and could a ranger justify giving me a ticket.

    When we were up there we saw a cj go right through a barb wire fence with a big sign that said restricted area because he wanted to play on the trails that had been closed because of this exact reason. Is there a way that you could turn him in if you got pictures and a license plate number. We didnt but I wonder who to contact. Local PD or forest service.

  28. #28
    Banned FORMULA51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    somewheres between clyde and val
    Member #
    4608
    Images
    92
    forest service.

  29. #29
    Great information! Thanks for posting.
    Mudgirl
    98XJ, 33s
    Travel with Dorky Dog

  30. #30
    We were forced to park and camp in an area that clearly wasn't a campsite last summer. We got lost and it was very dark around midnight. We were really careful and didn't make a fire or disturb anything. The next morning someone from the forest service came by and thanked us for being respectful.

  31. #31
    Great post Val!
    '01 RamV, 5" lift, 42" Iroks

  32. #32
    This is an easy thing to explain if you dont know where you are going or where you can camp do some work and find out call or go by the blm/fs office and get the info. get the persons name you talk to and the date that way if there is an issue you have someone you can refer to. Planning is key to a great trip. you work on your rig so that you dont have issues take some time to plan your trip. 1 hour of planning will make your trip. Zero hours planning can and will break it. wow are we becomeing dumb or just lazy. I know the rules change from office to office get the maps for the area you want to go and call or go by have them show you.

  33. #33

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Frederick, CO
    Member #
    351
    Images
    5
    Due to misuse by anti-OHV groups, we ask that you please refrain from posting pictures of off-trail activity. We recommend that you send those photos to the authorities.

    The moderator staff will be removing posts that we know to be off-trail. We will also be removing posts that display license plates prominently. If a post has been removed that shouldn't have been, please contact a moderator for assistance.

  34. #34
    I have a question. It is not always clear exactly what is on and off trail. I always try to stay on trail but I would like som clarification. Take for example a trail that most everyone knows pretty well. Like Chinaman Gulch. The "rock pile" is listed on traildamage as an optional obstacle. If I we travelling that trail alone and had never been on it before, I would assume that the rock pile is off trail and the bypass is on trail. However I think that both are actually on trail. It is clear that the rock pile is well travelled but that can not be the test because there are many places where illegal shortcuts or obstacles are definitely off trail. But if you did not know better you might think they were on trail.

    So my question is this: Is the rock pile on Chinamand Gulch on of off trail and why?
    Bill

  35. #35
    YJgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Your guess is as good as mine
    Member #
    2704
    Images
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by ZigZag View Post
    So my question is this: Is the rock pile on Chinamand Gulch on or off trail and why?
    Bill
    Bill et al:
    Rockpile is on trail for Chinaman's Gulch. It is part of the GPS'd trail that is on record, that is why. BLM could change their mind at any point and close it, but as of 10/22/09 it is part of the trail.

  36. #36
    Captain Radon Steve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    On an airplane
    Member #
    1311
    Images
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by ZigZag View Post
    I have a question. It is not always clear exactly what is on and off trail. I always try to stay on trail but I would like som clarification.
    You bring up a very good point and something that frustrates a great many of us. If it's your first time running a trail, there usually isn't a good way to tell. Why? Because the BLM and FS steadfastly refuse to mark many trails this way. (Reference any thread here about Left Hand Canyon.) Some parts and individuals in those organizations seem intent on setting us up for failure, and blaming us when it happens.

  37. #37
    Val,
    Thanks!

  38. #38

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fawking TexASS
    Member #
    15233
    I have a question thats not quite clear to me, If I'm in the Wilderness (Im in Meeker lots of wilderness) I want to do some snow wheeling but in meeker there are a ton of snowmobile trails during the winter that are marked, if they aren't marked or are marked with snowmobile signs Am I not allowed to travel through those areas? For instance I see one of those Posts that say OHV, High Clearance Vehicle Only. It has snow on it and also has a Snowmobile sign stapled to a tree, I am allowed to go through the trail or Not?? Hopefully this isnt confusing to anyone.
    One flopped willys

  39. #39
    Lilly Bear ColoradoXJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Who knows... Orientation: Snow Lover
    Member #
    10233
    I think I follow you...

    Any FS route you are on, whether it is covered in snow or not, must be shown on the relevant Motor Vehicle Use Map for it to be legal for you to be there. MVUM's can be found at www.staythetrail.org/mvum

    Many trails also have a seasonal restriction on them for OHV use. Again, check the MVUM for details on that.

    My thought though is that if there is enough snow that it is a groomed snowmobile trail, it is better to stay off it because it probably has a seasonal designation. The clubs groom those trails for snow uses, not OHV traffic, so in the interest of not tearing up those routes, I would stay off.

    As for Wilderness... absolutely, positively, no motorized access, even over snow.


    Does that answer your question?

  40. #40

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fawking TexASS
    Member #
    15233
    What about BLM Land?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •