Medano Pass road to Great Sand Dunes

Discussion in 'Taking Your Camper Off Road' started by BaysideJim, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. BaysideJim

    BaysideJim Member

    146
    4
    May 5, 2015
    Denver, Colorado
    Hello everyone,

    Looking for some first hand experience. Planning a trip to GSD NP. My buddy claims we can go over the pass with our trailer. I am thinking it is a bad idea.
    Anyone driven it with a trailer?

    TV Toyota Seqouia
    Pup Coleman Bayside with the axle flipped (yeah its a big pup)
     
  2. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

    1,438
    456
    May 7, 2013
    Somewhere in Idaho
    I cannot say. I have traveled it, but in a Hummer, but not with the trailer. I guess a lot depends on the road conditions at the time, and the tires and how capable the TV on roads with deep sand in places, some decent size rocks (flat if I remember correctly) to climb over, and depending on time of the year, water crossing etc. I guess, I probably would have tried it with my lifted trailer if I had it at the time; cause I pulled my trailer up worse roads in the Moab area. So I'll stop my rambling and just say if your TV is a very capable off road vehicle for sand, water crossings, MINOR rock crawling and a steep descent than give it a try.

    After off-roading in CO many times, and living and off-roading in Moab for almost 7 years, the one thing I have learned is if you got the clearance, and you have very good STRONG tires and you are not too wide, you can do just about any trail, unless the boulders are higher than your hood.:D

    If you do, take plenty of photos.
     
  3. BaysideJim

    BaysideJim Member

    146
    4
    May 5, 2015
    Denver, Colorado
    Hey there F5... You do get around! I am sure my Seqouia can make it not so sure about the trailer, even with the fipped axle, especially in the spring with the higher runoff... not to mention the pounding it would take.. how are things in Moab? I gotta get out there this spring
     
  4. Firehawk068

    Firehawk068 Active Member

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    39
    Mar 22, 2016
    You absolutely CANNOT make that pass with a trailer.
    It is a rugged “Jeep” road, mostly one-lane, with some obstacles.
    I drove it in my Jeep last year, and you often encounter other vehicles coming the other direction, requiring one of you to find a spot in the brush large enough to pull into to let the other by.
    There are many tight turns, and some of it is very narrow between the trees on either side.
    Having said all that, it is a cool scenic trail if you have a vehicle capable of the terrain (I wouldn’t attempt it in a Subaru).
    You can base-camp at the sand dunes campground, and take your truck up the pass.
    On the north side of the range there are only ranches. There is no place to camp on that side.
     
    NMroamer likes this.
  5. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

    1,438
    456
    May 7, 2013
    Somewhere in Idaho
    I usually go back to Moab a few times each year to visit, but sold the hummer so no more serious off roading.

    Guess someone says no, but if I still had the hummer I would not hesitate to try it in the summer. But that's me and I took the trailer on worse trails around Moab. But pulling the trailer through desert brush and pinion pine only causes scratches.
    After doing Kane creek canyon and Hey Joe canyon scratches were just a new type of pinstripping.[:D] never cared so long as the tires did not point to the stars.

    But those trails do beat the hell out of a trailer. Had to replace springs, shackles, after two years pulling it in Moab.
     
  6. sleach

    sleach A short run will get you within walking distance.

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    106
    May 17, 2014
    I've been over Medano Pass twice, once from each direction, and once in spring and once in late summer. In the spring there were still some snow patches, the nine creek crossings were high. 1947 Willys PU did fine, just very slowly. Late summer was easier, in the mighty Dodge Power Wagon. Your Sequoia should have no problem

    Our Aframe has the lifted suspension, and I swapped in 15 inch wheels and E-rated light truck tires, so plenty of ground clearance. I won't take my trailer over a road like that- it's no fun at all to have to back up on a shelf road, or make someone else back up to a wide spot. My advice is same as Firehawk, above- stay on the west side of the Sangre de Christo Range, at the Pinon Flats CG in the GSDNP and do the pass west to east, dropping south to Hwy 160 to get back over to the west side.

    Be sure to visit historic Ft Garland, which strangely enough is right by the town of Fort Garland. Kit Carson once commanded here. There are many tourist attractions in the San Luis Valley- if you have kids you'll have to go to the geothermally and solar heated alligator farm.
     

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