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Colorado's Iron Chest Trail

By Cole Ford

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What to expect
Iron Chest is a classic hardcore four-wheeling day of fun. I hesitated at first to use the word “hardcore’ since today’s standards have changed so much, but the reality is that this trail can be very challenging.

The first mile of the trail is like liquid rocks. The huge boulders move constantly underneath your rig. The trail changes from one vehicle to the next. The line that you just took simply may no longer be there when your friend comes up right behind. The boulders don’t really go anywhere; they just rearrange themselves constantly within the confines of the trail.

Iron Chest
Iron Chest

The trail climbs above the tree line where you will find ruins of the mining era and spectacular views. As the trail rises in elevation it gets even more narrow and steep. At times you will look over the end of your hood and swear that the ledge is narrower than your rig. I would not recommend full-size vehicles on this trail. While this trail caters a little more toward the hard side of four-wheeling, it can be done with good driving skills and a moderately-equipped rig. High ground clearance and lockers make a huge difference on this trail.

Iron Chest
Iron Chest

Where to find the trail and how to get there?
The trail is about two hours southwest of Denver, Colorado near Buena Vista. Take 285 West through Buena Vista toward Nathrop. There, you will turn west on Rt. 162. It is about 15 miles from there to Hancock Road 295.Turn left there and look for a small parking area in the next half mile. That is the trailhead.

Trailhead GPS
N 38 40.914
W106 20.845

Iron Chest
Iron Chest
   
Iron Chest
Iron Chest

 

 
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