4X4 Adventure In Chinaman Gulch - Buena Vista, Colorado
The Abel Family Takes On Chinaman Gulch With Their Red Jeep Rubicon - May 28, 2011
Chinaman Gulch Loop
Special thanks to Jeff and Julie Abel of Colorado Springs
for taking me on this adventurous 4-wheel-drive excursion. Along with their friend Josh and his Jeep, we
embarked on the difficult Chinaman Gulch Loop near Buena Vista. Above was a nice shot of the Abel Jeep Rubicon
with the enchanting view of Mt. Princeton beyond.
Now let me say that both of these Jeeps are vehicles they use
for their daily work commute. That makes these photos even more impressive!
Although Jeff has plenty of Colorado 4WD experience, this would be the toughest trail he'd ever drive on.
Thankfully, we had the very skilled Josh driving ahead of us.
Slowly traveling up.
In other 4WD experiences, the pictures I've taken have never quite shown the extent of the rockiness of the road ... until now.
Chinaman Gulch is a rocky, bumpy and awful mess. It's perfect for hardcore 4x4 types! :)
One of the first major bumps that Jeff struggled with for awhile.
It was a good excuse to get out and photograph his Jeep and the scenery.
To be honest, to call the Chinaman Gulch loop a
"road" is a bit of a stretch. It looks more like a person
chopped down a bunch of trees and said, "Have at it!"
All of the adjacent pictures are portions of the beginning of the road. We were not on the loop yet.
A large rock near the middle of the road.
You've got to love 4-wheeling in Colorado! :)
A narrow and rocky section that Jeff's Rubicon struggled with. Eventually Josh towed him up.
Continuing in this beautiful terrain.
Chinaman Gulch is located southeast of Buena Vista.
Once on the loop, Josh gave a "thumbs up."
My favorite saying of Josh's was: "It ain't over until you roll it over." :)
For a short distance, the "road" is the creek bed for Chinaman Gulch. Nice and flat.
The first major obstacle is the Rock Garden. Although it can be easily avoided,
a large and massive array of rocks and boulders sit in the middle of the road.
I immediately got out of the Rubicon and photographed the activity in this 4WD wonderland.
Before Jeff or Josh could drive in the Rock Garden, this friendly Denver-area man was going wild with his blue Jeep.
Look at him go!
It got even better with this very contorted Jeep Cherokee traveling through! :)
The guy in the blue Jeep was my hero.
He went back over the Rock Garden quickly, with wheels in all sorts of crazy places.
Then Jeff took on the Rock Garden.
In the second photo is Jeff's left front tire that was reduced to only 14 psi. Oh and notice the recent damage he did to his bumper. Very nice, Jeff! ;)
Chinaman Gulch Videos
The Abel Family
My compilation of the Abel 4-wheeling in Chinaman Gulch.
Three Vehicles In The Rock Garden
The Land Rover takes a beating on those rocks!
Whale Rock is the next major obstacle. Josh's Jeep took it on quite successfully.
Double Whammy, the next obstacle.
The Rubicon's longer wheel base had some difficulty with it ...
... and in fact, Josh pulled him out.
The Abel Family and Josh
A nice shot of our group (minus myself).
It was often entertaining to watch Josh's Jeep climb over rocks, flexing its tires in unusual ways.