Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Colorado Backroads & 4WD Trails: Steamboat Springs

This is the fourth in the series of posts about the new map we've digitized from a book we've come across: Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, Vol. 2by Charles A. Wells.

Wells is a smart guy and very knowledgeable about the area just doesn't share most of our affinity for the precise coordinate system that we've had since the last century – or any coordinates. The forwards to his books claim that he's never had any problem finding any of this by merely using maps so we shouldn't either; but, in his later books he has relented and included "those funny little numbers" in deference to "the younger generation."

I've geocoded some of his other books and this one fits right in with other maps we've already made in Colorado. Anyone desiring to ride these trails would have a better experience if they had read the information in this book first – that's why I'm following his book series. Just don't forget to download the free map we've made and examine the trails in Google Earth first to get the lay of the land and trail (link below).

If You're Going To Get The Book?

If you are planning on purchasing this book, I'd like to entreat you to do it via this link to Amazon: Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, Vol. 2. That way you'll still pay the same price but a portion of it will go toward keeping Offroading Home "on the air." Thanks!

The combination of these FREE Google Earth maps along with the original descriptions from the book is the best of both worlds.

There are several items mentioned in the book which should be recognized by off-road riders in Colorado. They have to do with Colorado laws, Forest Service rules, Colorado camping guidelines and simple trail etiquette.

Colorado Laws

  • Most trails require the vehicle to be licensed and driven with someone who has a valid drivers license; some can also require the vehicle to be street legal.
  • Vehicles traveling uphill have the right of way. However, common sense tells you that if there's a close wide space available to you, you should pull over and let the other pass.
  • Don't drink and drive.
  • NO vehicles (even bikes) are allowed in Wilderness Areas.

Forest Service Rules

  • Travel only on roads with signs displaying a Forest Service number or otherwise marked.
  • No shortcuts at switchbacks, stay on trails at all times. Don't use other's tracks as an excuse to deepen an irresponsible track.
  • Do not enter a closed trail.
  • Forest Service roads often cross sections of private property. Do not enter if posted no trespassing. Leave gates the way you found them, closed if indicated.
  • Pack out trash always - except in fee areas where there is an empty, approved receptacle. Don't overflow full containers and don't throw trash in pit toilets.
  • Never drive across open meadows. Don't pick wildflowers, walk across delicate tundra or remove any artifacts – no kiddin' – drop them where you found them.
  • Camp within 300 feet of the road.
  • Don't park in tall grass due to fire danger.
  • Bury human waste at least 6 to 8 inches deep and AT LEAST 200 feet from any water source, campsite or trail.
  • Special land use regulations take precedence so check current FS maps.

Trail Etiquette

  • Drive slowly with caution always, especially around blind curves.
  • Be quiet. Don't play radios loudly, spin tires, gun engines. Use horn only in emergencies. Smile and be courteous to everyone to create a positive image for four-wheeling. There's a reason that trails get closed to everyone.
  • Always pull over to the side of the road when you are not moving. Pull over for hikers and bikers. Stop and shut off engine for horses and pack animals.
  • Avoid crossing streams if possible. Cross only at designated places.
  • Pull over and let other vehicles pass.
  • Control your pets at all times. Don't let them bark or chase wildlife.

Camping Guidelines

  • Use developed or existing campsites.
  • camp away from streams, lakes, hiking trails, and historical mining sites. Leave as much distance as possible between you and other campers. Respect privacy of others.
  • Use a gas stove if possible, try to avoid fires. Fires only when allowed and always within a rock fire ring. Bring own fire wood, don't cut branches or trees. Let burn itself out to ashes then spread so completely cold. If must, douse fire thoroughly and watch to make absolutely sure it's out. Pack out bottles or cans.
  • Avoid using soap around lakes or streams. Heat water to clean utensils. Don't bathe in or near a stream or lake especially with soap.
  • Prepack food in plastic bags or reusable containers and haul away all trash.
  • Inspect area thoroughly before leaving, leave NOTHING behind.

Area Four: Steamboat Springs

Area four has five trails and three basecamp towns and covers some truly magnificent Colorado areas. The designation in parentheses are the difficulty level.

Basecamp Towns: Steamboat Springs, Hahns Peak and Columbine (not the city, the tiny backwoods hamlet).
Trails: Ellis Jeep Trail (D), Hahns Peak (M), Farwell Mountain (M), Blowdown Area (E) and Buffalo Pass (E).

Free Google Earth File

The free Google Earth file for the Guide to Colorado Backroads and 4WD Trails - Volume 2 is available at: Google Earth Trail FileOffroading Home on the specialty map resource page. Click to arrive at the page and select the "Wells Colorado, V-2" map. It is a .kml file which is utilized by Google Earth. You can either save the map on your computer or click "open" to have it open directly inside Google Earth.

Are You Going To Get The Book?

If you are planning on purchasing this book, I'd like to entreat you to do it via this link to Amazon: Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, Vol. 2. That way you'll still pay the same price but a portion of it will go toward keeping Offroading Home "on the air." Thanks!

Learn A Little More

Ok, you science types. Whether you are old enough to have actually used a slide rule in high school or not, you've undoubtedly run across the use of "X" in an equation to represent some unknown quantity or thing. But why? Where did it come from? Here's the answer.

Why is X used in algebra?




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