Off Roading – Jeeping – OHVing
Off-Roading and Jeep Tours
Experience Buena Vista’s backcountry on a half or full day off-roading excursion. With varying terrain open to ATV’s and 4x4’s and year-round accessibility, imagination will be your only boundary. Here is a listing of our local experts:
The Adventure Company
All Season Adventures, Inc.
BV Jeeps Mountain Adventure Rentals
Jeeps, ATV’s, & Side by Sides
Browns Canyon Rafting
ATV & Rafting Packages
Color Tours & Trail Book
One of our favorite times to embark on these adventures is during September when the leaves are full of golden colors. Consider taking part in the Annual OHV Color Tour the 4th week of September to see the beautiful fall foliage, visit historic sites and ride with other adventurers.
Trails Book – OHVing in 14er Country
This is the most comprehensive book of the Off Highway Vehicle and 4 by 4 trails available in Buena Vista and the surrounding areas. It includes 50 pages of trails, history and advice. $22.00 includes shipping https://www.buenavistacolorado.org/product/OHVing-in-14er-country/
Off-Road Support Clubs
Colorado Off-Road Enterprise
CORE is a motorized action group/4x4 Club based out of Buena Vista, Colorado. CORE was founded to adopt and maintain roads/trails, to be an advocate for motorized access to our public lands, and to bring user groups who utilize roads on public lands together to achieve these common goals. https://KeepTrailsOpen.org/
High Rocky Riders Off-Road Club
The High Rocky Riders OHV club is dedicated to family oriented recreation involving off road motor vehicles. Our area offers club members and visitors many opportunities to enjoy the great Colorado outdoors and the fun
of motorized recreation. http://HighRockyRiders.org/
Crisp mountain air, blue bird skies, endless wildflowers, alpine tundra, pristine lakes and snow tipped peaks . . . These are the mesmerizing images that usually adorn the fronts of post cards, but if you have ever traveled the backcountry 4x4 trails around Buena Vista you know that these images come to life and pictures in no way do the Collegiate Peaks landscape justice.
The mining boom of the late 1800s carved out access to the backcountry around Buena Vista and the 4x4 community is
now the beneficiary of that long since forgotten industry. What were once railroad beds and mining claim access roads have now become 4x4 trails for off road enthusiasts to escape into the mountains and experience nature’s beauty. Buena Vista is the epicenter to more than forty 4x4 trails in close enough proximity to be accessible for day trips.
Located about 20 miles from Buena Vista is the historic mining town of St. Elmo, once the home to nearly 2,000 people. As you make your way toward St. Elmo on CR 162 you drive past Chalk Lake and start the climb up to the old railroad bed that once brought trains to the east side of the Alpine Tunnel over a hundred years ago. Climb to the railroad grade and you will pass Chalk Creek as it crashes down through a narrow steep section called The Cascades. Make sure to stop and take a picture here before you wind through aspen groves and pine forests meandering back and forth up the valley before finally arriving at St. Elmo. Once there, you are at a point allowing you access to multiple 4x4 trails.
Tincup and Hancock Passes were once the travel routes to get to the towns of Pitkin and Tincup, respectively, and are now moderate 4x4 trails. These trails will take you over the Continental Divide and into the Gunnison National Forest. Hancock Lake, Mt. Antero and the Pomeroy Lake trailheads are all on the Buena Vista side of the Continental Divide and will take you to areas of breathtaking beauty.
A short drive west from the stoplight in Buena Vista on West Main St. and then on County Road 306 will deliver you to Cottonwood Lake within minutes. Cottonwood Lake is great for fishing and non-motorized water based recreation and there is even a
Forest Service campground for those looking to spend several days in the area. The road to Cottonwood Lake is an easy drive along a dirt road, but if you continue past the lake there are several opportunities for the 4x4 enthusiast. Beyond Cottonwood Lake there is access to the Mineral Basin, Ptarmigan Lake and Hope Gulch 4x4 roads. These roads will offer many photo opportunities and panoramic views from the backside of Mt. Princeton. Located in close proximity to downtown Buena Vista is the multifaceted recreation area called Fourmile.
If you head north on Colorado Avenue from downtown Buena Vista you will cross the Arkansas River and then shortly after the old Midland Railroad Tunnels will come into view. An immediate right hand turn just before the tunnels will take you to the Fourmile Recreation Area trailhead. This area is managed by multiple agencies including BLM, Forest Service and the Friends of Fourmile citizens group. Within the Fourmile Recreation Area there is a vast network of roads ranging from easy scenic drives up to and past the Natural Bridge hiking area to more challenging sections such as the Chinaman Gulch Loop, and even to the extreme rock crawling trail known as Carnage Canyon.
Drivers can select the 4x4 trails that meet their skills and their vehicle’s capability in this vast recreation area. Fourmile has enough options and roads to accommodate day trips or multiple day adventures. As you travel on public lands and backcountry
4x4 roads, it’s important to pay close attention to trail etiquette, practice good stewardship and to respect historical sites in our areas. Historic St. Elmo has worked hard to document and preserve the mining history in Chalk Creek Canyon. Users of this area should take special care to NOT remove or destroy historical objects on National Forest or privately-owned land.
By Marcus Trusty https://KeepTrailsOpen.org