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Red Cone (actually, Webster) Pass

September, 2003


So the plan was to follow some guys from work who were on dirt bikes up to Red Cone and... of course, DOWN the infamously steep, loose, narrow, trail of doom.

We left our meeting place around 9:30 and were on the trial leading to both Red Cone and Webster. The cycle guys donned armor and headed up. We, however, had already made the decision, based on the continual light drizzling that--thank God above--we were going to skip Red Cone and do Webster Pass instead. WHEW.

I know, I know, I'm a wimp. But after all the build up on all these websites it sounded like we'd either go rolling down the mountain for a few thousand feet before stopping or come roaring down the hill at about 50mph because we weren't allowed to use the brakes (oh, yeah, auto transmissions are SO good at compression braking...). Any of you ever seen the video of that Blazer bouncing down Lion's Back? Yeah.

Our first breakdown occurred pretty early on.

Turned out Hari's rig spit out the right rear lift block on the trail-- never to be found again despite a substantial search and rescue effort. We bolted down the axle without the lift block which worked out ok. The motorcycle guys had gone up and come back down before we even got rolling again.

We had a nice day on a much easier, less terrifying trail with eye-popping views of Red Cone itself. A few minor obstacles, moguls, some rocks, erosion around a log bridge, tight switchbacks, and the like. It was spitting rain all day until after lunch when we headed down the other side. We did get to witness a few rigs coming down Red Cone which meets up right at the top of the pass. One guy even used his brakes all the way down and didn't instantly pitch off the side and turn into a tumbling ball of flame heading for the lower valley. And it was wet on the trail, too.

I'm sure it looks scary as hell when you're driving it, but from the bottom looking up the bottom section at least is quite wide. You don't want to get sideways on it, but now that I've seen the monster up close it isn't quite as scary. I guess I had to see it done before I'd feel ok about driving or riding down the thing. Maybe I'll try it next year if TC is running.

Views of Red Cone

Scott's FSJ heads down

We headed back down through the woods just as we'd come up. Stream on our left most of the way, smoother going towards Montezuma, though, lots of greenery-- this being my first trip since last year's wildfire and drought mess.

Hari negotiates the stream

Scott's rig lined up

Scott's 74 Wag with the 401 performed spectacularly on its maiden trail voyage (no surprise) and I gather he gained quite a bit of confidence in his rig. He's been offroad before but never in an FSJ. We waltzed up all the obstacles like they weren't there, but that's no surprise to any FSJ owner.

We were done by about 3, went through Dillon and back down I70. I hopped in the Subaru, shot home, and had a nap. :)

Molly in line

Can you say, steep?

Michael Shimniok