Touring the Rockies in a Jeep Wrangler 

Truly, it’s an off-roader’s paradise, regardless of experience level.
off-road extreme expedition on black jeep wrangler, in mountain terrain

If you had to pick one place where you can free your Wrangler to jostle around off road on well-maintained trails in a beauteous, scenic environment, you may want to choose the Colorado Rockies. 

Truly, it’s an off-roader’s paradise, regardless of experience level. Not only are there demanding uphill drives, rugged roads, and plenty of good old mud, but there are ample places to park your ride so you can take in some spectacular mountainside views.

Read on for more about touring the Rockies in a Jeep Wrangler.

Wagon Wheel Trails

We’re talking here about 250 miles of 13 interconnecting trails right smack in the middle of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Those who seek a fun four-wheel drive test would do well to take Fawn Creek to Dead Horse Loop, which is a precipitous, stony ride with more-tapered trails.

If you want a mellower afternoon with scads of breathtaking views, Wagon Wheel has you covered. You can take a quick day trip and explore trails or make it a thrilling weekend. 

Central City/Saint Mary’s

You’ll get plenty of gorgeous ganders of the mountain on this expansive network of trails called Central City/Saint Mary’s, along with opportunities for adventure.

For knock-out views and a rad climb, aim your Wrangler toward Yankee Hill. The short but steep and rocky ascent offers awesome views of St. Mary’s Glacier and area peaks.

Using other trails near Central City/St. Mary’s, and up and around the glacier, you can get even more jaw-dropping views. These trails sit amid Denver and the Colorado Springs.

Colorado State Forest

Got moose? Well, this forest three hours northwest of Denver is known for its abundance of moose-viewing opportunities. That’s in addition to several activities independent of the forest’s 50 miles of off-road trails that are rife with Colorado scenery and wildlife. 

Alpine Loop

The off-road prowess of your Jeep Wrangler will come in handy on this scenic, classic, 63-mile trail, which features bumpy trails and rocky climbs. 

Located south of Telluride, the Alpine Loop is also known for ruins and ghost towns that are only accessible off road.

Grand Mesa Trails

These 150 miles of adventure in the Grand Mesa National Forest about five hours from Denver are pockmarked with deep mud holes, lakes, verdant hills, and rocky climbs. The terrain, as well as the sweeping views, are certainly worth a trip.

Red Feather Lakes

Red Feather Lakes is in Roosevelt National Park, which is located west of Fort Collins and features an abundance of dirt trails and wildflowers.

Deadman’s Road, a dusty trail that spans about 23 miles and includes some rocky areas, is the most popular trail in the area. Another trail – Seven Mile Creek Road – traverses a lovely valley and crosses a creek before heading uphill into a forest.

Mount Baldy

So dubbed because of its uncapped peak, Mount Baldy sits southwest of Colorado Springs, above the large natural lake that is Grand Lake. Amazing views abound.

Although it’s one of the state’s more relaxed trails, there is a myriad of rocky peaks that may necessitate some cautious driving, plus a bit of traction.

Imogene Pass

While Imogene Pass may not be a genteel ride, it’s certainly fun. Through steep slopes in the San Juan Mountains, Imogene Pass is best mid-summer when you’ll be treated to expansive views of wildflowers from an elevation of some 13,000 feet.

Hardscrabble Park

As the name suggests, trails here are just right for four-wheel drive enthusiasts. Think desert, cliffs, canyons, and juniper bushes. These trails feature wide ATV paths and more technical single-track ones, plus room for you to put the pedal to the metal.

We can’t think of a better off-road experience than a trip touring the Rockies in a Jeep Wrangler. Before hitting the trails, of course, make certain that your SUV is in good shape, to ensure a fabulous experience.

Robert Cooke
Rob is a certified mechanic and long-time automotive enthusiast who has worked on everyday passenger vehicles, race and rally cars, and derby cars.