Crystal Mountain Trip
September 14th, 2002
by Don Owens

Well folks we started out from Longmont with Don Owens as trip leader and Andy Newcomb, Tom Crook in a yellow YJ, Eric Steenburn in his tan YJ, Bob and Andree Gassert in a Suzuki Sidekick, Elaine Allbrandt, Tammy Ellefson in a blue YJ, Jon Matson, Susan Allen from Illinois in a red TJ, and Gail Straty, our tail gunner in a red YJ.

We started out from Longmont a little late waiting for the out of town folks. But, we got going to meet Elaine and Tammy and Bob and Andree in Masonville, then headed to the trailhead of Moody Hill. Once there, we aired down, locked in the hubs, and off we went. The last time I was on Moody Hill it had a lot of moguls in one section. Well, the trail had been bladed and I didn't seem to remember the extra water bar.

Wen we got to the turn off for Crystal Mountain 4WD road the real fun begins. This portion of the road is rated a six, but one can make it as easy, or as hard, as one wants to make it. Most of the obstacles do have bypasses.

Starting out there are the frame twisters of really deep ruts. Next is a rock step with three lines. The one to the right is the hardest. Next is a 3 to 4 foot step that Tammy did the far right line that has a hump before starting the climb. I spotted a short but more vertical wall that another Toyota pickup was trying to climb, unsuccessfully. As my Toyota is fully locked and has 11:1 low range, I crept up and over it without spinning a tire. We all worked our way up, despite the higher moisture in the soil from the three or four days of heavy showers of much needed water. We did have a few stock open-diff vehicles in our group, but no one took any of the bypasses.

We got to the top, but decided to have lunch ant the quartz crystal mine to the south. I don't know why they were mining white quartz. I suspect it was for ornamental uses.

When we got back to the clearing, I took a road from the south that drops down the flank of Crystal Mountain to the valley below. I would not recommend this route for full-sized vehicles or pickups, due to the narrowness of the road, and some tight bends. There are two steep 30 degree sections which an automatic transmission would require standing on the brakes. At the bottom you will pass through two possible mud holes. This year we have not had the water to turn them into bottomless mud holes.

We continued on to the intersection of the Mountain subdivision Road and Moody Hill Road, where we aired up. At this spot the road down through the Mountain subdivision to County Road 44H is open. We all had a good 4-Wheeling time.



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