Friday, October 22, 2021
Kelly Flats with James & Michael

One of the folks in the 4x4 group wanted to get out for a weekday trail run. They prefer a trail with some difficulty. Near me, for the trails that are open (the Forest Service has yet to open many since the fires last season) near me, Kelly Flats might fit the bill. I mentioned the trail and things worked out for that trail on Friday. Another gent, with a buggy, will join us.

The weather was wonderful - low to mid 70's. One of the reasons to visit a trail on a weekday is for lower traffic and this proved true. We saw only one person on the trail - a motorcycle that passed us on a bypass - out of our way.

We traveled most of the trail, spending time at the difficult obstacles.

Counter-clockwise loop

Aspen trees are past peak though there is some gold to enjoy

The popular Mishawaka bar / amphitheater

Water levels are late season low

On the Kelly Flats road / trail.
The entrance rocky section.

James & Michael at the start of Kelly Flats

A look at the obstacle named Heart Attack Hill. It's reasonably steep - riding a spine up the hill. Each side of the trail slopes down - no catch trees at trail's edge.

A couple / few years back a pickup rolled down the side facing us.

Heart Attack Hill
Michael on the opening obstacle, James on the main hill


Looking down to the Poudre River valley. Right front tire of the jeep set against a large "insurance rock" to ensure the jeep won't move (transmission is either in first or reverse - the parking brake on many jeeps is worthless).

We went up the obstacle, turned around, chatted for a while (no traffic today - nice), headed back down to visit the bypass that exists for folks that don't wish to travel this obstacle. The bypass has some scenic value and some obstacle value. We have time, the trail's wide open (no traffic to hold us up), the weather's great - why not.

This photo shows a bit of the spine of the hill - sloping down to either side of the trail.


Michael traveled the obstacle called "the Chutes" first. He went up the typical route, turned around, traveled down the typical route, turned around and then came up the difficult route. It was fun watching his buggy make easy work for obstacles that are difficult for the streetable jeeps.

Michael at the Chutes - making easy work of it.

One run up the typical route. One run up the difficult route. Then, after driving down it to lend a winch line to James, he backed up the lower section and then tried to back up the upper Z-turn section. This last turn wasn't completed.

For those that watched the video of me (a few weeks ago) with the driver's front tire trying to run high on the rock face - Michael shows how it works.

James at the Chutes

Several attempts.

The last rocky section for the day. This is but a short distance west of the Chutes. Michael has turned back for the eastern trailhead while James and I will travel through to the west trailhead. James and I traveled down this section and we'll turn around to travel it in the uphill direction.

James at the last rocky / chunky section for the day

Some nice views on the western section of the trail.

Looking south towards the tall mountains near Rocky Mountain National Park.

A mix of un-burned and burned trees.

Open range cattle