Thursday, September 21, 2023
Kelly Flats - HAH, Bypass, Chutes

Mike, from the 4x4 group, wishes to visit a couple of the more difficult local trails. Kelly Flats became the choice and a weekday visit was scheduled. We saw no other person on the trail today - wonderfully quiet.

Both of us ran no top, no doors and crossed our fingers we'd stay dry. The clouds did turn dark and the windshield did show some drops but we were fortunate and stayed dry (at least I did - he had a longer drive to home).

Not counting time spent airing down or up at each trailhead, we processed 10.9 miles of trail in 2h 27m. This included a 37 minute lunch break.

We ran up Heart Attack Hill - Mike rolling up non-stop. I was rejected twice at a step before a third route gave success. Once at the top we turned down and drove the bypass to drive up that route. While it is a 'bypass' it's not an easy route - it has some difficulty. Up from that hill was a quick trip to the sub-division road to the Chutes obstacle - a destination item for Mike.

He tried two lines up the main obstacle and went through with ease - no tire slippage. Both routes taken, we headed to the western trailhead with a lunch stop midway.

Off the trail we aired up near Sevenmile Creek and headed down Hwy 14 to town. Some of the roadway was wet and the clouds were questionable - but no rainfall to cause concern.

Empty trail, two suitable vehicles for the trail - it was a quick, flowing day.

Counter-clockwise loop

A nice day rolling up the canyon. Sun at our backs for nice pictures of the river.

Many county dump trucks were out today - hauling asphalt. The highway is being paved in sections.

A nice flow to the asphalt.

Mike at the base of Heart Attack Hill

These rocks are a bit of a step or ledge to get up - with a trench, dug from spinning tires, at the base of it. I tried twice and could not make it up the wall. Each time I loved to the left until a spot caught and gave traction.

Heading down to check out the bypass route...

working up the bypass - several chunky / rocky sections.

At the top of the bypass route.

Easy trail - kicking up a bit of dust.

I am surprised - this trail changed this summer. There are several water hole / mud hole / washout sections.

The Chutes obstacle. I took a pass on any attempt today. I have the side mounted gas cans on and I'm fairly certain they and the carriers would be bashed if I tried.

Mike made short work of the route.

There are two common routes through this section - one places the driver side tires high on the rock face while the other has them low, at the base of the rock. He processed both types - with ease.

Often, the driver side tire will slip down.

But he kept it up and it worked out.

Turning up trail.

A tight section. My tire outside distance is a tad narrower than Mike's so I easily fit but he has a bit of a squeeze.

Visit #2 - going low on the first obstacle and then to go high / over the second obstacle.

Pulling in the driver's side mirror - always a safe choice.

The first time he went "somewhat" over the rock and this time is a choice to plant the passenger side tire fully on top of the rock.

and it worked with ease.

This time - to climb the rock on the right

Rain, Rain, Stay Away

The dead end spur to the south - blocked.

The Aspen trees are starting to turn.

This sky is looking promising!

One of the large mud holes / mud bogs.

Off of the trail, heading down towards Highway 14

Back on 14, heading east to town.

Some sections of roadway were moist. Dark clouds overhead. Fortunately I stayed dry.

This field smelled nice.