This weekend we headed to the western slope to visit Ben’s parents. They recently bought a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, and Ben also did some upgrades to our Montero, so you can imagine his anticipation to hit the trails. We headed to De Beque to try the four wheel drive road in the Little Bookcliff Wild Horse Range.
It was a beautiful day for a drive. The sun was out and we had a clear view of the surrounding mountain and the Grand Mesa. From Grand Junction, head east on I-70. Get off at the De Beque exit and head north on 45 road towards the small town of De Beque. Follow the signs through town for the Little Bookcliff Wild Horse Range. Not too far out of town you will take a right turn on Deer Park. (Keep following the BLM signs.) This is the start of the 4×4 road.
For the first half of the trip we were on a gravel road. There were some washboards but pretty minimal. The pinyon-juniper trees along with the sage brush of the high desert landscape smelled so good! It made us appreciate being in the fresh mountain air….instead of the hustle and bustle of the city. (And the lack of traffic was refreshing.)
A few miles in, we stopped to let the dogs out and found a neat canyon. There was a small stream of water flowing through it. We would have enjoyed exploring more of it if we would have had the time. Along the small stream there were a variety of investing rocks shaped and smoothed over the years from the flow of water. The dogs found some snow to roll in along the way. There were also some single tracks along this area as well.
As we drove along, continuing to follow the BLM signs for the Little Bookcliff Wild Horse Range, we passed many oil drill sites. Little did we know, we would soon be appreciating the tire treads of the oil trucks that drive these back roads frequently.
Soon those packed down treads we were following took a left and we took a right (still following the signs) and boy did it turn muddy!
We all enjoyed the slippery sliding ride in the mud. It was almost like we were skating on ice the mud was so slick. We were sliding from one side of the road to the other and zig-zagging in between. Mud was flying everywhere.
Surprisingly the Montero was not as mud caked as the Jeep was. The Jeep looked like it had done some serious off roading!
You can see Ben’s dad thinking…”How am I going to get all this mud off!?”
We were disappointed how little mud was on the Montero considering what we driven through, but I think Ben didn’t mind the lack of mud on the Montero when he took it to the car wash. They said it was more clay than mud and it was very difficult to get the vehicles cleaned.
At around mile 14 we decided to turn around. We feared the north facing road would only get soupier. We found a side road that took us in closer to the large rock faces that you drive along and found a spot for lunch. This area would also be a good camping spot.
Collin brought his motorcycles and enjoyed running them through the dirt and snow. You don’t need to pack many toy when your surroundings are a playground.
We found a spot near the mouth of a canyon for lunch. We sat and talked about our slippery ride. We wish we could have completed the almost 30 mile loop. We were hoping to see some wild horses along the way as the Bookcliffs are known to have herds of them running free.
Attempt 1 of the Little Bookcliff Wild Horse Range was unsuccessful but fun none the less! We will update our post when we try it again.