Great Divide Expedition

njarrett

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2022
Messages
5
Is anyone in the group familiar with the route taken on the Land Rover Great Divide Expedition from the 80's? A few buddies and I are planning to retrace the original route in our trucks next summer. I know it's the wrong brand and Toyota's are superior, but I figure this is the most informed group of off-roaders in the state and you can share advice on the best route to take. Any information on the trails they took or an introduction to someone involved in the original event would be a huge help.

I have a few way points mentioned directly in the documentary listed below. I'm also borrowing heavily from the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route and a SW Colorado route published in Overland Journal a while back. The goal is to hit the highlight trails and stick roughly close to the continental divide while minimizing on road time.
  • Battle Pass, WY start
  • Over Hahn's Peak
  • Rand, CO
  • Rollins Pass
  • Red Cone
  • Camped outside of Breckenridge, CO
  • Mosquito Pass
  • Aspen, CO
  • Tincup, CO
  • Slumgullion Pass
  • Ouray, CO
  • Imogene Pass
  • Telluridek CO
  • Ophir Pass
  • Chama, NM Finish
If you haven't seen the documentary it's worth a watch. Thanks for any info!
The Great Divide Expedition: A Range Rover Odyssey Through Colorado
 

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HDavis

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Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
1,162
This is great, thanks for sharing! It is a great reminder of how it felt like traveling Colorado in the late 80's early 90's, as a kid it really solidified my passion for the great outdoors and our wonderful state.

I believe the route from Leadville to Aspen may be Via Hagerman Pass.
I don't think they took tin cup, It looks like they might have turned in the town of Tincup and taken Cumberland pass to Pitkin.

What I am very curious about is how they made it from Aspen to Taylor Park? I've never seen a way that connects the two and I've been curious nearly my whole life. Anyone know?
 

DaveInDenver

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13,385
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Grand Junction
Part of the fun it seems to me is reading maps and figuring out the route. Consider that they did this in 1989 and some of the route they used will have gotten harder, changed names/number or may be closed now.

What I am very curious about is how they made it from Aspen to Taylor Park? I've never seen a way that connects the two and I've been curious nearly my whole life. Anyone know?

Could they have driven up under the lifts (maybe the gondola access road) to get to FS123 near the Richmond Hill trailhead? That might have been possible back then or even if not it is when you're Land Rover.

Now you could use the old road to Midnight Mine up Queens Gulch to use FS123 to get to Taylor Pass. Then FS742 down to Dorchester and Taylor Park.

 
Last edited:

HDavis

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Feb 13, 2019
Messages
1,162
Part of the fun it seems to me is reading maps and figuring out the route. Consider that they did this in 1989 and some of the route they used will have gotten harder or may be closed now.



Could they have driven up under the lifts (maybe the gondola access road) to get to FS123 near the Richmond Hill trailhead? That might have been possible back then or even if not it is when you're Land Rover.

Now you could use the old road to Midnight Mine up Queens Gulch to use FS123 to get to Taylor Pass. Then FS742 down to Dorchester and Taylor Park.

You’ve answered a 30+ year curiosity of mine. Thanks!
 

BritKLR

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2012
Messages
1,335
Location
ATC HQ - Nederland, Colo.
Is anyone in the group familiar with the route taken on the Land Rover Great Divide Expedition from the 80's? A few buddies and I are planning to retrace the original route in our trucks next summer. I know it's the wrong brand and Toyota's are superior, but I figure this is the most informed group of off-roaders in the state and you can share advice on the best route to take. Any information on the trails they took or an introduction to someone involved in the original event would be a huge help.

I have a few way points mentioned directly in the documentary listed below. I'm also borrowing heavily from the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route and a SW Colorado route published in Overland Journal a while back. The goal is to hit the highlight trails and stick roughly close to the continental divide while minimizing on road time.
  • Battle Pass, WY start
  • Over Hahn's Peak
  • Rand, CO
  • Rollins Pass
  • Red Cone
  • Camped outside of Breckenridge, CO
  • Mosquito Pass
  • Aspen, CO
  • Tincup, CO
  • Slumgullion Pass
  • Ouray, CO
  • Imogene Pass
  • Telluridek CO
  • Ophir Pass
  • Chama, NM Finish
If you haven't seen the documentary it's worth a watch. Thanks for any info!
The Great Divide Expedition: A Range Rover Odyssey Through Colorado
Any chance of recreating it with the club? Sponsors?
(Of course the portions that can be run)
Curious.....
 

rover67

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Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
9,365
Location
Boulder, Co
Thats rad dave, nice work.
 

BritKLR

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Oct 29, 2012
Messages
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Location
ATC HQ - Nederland, Colo.
Yeah know, in todays day and age with the right support, sponsorship, social media marketing (video/still/etc...), logistics and promotion this could actually be something grand. I could also see ATC supporting, sponsoring and participating in the right project. Timing, planning, connections and funding would be everything.......food for thought.
 

HDavis

Hard Core 4+
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
1,162
Pending interest here too!
 

Sean Solo

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
Messages
145
Location
Lakewood, CO
Also interested!

Was thinking of putting together a lap of Colorado Run to get the full state wide experience, minus Denver. That and a Utah Traverse and some sort of Trail and River Run and...oh wait, I am not independently wealthy to take all this time off. Damn!

Still interested in the Divide Trip when it comes together.:)
 

Cruisertrash

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Aug 18, 2020
Messages
2,184
Location
Denver
OP has not been back since he created this thread, and now we’re planning routes (@DaveInDenver), getting sponsorship (@BritKLR), swapping diffs (me), and tying in Toyota corporate (@DanInDenver).

No turning back now. Late August or early September 2024 is probably best for full route navigation due to snow, eh? Can we get Rising Sun backing? Toyota Trails?
 

BritKLR

Rising Sun Member
Joined
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Messages
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ATC HQ - Nederland, Colo.
Just to be clear. For this to work at a large scale (corporate/company funding, sponsorship, etc.) a comprehensive written plan would have to be produced to show supporters how this benefits them, most importantly how they can use this in their advertising (think XO level of production) for brand enhancement and customer conversion. I'm happy to talk with some name brand companies that I'm friends with and get some initial feedback and see if it's even a possibility. But after that things can get complicated (logistics, team selection, insurance, ownership, liability, permits, etc...)

Probably one of the biggest challenges will be sourcing/funding a production team (video/stills/audio) to support such a project and turn out a product the sponsors will want to use for their brand. Not to mention the RS Brand.

FWIW, this could also be done as a club run with a couple of articles, go pro videos, some swag and fun for all! Dom?
 
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MonPetiteShoe

Cruise Moab Committee
Cruise Moab Committee
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Oct 7, 2020
Messages
463
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Aurora
Aim for sponsorship, land on RS club run? Sounds like an absolute win regardless.
I'm very interested.
 

nakman

Club Secretary
Staff member
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14,710
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north side
I like the idea. RS run, RS vendor sponsors, we've actually got some good RS video guys as well. pencil me in.
 
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