Calvary 4-Wheelers headed south to a trail we hadn’t done before, Rule Ridge, just north of Divide, CO, west of Colorado Springs. We met in the little town of Sedalia, south of Denver. We had a crew of 9 rigs including a small group from Colorado Jeep People and Josh from UCORA who joined us for the first time. From there we headed west into the hills to Deckers, where we made a brief potty and snack shopping stop, then headed south on highway 67 to Painted Rocks Road which took us to the trail head.
A lot of this area was burned in the Hayman Fire in June of 2002, the largest wildfire in Colorado history. The fire was so intense and burned so hot that it is taking a long time to even begin to recover. At the trail head people aired down, disconnected sway bars, removed doors, etc. when we were treated to a little mini-tornado as a Dust Devil whipped its way through the parking area. When the excitement was over, we circled up for prayer and head down the trail.
The ‘wheeling was very easy (probably didn’t really need 4wd) but the scenery was spectacular with a gorgeous spring day, blue skies and views of Pikes Peak in the distance. Josh and his wife (sorry, I forgot her name) were the only ones who run this trail before. They suggested a particular route but, as we left the burn area and got into the trees we passed through a fairly extensive logging operation and, in the distraction, missed the turn they wanted to take.
We realized we had missed the turn when we reached the turn off for an optional loop that is more moderate in difficulty. Here we really did need 4wd as the trail was very narrow in spots and included several steep hills but even here it wasn’t hard ‘wheeling. When we completed the loop we stopped for lunch.
After lunch we decided to retrace the moderate loop in the opposite direction. We also took an alternate route for part of the loop which included a couple of small creek crossings and a small pile of rocks to pose on.
Upon returning to the main trail we finished Rule Ridge Road and turned onto Davis Gulch, following this road down to Phantom Creek. The crossing at Phantom Creek was much deeper and wider than the early creek crossings.
From there we headed back up to Rule Ridge and back to the trail head. After airing up and reconnecting we headed our separate ways, part of the group going through Woodland Park and Colorado Spring before heading back to Denver and part of us going back the way we came through Deckers and Sedalia. It was a beautiful day in the Rocky Mountains and fun to explore an area we hadn’t been to before.
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