Best 4x4 Trail Closest to Denver (2003)

Red Cone Trail

For a truly white-knuckle ride, off-roaders should take U.S. Highway 285 south and west of Denver, then leave the asphalt behind two miles outside of Grant. Make your way to the Hardcart Gulch Campground; go about 100 yards west and bear right at the fork. From there, Red Cone climbs up over the Continental Divide and ends up just outside of Keystone. Built by the United States Forest Service with the input of local four-wheeler clubs, Red Cone is the perfect mixture of beauty and peril. One particular quarter-mile section toward the top of the 12,800-foot high point is a fifteen-foot-wide knife-edged road. Lean too far on one side and you'll tumble nearly 1,000 feet down. Overcorrect on the other, and it's a hundred feet over the edge. The way down the other side doesn't get much better, with softball-sized rocks that litter the trail, poised to roll your rig onto its roof if you don't stay on top of the wheel. We tell you this because some people consider this sort of thing fun.


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