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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone done Engineer Pass or Cinnamon Pass in Colorado in a Treg? Was out in the Ouray/Silverton area this past weekend, and did Yankee Boy Basin with the fam with no problems - as usual, tons of traffic from the local rental outfits, and I love the looks the Treg gets when it takes a section without drama that a lifted jeep did just as easily. Wanted to take the Alpine Loop over Engineer Pass, or possibly Cinnamon Pass to Lake City on the way home, but sight unseen and without good cellphone reception in Ouray I couldn't really check out the YouTubes for good beta. Judging that discretion was the better part of valor, we drove home on pavement. Probably would have tried either Engineer or Cinnamon Pass if traveling with friends who know how to spot.

Might have another opportunity in a couple weeks, and have since looked at YouTube vids of Engineer Pass - it doesn't really look like anything the Treg can't handle?

I have a 2010 TDI with good tires (slightly oversized - I get another inch or so of lift) and steel suspension.

Any info from fellow Treg drivers would be appreciated.
 

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I haven't done either of them but I think a bunch of guys did them during the Colorado rally a couple years back. I was just down there for the 4th but am thinking of going back down there from the 4th through 7th of August. When were you thinking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I saw those descriptions - more mentions, really - and I saw some YouTube vids of stock Wrangler Unlimiteds and old-school Cherokees doing the run up Engineer, but it's not the whole trail so it's hard to tell. I saw one of the local jeep rental joints' descriptions, and they rated Engineer Pass a 4.5 out of 5 in difficulty, whereas Yankee Boy was a 2.5 - Poughkeepsie Gulch was a 5.0 and "we do not allow our jeeps on this trail" - that's for good reason, says I. Cinnamon Pass was a 3.0/5. But then I suppose they want their jeeps back after renting them to flatlanders, and in one piece, so I'm sure they sandbag their ratings by quite a bit.

A photographer buddy of mine and I are heading up that way for a weekend of backpacking and climbing the weekend of July 30th. We were thinking Verde Lakes area above Silverton, but we've both wanted to hit Engineer Pass - there's a lake and some peaks past Wildhorse Peak about 3 miles NNW of Engineer Pass on the other side of American Flats that look pretty awesome. I could probably convince him that he wants to shoot that area instead, and I have a drone I can contribute to the effort... :cool: So I might be able to convince him.
 

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We did those passes routinely during the Touareg Rally's of 2007-2010. 0f course we had transfer boxes and veterans like Hap to advise and spot. Those were some days. IIRC Cinnamon and Engineer were "pieces of cake." With the decontenting from 4XMotion to 4Motion our organizers like Aircooled no longer felt comfortable leading a week-long rally out of Ouray. Some of our leaders will chime in I'm sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We did those passes routinely during the Touareg Rally's of 2007-2010. 0f course we had transfer boxes and veterans like Hap to advise and spot. Those were some days. IIRC Cinnamon and Engineer were "pieces of cake." With the decontenting from 4XMotion to 4Motion our organizers like Aircooled no longer felt comfortable leading a week-long rally out of Ouray. Some of our leaders will chime in I'm sure.
Good to hear my initial impression was close, that EP is well within the capabilities of the vehicle with a competent driver. I do have the 4XMOTION and just had it serviced -- smooth like butta in YBB last weekend, only used the low range (not the locker) for a little bit of it, really just to say I used it and to save the brakes on the steepest downhills. I don't have a full-sized spare, and with my upsized tires I guess my inflatable donut is just ballast, but I generally take it slow over craggier stuff. My AT's are armored and in good shape.

I did convince my climbing partner to give Engineer Pass a try since we'll be heading out to the Dragon's Back...only question now is, go in from Ouray or Lake City? I think LC approach could be done in his Subie, but I think we'll end up taking the Treg.
 

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Traildamage.com says that the normal route is west on Cinnamon Pass and then east on Engineer Pass. They rate Engineer and Cinnamon between 2 and 3 out of 5, so you should be alright.

When I go back out there I plan on doing Imogene, Ophir, Yankee Boy, and maybe Engineer/Cinnamon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ALWAYS USE your transfer case in LOW RANGE and low gear on your transmission!!!! This prevents your brakes from overheating. Engineer Pass should be fine in a Touareg with low range. (4x Motion)
Definitely...I only keep it in manual mode/ 1st or 2nd if I'm in low range, especially heading downhill, and especially especially with the locker engaged. Don't even really need the brakes then unless coming to a complete stop.

It's kinda funny when jeepers remark suspiciously, "that sounds like a diesel..."
 

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We were required to have full-size spare tires on those rallys. 19's were troublesome. I was OK on my 18's. The serious drivers had 17's.
 

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Definitely a full size spare for the trails there. We had a few people slice sidewalls on the rally. I was one of them. Guys even were slicing the sidewalls of BFG AT's. So the rocks there can and will bite you if given a chance. For Stabone and especially PhithyPhil, have someone along to spot you through more difficult stuff. You don't have the advantage of being able to lift your vehicle any further since neither of you have air suspension. My 04 had some minor rocker damage due to not being careful over some obstacles. Use low range period on any of those trails to keep speed down and save your brakes. I personally would not worry about the locker at all. I never found a serious need for it anywhere there on the stuff we traveled on during the Rally's. If you don't feel comfortable with some of this stuff then don't do it. No need to get hurt or your rig hurt.

Phithyphil, There are many places there I would not feel comfortable taking a T3 through. This is just my opinion, but I have done many of the trails there along with lgibson, so I am aware what they can be like. Go at your own risk. Keep in mind also if you break down out there you won't get a roll back to those areas at all. Someone will be dragging you out.
 

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Definitely a full size spare for the trails there. We had a few people slice sidewalls on the rally. I was one of them. Guys even were slicing the sidewalls of BFG AT's. So the rocks there can and will bite you if given a chance. For Stabone and especially PhithyPhil, have someone along to spot you through more difficult stuff. You don't have the advantage of being able to lift your vehicle any further since neither of you have air suspension. My 04 had some minor rocker damage due to not being careful over some obstacles. Use low range period on any of those trails to keep speed down and save your brakes. I personally would not worry about the locker at all. I never found a serious need for it anywhere there on the stuff we traveled on during the Rally's. If you don't feel comfortable with some of this stuff then don't do it. No need to get hurt or your rig hurt.


My T3 doesn't have air suspension but my T2 does. I'd be taking the T2 back to Telluride for these trails. Even though it's a Lux Limited I'm not that worried and have a full sized spare that will be with me. If I get some rocker damage then it might just "force" me to do the R50 flares and skirts, shucks.

Thanks for the advice Yeti!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Definitely a full size spare for the trails there. We had a few people slice sidewalls on the rally. I was one of them. Guys even were slicing the sidewalls of BFG AT's. So the rocks there can and will bite you if given a chance. For Stabone and especially PhithyPhil, have someone along to spot you through more difficult stuff. You don't have the advantage of being able to lift your vehicle any further since neither of you have air suspension. My 04 had some minor rocker damage due to not being careful over some obstacles. Use low range period on any of those trails to keep speed down and save your brakes. I personally would not worry about the locker at all. I never found a serious need for it anywhere there on the stuff we traveled on during the Rally's. If you don't feel comfortable with some of this stuff then don't do it. No need to get hurt or your rig hurt.

Phithyphil, There are many places there I would not feel comfortable taking a T3 through. This is just my opinion, but I have done many of the trails there along with lgibson, so I am aware what they can be like. Go at your own risk. Keep in mind also if you break down out there you won't get a roll back to those areas at all. Someone will be dragging you out.
Yeti - thx for the advice. Will have a spotter with me this time. Did you puncture on Engineer? How's the shelf road with the Touareg width - any pucker there? Any weird off-camber stuff or just straightforward crawling? Water crossings?
 

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Yeti - thx for the advice. Will have a spotter with me this time. Did you puncture on Engineer? How's the shelf road with the Touareg width - any pucker there? Any weird off-camber stuff or just straightforward crawling? Water crossings?
I'll be honest, I don't remember which one Engineer is, but i know I have done it in both my 04 and my 10. The shelf roads don't make me nervous. Made my ex wife extremely nervous. To the point she would not ride along anymore. I have had wheels in the air many times. Once you get used to it I don't feel it bothers me. We have done a few stream crossings. I posted a pic of one of them that another forum member took of my 04 once.

Here is a link to the first year I went on the rally: Touaregs Rally for Fun and Sun on the Rocks - Travel & Adventure - Truck Trend
 

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Yeti - thx for the advice. Will have a spotter with me this time. Did you puncture on Engineer? How's the shelf road with the Touareg width - any pucker there? Any weird off-camber stuff or just straightforward crawling? Water crossings?


The only water crossings I saw mentioned on traildamage were on Imogene but I don't know the other trails that were hit during the rally. I think either one of our T2s should be ok for Engineer or Cinnamon. I will be sure to post some pics of my adventures out there too. We should start a CO trail thread and try to link up with the other CO folks who like to get out and explore.

We should get together some time soon. I'm just up on the south side of Denver. But I have friends at Carson so I go to the springs fairly regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeti - thx for the advice. Will have a spotter with me this time. Did you puncture on Engineer? How's the shelf road with the Touareg width - any pucker there? Any weird off-camber stuff or just straightforward crawling? Water crossings?


The only water crossings I saw mentioned on traildamage were on Imogene but I don't know the other trails that were hit during the rally. I think either one of our T2s should be ok for Engineer or Cinnamon. I will be sure to post some pics of my adventures out there too. We should start a CO trail thread and try to link up with the other CO folks who like to get out and explore.

We should get together some time soon. I'm just up on the south side of Denver. But I have friends at Carson so I go to the springs fairly regularly.
Definitely! I'll post some pics too...noticed the sticky about trail reports...and no actual trail reports for a long time.

I'm sure now is the time for some "last trips" for those ready to dump their Dieselgate sleds before the buyback. I for one will keep mine, intact and ornery if necessary.
 

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A Touareg trip to Ouray would be awesome!! It's beautiful down there. I no longer have a Grand Wagoneer that can do trails. That is why I bought the Touareg.

Not when I could get away, though. I think I may have a trip to Portland in the next couple of months. ;- )
 

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I would love to get back to Ouray. It has been awhile for me for sure. '11 was the last Rally held and I did not go due to being laid off and not wanting to spend the money to get there and stay there. I wish now I would have gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sadly due to a death in my wife's family, I won't make it to the San Juans this weekend. Might get to Summit County or the Never Summers once before the snow flies up there, but Ouray will probably be next year.

Thanks for all the info everyone! Hopefully it's inspired some wanderlust with these great vehicles....

Side note - I was thinking of trying to start a Drivetribe (http://drivetribe.com/#home) to document the "Last Ride of the TDIs," but I really don't have time or skills to produce video for it. And my "last ride" in my TDI should be many years away anyway, fix or no fix. :)
 

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Sorry to hear that, my condolences.

I'm thinking of waiting until Labor Day weekend to go back to Telluride. The weekend after next I might go exploring out by Aspen and attempt Pearl Pass. I've been wanting to go out to Crystal City and check out that area too.
 

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My brother and I did both in a 2014 Touareg TDI last year. Slightly oversized tires, 18" wheels, (Goodyear Wranglers), great engine performance & power, very good "off road" setting performance, great brakes, great turning radius. On this road/ trail, the turning radius / steering was a great asset as it has some very tight and steep switchbacks. The weather was dry the entire time on the Alpine loop. Cinnamon pass was rated a (3) difficulty (we drove west/ (Silverton to east/Lake City), we had just come off a road that was rated (2) in difficulty with no major issues. The rating for Cinnamon was a 3 which definitely was a step up (2 rating to 3), we made it with no body damage,, unbelievable views along the way. Worth doing if you are the adventure. We had several very challenging switch backs that we carefully laid out a very,very slow decent to avoid damage.

Engineer pass is rated at a (3) for the first 20 miles or so, the rating was appropriate. We drove from Lake city to Ouray). Several of the switch backs are very challenging, to avoid front end damage we were at 1mph or less. If the road had been wet, it would have been a problem as the rock is very steep and smooth,,, but it was dry so we were ok. The next 5 miles of Engineering pass should be avoided in a Treg. Several shelf drop off (10 to 12 inches) that left us having to build up rock ramps to get down to avoid damage. I've got a picture of the Treg on 2 wheels (diagonal) as we were coming down one of the shelves. There is a road that crosses over from Engineering pass to Cinnamon pass and I would recommend this pass to avoid the last 5 miles of Eng. pass. If you take this road you would return to Silverton vs Ouray.

By the way, our other SUV is a Jeep Cherokee, and my brother has a 4 Runner. While the 14 Treg does not have some of the features of these cars, it outperformed them in many ways.

Would I do it again, probably not in a 14.

This drive left we wanting to buy a Wrangler with 35" tires and a diesel engine....which they don't make right now. Life is a compromise.
 
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