Chinaman’s Gulch is a great trail located in Buena Vista Colorado. Just minutes from down to Buena Vista this is a trail not to missed. We cruised over there from Aspen and arrived at the trail head around 11 am. We had a great crew consisting of 2 CJ7s, a TJ Rubicon, a Bronco (OJ Simpson style), 2 WJ Cherokees and an FJ80 Land Cruiser.
You start the trail down a dirt road that is smooth and takes you about a half mile down the road before you take a switch back to start ascending and getting into the first couple obstacles. Depending on the size of your vehicle and if you have lockers or not line choice is important here. One of the CJ7s with open diffs had a little trouble getting over the ledges slightly off camper and consistently lifting his driver’s front wheel.
As you get more into the trail you cross over a few rock sections as you climb and one of them seemed to be a magnet for high centering. Cruising on you come to an intersection. Straight takes you up to Carnage canyon which is big rock crawling that is a great place to check out people romping on their rigs and taking it to the next level. Left is Chinaman’s Gulch Loop.
This starts off pretty smooth and you quickly come to rock pile with lots of fun lines that you can pic through or go arounds. We of course found a few lines and played around for a while. I put a good dent in my driver’s rocker and decided it was time to move on.
The next obstacle is the waterfall. There was another group we caught up to at this point and watched a few people make their way up then we proceeded. Everybody made it up without a problem even through Rayburn did get a little tippy looking.
We caught up quickly to the group in front of us at the next obstacle which is a close to vertical rock that is under cut and has a ledge on top that is over handing. You can bypass this as after watching a jeep whose approach angles weren’t good enough I took it on the easier side and the rest of the group bypassed.
At this point we had taken our time and had been on the trail for about 3 hours and decided to rally back. We got the last half of the trail done in less than half of the time we took for the first half. At this point we knew everyone was on the same page. On the way out of the trail Ross jumped the Bronco which was epic and we headed home.
This trail is lots of fun and has some great obstacles that you could make as wild or mild as you want. I would suggest 33s or larger for most or if you don’t mind body damage 31s and a lot of skinny pedal would do.