Fremont County, Colorado
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Nearby Towns: Penrose
Nearby Trails: Liberty Trail, Patriot Trail
Trail Length: 0.24 miles
Elevation: 5,744 to 5,842 feet
Named Obstacles: Bunker Hill
Recommended by Aaron T.
This is an extremely short trail but it is quite difficult. It is in the Penrose system of trails, and its lowest end intersects with Patriot Trail and Liberty Trail. Freedom Trail intersects in the middle of Independence Trail, just above Bunker Hill.
This trail is driven in both directions, and it must be either combined with another trail or driven back out in the opposite direction.
If you drop in from the top, you must go down a series of ledges that are often very large and often put you off camber. There is a railing on the passenger side as you work your way down that often does some damage to vehicles, especially the full-sized ones. There is a winch point at the top if you need help while you're going the other way.
After the entrance there is a brief rocky section. Then you intersect with Freedom Trail. Freedom Trail is very short, and it is not particularly difficult though it is steep. This trail is used as an exit from Independence Trail, usually if you cannot get out any other way.
Immediately after this intersection is Bunker Hill, the big obstacle on Independence Trail. It is a series of two obstacles that are quite different, with enough room to put a single vehicle in the middle.
The first part is the waterfall, a large drop-off of granite. If you go slowly and make sure you are level on your way down, it will be a thrill ride but you should make it down just fine. If you are traveling up the waterfall it can be very difficult because it is covered in sand, and many vehicles have flopped over here. There is a winch point if you need it, though.
The second half of Bunker Hill is a series of huge rocks that are anchored in the ground. You have a good chance of puncturing an oil pan or something else under your vehicle, and it's easy to get some body damage here.
After you finish Bunker Hill you are at the intersection with Patriot Trail (even more difficult that Independence Trail) and Liberty Trail (quite a bit easier but still difficult in sections).
Information last updated on June 27th, 2010.
From Denver, take I-25 south to Colorado Springs. Take the Tejon exit 140 and then turn right on Nevada Avenue, following signs to Highway 115 south. Take Highway 115 32 miles until just before you get to the town of Penrose. Turn right on 3rd Street off of 115 following signs to Brush Hollow Reservoir. Turn right on E Street (County Road 127) and continue until you have crossed over two cattle guards and you are in the trees. You will see the entrance to Independence Trail on your left.
Those coming from the Denver area might want to meet on exit 184 off of I-25 at the Conoco gas station to the west of the highway.