How to get from Kremmling, CO. to Coalmont, CO. via, mostly, dirt roads
The objective here is to bypass the approximately 60 miles of Hwy40 & CO125 from Kremmling through Granby, then North to Rand. Instead attempting to traverse the dirt roads North of Kremmling towards Coalmont via the Wolford Recreation area along with BLM land roads that continue North into the White River National Forest. There's a lot of potential for private property gates as well as closed roads, however the MVUM's indicate a decent chance of passage, so I intend to confirm one way or another.
The area to explore is in dark blue here surrounded by blue highlighting
On July 4th 2018 my family and I snuck out of the city and made out way towards Kremmling to begin exploring the Wolford Recreation Area. I was pleasantly surprised as it was revealed that 99% of my planned route on the South end of the area was accurate up to Antelope Pass/County Rd 22, which has a gate, but a sign simply saying "Please Close Gate". I turned off at that point to head back home and intend to return for more followup on the Northern end near the Troublesome Wilderness Area and through Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. I'm expecting some re-routing through these areas, but I'm excited to confirm the remainder of this route area.
The route we took this day is as follows: From the East end of Kremmling, take 22nd St North, which quickly turns into County Rd 22. Enter the Wolford Recreation Area via County Highway 224. This is no highway by any modern interpretation. In fact, this is where the dirt road begins again. 224 arches NW, to West, then abruptly shoots North. Shorty after shooting North, there's a pull-off on the right side and there begins a series of unmarked trails winding through the hills until eventually meeting back up with 224. Shortly after that, 224 intersects with County Highway 25 (again, just a dirt road), which you go left (N/NW) on. 1/2-to-3/4 of a mile later the route shoots off of 25 to an unmarked trail where you see the gate with the sign stating "Please Close Gate"
This latest route verification takes the needed exploration area down significantly as County Rd 22 is verifiable without traveling it due to the maps available for the Wolford Recreation Area.
So this is what remains. Still a lot to explore, it should make for a full weekend some day soon.
This year I took a solo day trip to the north end of the Wolford Recreation Area via Hwy 40 to make things quicker since I was only making it a day trip. I entered via Rd 25, just North of the Wolford Mountain Reservoir, and quickly made my way to the gate that would take me north towards the Perkins State Wildlife Area. The trail was clearly seldom traveled by anything more than cattle up to that point in the season. My favorite kind! There were no less than 4 pass-through seasonal cattle gates, which give you a nice opportunity to stretch your legs.
Just don't forget to close the gate behind you.
Once you clear the grazing land, you'll find yourself on Rd 2. On 2 you'll head West towards Rd26. Once you hit 26 you'll cut back to the Southwest very sharply. It's easy to miss, but if you do, you won't get far before you run into a gated ranch entrance where you'll turn around to pickup the route again. On 26 you'll take your 5th right to the North where the route gets interesting again as you find yourself meandering through more seldom traveled trail network that terminate at several ranch gates, but will ultimately lead you onto Hwy 40, where you'll head north for a few miles, then turn East onto Rd 27 into the West Carter Mtn State Trust/Wildlife Management Area.
The drive into the West Carter area was an uneventful climb towards Arapaho National Forest. The views looking back during the climb were amazing, but otherwise there wasn't much to see.
Upon entering the Nat'l Forest, the trees began closing in on the trail, turning the area from a thin Aspen/Pine mix to a dense Pine forest with the occasional Aspen grouping and dispersed campsite began to appear with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, due to the late snow season, there were many bent and fallen trees across the trail. I was able to pass over many of them and even cut one down with Leatherman. But ultimately, due to my lack of a proper saw, after a TON of pin-stripping and scratches, the amount of tree fall across the trail got too thick and I was forced to cut my losses. I'll return again this year to finalize this leg of the route, so stay tuned.