Trail Review: Arapaho National Forest – Grand Lake, CO

In the middle of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Highway 40 and 34 wind through the mountains and many popular ski towns. But if you pass by the ski resorts during the off-season you’ll find a small town whose lack of ski lanes makes is far less popular. In fact, its tourist season is in the summer when the warmer weather invites tourists headed to Arapaho National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Forest. Welcome to Grand Lake, Colorado.

Arapaho National Forest

Grand Lake is actually considered to be the snowmobile capital of the United States due to it’s remoteness. But during the short, summer months, the area provides some of the best ATV riding anywhere.

Arapaho National Forest

We booked our stay at the Winding River Resort just north of Grand Lake and on the outskirts of Rocky Mountain National Park. Winding River Report offers lodge rooms, cabins and camping lots for any type of camping. The resort also offers many recreational activities like a petting zoo, horseback trail rides, playgrounds and so much more. There are other hotel and lodging options in Grand Lake, but only the Winding River Resort sits directly on the North Supply Kiosk trailhead.Arapaho National Forest

Since we utilized air transportation to get to our destination, we found it necessary to rent so we could enjoy the trails. On the grounds of the Winding River Resort is also On The Trail Rentals. OTTR rents Polaris ATVs and side-by-sides during the warm months(May through September) and Ski-Doo snowmobiles during the winter. They buy all new units at the beginning of each season and maintain them meticulously. We opted for 8 hours on an RZR 570, giving us access to most of the narrow trails thanks to the 50-inch width. With a discount for staying at the resort we paid just over $300 which includes a trail map, a tank of fuel and helmets. During the 2014 riding season you can choose between a Polaris Sportsman 570, the 2-up Sportsman Touring 570, the Sportsman Ace, RZR 570 and Ranger Crew. If you bring your own OHV then you can launch from the Idleglen Staging Area nearby. The Idleglen kiosk has restroom facilities.

Arapaho National Forest

The Stillwater OHV Trail System, also known as Stillwater Pass, offers over 130 miles of trails. It’s a great mix of wide roads for beginners to moderately technical rocks climbs to narrow passes that even the RZR 570 couldn’t venture through. In all, we treked about 70 miles through the trails, discovering some of the most beautiful scenery and wildlife you’ll ever see. Speaking of wildlife, if there is a moose on the trail ahead of you he owns it. Be patient!

Arapaho National Forest

About two-thirds of the 130 miles is wide dirt road with plenty of passing room in most places. But the real adventure starts on the other third, the narrower trails. Middle Supply Creek, Blizzard Pass and Camway trails were said to be too narrow for our RZR. But we had a great time on the North Supply Loop, Soda Pass and Spruce ’em Up Jack trails. Lower Gilsonite also provided some great canyon views. Be sure to pack a lunch and eat at the picnic area at the peak of the Eagle Perch trail where you can see all of Grand Lake.

Arapaho National Forest

If you are hauling your own ATVs, note that you will need to register your OHV with Colorado State Parks. Registration can be done at forest ranger offices, Colorado State Parks registration units, and many OHV dealers. You can also catch up on other state requirements and OHV laws. Outside of the registration there is no fee for riding. For more details on riding at Arapaho National Forest see the USDA site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/arp/home. For rental information see OTTR at http://www.onthetrailrentals.com/.

Arapaho National Forest

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Interview: Mitch Guthrie Racing

If you spend much time following the LOORS, WORCS UTV series, King of the Hammers, or some of the big names in UTV racing equipment, then you have come across the name Guthrie. You’ve probably come across it a lot. Like at the end of every race. As in the podium list. In fact, the father/son team of Mitch Guthrie, Sr. and Mitch Guthrie, Jr. of Guthrie Racing have an accomplishment list longer than this interview. To highlight, it includes the podium in every KOH UTV race including five out of six 1st place finishes. Jr. also has dozens of top finishes in the Lucas Oil Offroad Racing Series and is now a strong competitor in the WORCS including being the 2013 WORCS Production 1000 Class Champion and he has a great start on the 2014 season. We caught up with the pair to see what makes them so successful.

Guthrie Racing

WeekendATV.com: What all offroad vehicles are in your collection?
Mitch Guthrie Sr.: We have two Polaris RZR XP1000’s, a Polaris RZR XP900 and a Polaris Ranger 500.

WATV: You have both proven the Polaris RZR has what it takes to be successful in any racing series. What makes the Polaris RZR the best UTV?
Sr.: Durability
Jr.: Fast, comfortable and easy to drive, and what my dad said.

WATV: What is the next challenge for the Guthrie Racing team? Have you considered the Dakar?
Sr.: No Dakar. We would like to try some desert racing in the future.
Jr.: I have run short course and WORCS racing and King of the Hammers. I would also like to try desert racing.

Guthrie Racing

Why does the Polaris RZR dominate? It’s durable, fast, comfortable and easy to drive.

WATV: Supposing you ever have down time, how do you unwind?
Sr.: We go to the Colorado River and boat or take the Polaris cars out to the desert for fun. 
Jr.: I hang out with my friends from school.

WATV: Do you feel like you’ve “made it”?
Sr.: I like to think so. We have many great companies that support us. 
Jr.: I feel like we have accomplished our goals each year, but I want to keep moving up if possible.

WATV: You each race in several different series. How do you prepare differently for each one?
Sr.: We race two series; King of the Hammers once a year and all nine WORCS races. We prepare by having the best UTVs and the best equipment. We also are the only two people that work on the cars.

WATV: You two have set a strong example for family racing teams. What is the atmosphere in the cockpit like during a race like KOH?
Sr.: In the cockpit during the KOH race it’s stressful for the first, I would say, 15 to 20 miles and then we get in a groove and have fun! 
Jr.: My dad likes to drive a little wild at first and then I remind him it is a long race. We actually talk and have fun!

Guthrie Racing

Click the image to see full KOH coverage from UTVUnderground.com.

WATV: Junior, do you have plans to compete against your dad in a future KOH?
Sr.: I don’t like him driving in the rocks. But maybe someday. 
Jr.: No, I really don’t like the rocks. I am getting more comfortable with them but I think it takes years to get good at going through them fast.

WATV: What’s the first upgrade you make to an ORV?
Sr.: Seats and belts. 
Jr.: Definitely anything to do with safety.

WATV: Any shoutouts you would like to make?
Sr.: Thank you to all of our great sponsors. We could not do this without them: Polaris, Walker Evans Racing, Muzzy’s Performance, Magnum Offroad, Nelson & Nelson Racing Products, UTVUnderground.com, Tireballs, Maxxis, SuperATV.com, K&N, FactoryUTV, Assault Industries and Pro Armor.

To keep a close watch on the growing list of top finishes follow the Guthrie’s at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guthrie-Racing/140061512724541#

PREVIEW: 2014 Polaris RZR Lineup

Last night Polaris released their 2014 RZR models including the unveiling of two all new models. While media leaks took much of the surprise away it was still great to see full details released for the thousands that registered for the premiere. For 2014 Polaris is offering no less than 18 variations of the RZR! Simply put, if you can’t find an RZR that meets your sport Side By Side needs, then there isn’t a solution out there.

2014 Polaris RZR

Most of the RZR goes relatively unchanged from last year. They will continue to offer the RZR 170 youth model, the RZR 570 and RZR 570 EPS Trail LE, the RZR 800 and RZR 800 EPS LE, the RZR 800 S and RZR 800 S EPS LE models. They will also continue to offer the RZR 900 and 900 EPS LE as well as the RZR 4 800 EPS LE and RZR 4 900 EPS LE models. And for those of you that still couldn’t find your model they are now offering the RZR 800 XC and the incredible RZR XP 1000 EPS.

2014 Polaris RZR 800 XC

The new Polaris RZR 800 XC is feature rich and targeted to trail riders. It’s 55″ width is nestled between the 50″ found on the RZR 800 and the 60.5″ found on the RZR 800 S. While it may shave inches off the RZR 800 S it doesn’t shave off standard features.  The XC comes with Walker Evans shocks, PRP seats, LED headlights and 26″ Maxxis Bighorn tires on black, cast aluminum wheels. 11.3″ of ground clearance will cover most ruts backed by the 760cc High Output engine and on-demand AWD. It is also equipped with Electronic Power Steering and Electronic Fuel Injection. The Polaris RZR 800 XC carries an MSRP of $15,299.

2014 Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS

The biggest release for this year comes in the form of the 107 horsepower 2014 Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS. Powered by a 999cc Prostar engine it reaches 0-30 in 2.26 seconds and 0-50 in 5.33 seconds, the fastest of any Side by Side on the market. It is truly ready for anything with 16 inches of front travel and 18 inches of wheel travel and easily adjustable Walker Evans shocks. 29″ Maxxis Bighorn tires give a massive footprint and are stopped by 4-Wheel hydraulic disc brakes with dual-bore calipers. Adding to the standard features, the RZR XP 1000 EPS comes with factory installed doors, adjustable driver and passenger seats and a tilt steering wheel. The MSRP of the 2014 Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS is $19,999.

2014 Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS

Polaris also released a full line of accessories including a line of LED lightbars, an overhead MTX audio system, and bolt-on protection like rock sliders and bumpers.

2014 Polaris RZR

To see the new 2014 Polaris RZR lineup for yourself visit your local Polaris dealer or see their website at http://www.polaris.com/en-us/rzr-side-by-side/sport-vehicles.

2012 Polaris RZR Giveaway

On January 1st Polaris will celebrate New Year’s Day by revealing a brand new RZR model in their side x side line. Polaris seems to be keeping tight lipped about what exactly is coming out, but my guess is it will be the Polaris answer to the Arctic Cat Wildcat. No matter what it is, Polaris is giving you a chance to win one. The contest ends as 2011 does so enter now. You can enter through the Polaris website here.