Will It Make It? Chinaman Gulch in a 2021 Ford Bronco Video
How far can you go with a 2021 Ford Bronco? From simple mountain passes to more intense rock crawling trails, Mitch Creel of Wild Horses 4×4 asks, “Will It Make It?” in our Bronco Nation series. Last time, we hit Colorado’s Baldwin Lakes trail. This time: the state’s Chinaman Gulch.
Chinaman Gulch, an 8-mile, 6-hour trail, is rated difficult. Rock obstacles pepper the narrow and sandy trail. It’s recommended vehicles have large tires, lockers, and skid plates. In the spirit of “Will It Make It?” we took a stock 2021 non-Sasquatched Badlands 4-door (in Rapid Red) on 33s out on the trail.
Before starting, we aired those 33-inch tires down to 20 PSI. If you don’t have beadlocks, be careful about going too low. Mitch also recommends bringing a spotter: If yours knows both off-roading and the trail, you’re in good hands. And you want to be in good hands, because you need to trust your spotter. They can see things you can’t, so while some choices may feel uncomfortable from inside the vehicle, you should do your best to commit to their direction or communicate about what you’re thinking before altering the plan from the driver’s seat mid-maneuver. On this trail, we have Ute Pass Iron Goats’ Chris, who is on the maintenance team for Chinaman.
Mitch dials it into the Rock Crawl G.O.A.T. Mode for the isolated rock obstacles. The stabilizer bar disconnect is off and the rear diff is locked. At times, you will want to lock the front, as well.
We move on to Whale’s Tail, where the line can be yours for the picking. Consider your path (and your vehicle) before starting –– you don’t want to be surprised and then hung up. Skid plates and rock rails will get put to good use. Don’t be alarmed when you hear scraping on them; they are there to protect the undercarriage/body and can take a beating.
Watch the full video for some good footage of both the trail and the trail scars (i.e., great memories) we picked up.