Most Exciting Vail Jeep Tour: McAllister Gulch

Like your adventures a bit on the spicy side? McAllister Gulch is an unforgettable Vail jeep tour that’s full of scenic mountain vistas, exciting backcountry terrain, and lots of high-country color during the fall season. This hang-on-tight tour is a good choice for the true adventure seeker looking for an off-road ramble through technical terrain that leads to a mountaintop experience like no other.

Timberline Tours is the only outfitter that currently offers commercially guided McAllister Gulch jeep tours, and our professional guides are equipped with the proper trail gear and equipment to make guest safety the top priority. Plus, Timberline guides make use of specialized off-road tires and modified suspensions on the McAllister Gulch jeep tour to make sure you have a comfy ride.

McAllister Gulch is an especially amazing fall jeep tour near Vail because it tops out on a peak to offer a 360-degree opportunity for viewing fall color. Here’s what you need to know about Timberline’s McAllister Gulch jeep tour, including terrain, highlights, seasonality, and more:

McAllister Gulch Jeep Tour: Setting and Overview

The McAllister Gulch jeep tour begins with a drive up the scenic Battle Mountain Pass and through the historic mining town of Red Cliff. Here, you’ll roll onto the dirt at Shrine Pass Road.

Due to the technical nature of the terrain encountered on the McAllister Gulch tour, guides will often adjust tire pressure before encountering the steep and technical terrain that follows.

Once you begin climbing up Wearyman Road, navigating water crossings and creek beds become an exciting part of the McAllister Gulch jeep tour.

While climbing higher still through heavily wooded forests along the sides of Hornsilver Peak, you’ll have a chance to forage for ripe raspberries in the fall and top out in places of scenic beauty all season long.

Colorado wildlife sightings are also common in the backcountry near Vail. Sometimes an unexpected flock of sheep comes cruising through a high alpine meadow, or a fox will bound across the trail. Red tail hawks, bear, moose, and deer have also been sighted along the way.

A mellow high ridgeline next leads to a truly spectacular mountaintop viewing area on the summit of Resolution Mountain at 11,900 feet. Here, you’ll be able to take in the 360-degree views of four separate mountain ranges and Colorado’s two tallest peaks.

But the fun’s not over yet. While descending down McAllister Gulch trail, you’ll encounter more steep, technical, and exciting terrain. There’s also even one section that’s so much fun we call it “Do it Again,” and then we really do it again.

Finally, you’ll descend into Camp Hale, home of Colorado’s historic 10th Mountain Division, to complete the full loop. The valley widens here for scenic views, and your guide will no doubt share some local history with you here, as Camp Hale is the place where 10th Mountain Division soldiers trained for the rugged mountain battles they’d fight in Europe during World War II.

McAllister Gulch Jeeping Season

Summer is the time for Colorado jeeping and jeep tours near Vail, and McAllister Gulch gets even better when the aspens are bursting gold along the way during the fall season. The seasonality of all jeeping trails near Vail depends on a few factors including snowpack and wildlife closures. The US Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps outline when Vail Pass jeeping trails—technically Forest Service roads—are officially open. Opening dates range from late-May to late-June.

On a guided McAllister Gulch jeep tour, you can leave the navigating up to someone else so that you can just focus on enjoying the adventure—and on keeping your eyes peeled for prime Colorado wildlife sightings and on all the other natural beauty that you encounter along the way.

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Timberline Tours is the Vail-area’s premier whitewater rafting and backcountry jeep tours outfitter, also offering stand up paddle board (SUP) and duckie river trips on Colorado’s Eagle, Colorado, and Arkansas Rivers. All of our guided trips are open to Vail, Colorado visitors, locals, families, and corporate groups.

To book your Vail, Colorado adventure, call Timberline Tours at (970) 476-1414, or email us at