Patriot - Independence Network  Extreme icon
USGS 7.5' Map: Phantom Canyon, Florence
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Extreme 10 6102B 0.4 6000 ft. Rocks - 8 6-12 hours
County: Fremont
Adopted by: Colorado Rock Hoppers 3405 N. Jon Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
(719) 359-1489
Managed by: Canon City District, BLM
Royal Gorge Field Office
3170 East Main St.
Canon City, CO 81212
Summary: Patriot is the first Extreme 4WD road developed at the Independence Network. This short section of 4WD road has a continuous stream of obstacles that make it one of the most difficult in Colorado. Patriot is for modified vehicles and skilled drivers. Minimum extraction fee is $350.
Attractions: Extreme rock crawling. Large obstacles, ledges, boulders and steep inclines.
Best Time: January - April - Nice days during late winter and early spring, cool temperatures.
May - September - Busier time. Hottest temperatures.
October - December - Nice days, if there is little to no snow.
Hiking -
Hiking is allowed in the Penrose OHV area.
Equestrian -
Equestrian use is allowed in the Penrose OHV area.
Mountain Bike -
Mountain Biking is allowed in the Penrose OHV area. No resource impact is allowed. Please stay on established trails.
ATV'ing is allowed in the Penrose OHV area. No resource impact is allowed. Please stay on established trails.
Motorcycle -
Motorcycling is allowed in the Penrose OHV area. No resource impact is allowed. Please stay on established trails.
Camping: Camping along the rim above the 4WD road network is allowed. Some fire rings are available.
Base Camp: The extreme 4WD roads of the Independence Network are the main attraction. Base Camping in the area also provides access to Phantom Canyon and Four Mile Canyon Scenic Byways.
Fall Colors: Poor - Patriot is located in a shrub juniper forest.
Snowshoeing -
Cross Country Skiing-
Snowmobile -
Navigation: Patriot 4WD Road is in the Penrose OHV Area located northwest of Penrose, Colorado. Take Highway 115 from Colorado Springs, or US 50 from Pueblo to Penrose. Heading north out of Penrose on Highway 115, take Fremont County 123 west. Turn north on Fremont County 127, the second right. Follow Fremont County 127 past the Brush Hollow turn off until you enter the juniper forest on a low hill. Look for the Independence 4WD Road Network sign.
History: The Independence Extreme 4WD Road Network was developed through the joint efforts of the Colorado Rock Hoppers 4WD Club, and other member clubs of the Colorado Association of 4WD Clubs, and the Royal Gorge Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management in 1998.

The Penrose OHV system is in a BLM Open OHV Area within the Penrose Chaining Area. The Penrose Chaining area is still uses for grazing. A Chaining Area is a section of land that is managed for grazing. To help promote the growth of grasses for forage, large tractors are driven over the land with a heavy chain connected between them. The chain uproots juniper trees and other shrubs promoting the growth of grasses.
The Patriot section of the Independence Extreme 4WD Road Network is the main attraction for the area and sees the most use. Patriot begins at a shallow end of a dry wash and drops immediately into the wash bottom. This is the first obstacle and it gives you a taste for what is ahead.

Obstacle 1
Rocks Step Grade Width
24 inches 26 inches 57.7 %
30 degrees
8 feet
GPS Coordinates
UTM84 497148    4260581    13S

The rocks in the bottom of this first section of Patriot are smaller than those at the entrance and there is some room to manuever. This section affords the only "breather" through the rest of Patriot. Within a tenth of a mile you will come to the intersection of Patriot and Freedom. Freedom is a steep climb out of the wash with two large obstacles to overcome. This is the way to exit if this first part of Patriot has given you trouble.

Ten feet from the intersection of Patriot and Freedom is the beginning of the major obstacles in Patriot. The second obstacle will be a test of your vehicle and driving skills. Before dropping off this step in your vehicle, get out and walk it. Look for the best line for your vehicle keeping in mind that you will have little room to maneauver before the next obstacle.

Obstacle 2
Rocks Step Grade Width
NA 54 inches 142.7 %
55 degrees
9 feet
GPS Coordinates
UTM84 497026    4260490    13S

After dropping off of the second obstacle you will have to immediately position your vehicle for the third obstacle. This obstacle is long and begins with a narrow turn around a large boulder and then drops down a huge rock pile.

Obstacle 3
Rocks Step Grade Width
NA 31 inches 72.6 %
36 degrees
7.5 feet
GPS Coordinates
UTM84 497023    4260494    13S

The next obstacle is in the lower section of the wash that is flat. Two boulders form a step with a drop out between them. Because this area is more open you can choose a line that will make the obstacle more, or less difficult.

Obstacle 4
Rocks Step Grade Width
NA 36 inches 64.9 %
33 degrees
8 feet
GPS Coordinates
UTM84 497005    4260514    13S

The next major obstacle is just after the intersection where Liberty leaves Patritot. It is the beginning of the climb back up out of the wash bottom. You will be faced with a large rock slab that has a rock outcropping on the left and a hole on the right. Climbing up onto the rock slab and turning as you reach the top is the way most people drive this obstacle. Some may take the hole to the right and climb up the steep step that it makes.

Obstacle 5
Rocks Step Grade Width
16 inches 24 inches 64.9 %
33 degrees
7 feet
GPS Coordinates
UTM84 496990    4260562    13S

Once on top of the rock slab you will have to make a short "S" turn between a rock ridge and a large boulder. Once through this maneauvering challenge it is a straight shot along a trough to the next obstacle.

Obstacle 6
Rocks Step Grade Width
NA 36 inches 72.6 %
32 degrees
6 feet
GPS Coordinates
UTM84 496986    4260602    13S

The trough you are driving in narrows and becomes a foot wide pour off step in the sandstone, at 90 degrees to your direction of travel. This is the seventh obstacle and has been named the A-Hole because of the amount of air under your tire when you try to make the turn. Because of the right turn up onto the step and the steep walls on your left the challenge of this obstacle is much harder than it looks. You can't see the obstacle as you climb the bank on the left and turn into it. This tips your vehicle up onto three wheels and puts you in a position that could have you on the passenger side in the bottom of the trough.

Obstacle 7
Rocks Step Grade Width
25 inches 22 inches 67.5 %
34 degrees
6.67 feet
GPS Coordinates
UTM84 497005    4260625    13S

The last obstacle before you exit Patriot is another large rock pile that you have to climb. The 4WD road does two switchbacks as it climbs through the pile of boulders and lines up with the final step before you exit.

Obstacle 8
Rocks Step Grade Width
24 inches 36 inches 64.9 %
33 degrees
9 feet
GPS Coordinates
UTM84 497046    4260672    13S

Data updated: December 11, 2013       4WD Road Reviewed: April 28, 2001       Copyright 4X4Explore - 2000-2014