Small Trail Near Alice ...
This is a short trail west of Alice. It diverges from the main Loch Lomond trail, parallels the Loch Lomond trail for a couple miles and then rejoins it about a mile and a half from the reservoir. On both ends this trail begins deceptively easy. It is NOT for stock vehicles. It is also not for wide vehicles. Even in our narrow Sports this trail will make you feel a little claustrophobic. If you're afraid of adding scratches (on the side or underneath) this is a good trail to avoid.
While this trail isn't technically difficult, it still requires significant ground clearance, good articulation and big A/T or M/T tires. The difficulty of this trail depends on the direction of travel and dictates whether a locker or lockers are required.
If the trail is driven east to west the primary obstacle is a short but very steep and very slippery gravel hill climb dotted with dug out holes. This section is illusively dangerous and should be approached cautiously. This hill can not be climbed without big, chunky M/T tires and at least one locking differential and some seriously low gearing. The hill is too long and the top requires some finesse to avoid bashing trees so the velocity method is out.
If the trail is driven from the west to east the difficulty of the hill is significantly lessened. It is still dangerous due to its steepness, the dug out holes and extremely loose gravel but if treated with respect should not be a major issue.
The section of trail from the hill to the eastern intersection with the Loch Lomond trail is relatively level but rocky and very narrow. Except for a few weeks at the very end of a dry summer it is also soaking wet. The rocks are solid granite, rounded and very slippery; they range in height anywhere from 15 to 25 inches and there are a LOT of them. It is impossible to navigate around the rocks even in narrow vehicles like Jeep Wranglers, old 4-Runners or our Sports. A short wheel base doesn't seem to help and in fact, seems to make this section more difficult.
This is the section that requires 'significant' ground clearance. The rocks are spaced close together, are wet and very slippery. It's very easy to get over the first couple and find yourself stuck on perfectly flat ground with all four tires wedged between slimy, muddy rocks and your transfer case sitting on yet another. If attempting this with less than 33"s and no lockers, make sure you have some serious undercarriage protection. Take a buddy vehicle and/or have a winch.
The last thing of note on this trail is when to attempt it. This trail is tricky as the very beginning and very end are passable reasonably early in the spring. However, large snow drifts will still remain in the trees and make the trail impassable all the way through. If traveling west to east it is possible to get down the gravel hill and find the trail closed and then be unable to return. If traveling this trail early in the spring it's best to travel east to west. Once past the gravel hill the trail is pretty open and usually clear. Be prepared for the possibility of having to back out a significant distance. This will definitely test your skills. If you think the east section is a challenge going forward, try doing it backwards. Be prepared for some serious differential carnage.
Make sure that you are prepared and have a vehicle that is up to the tasks because this trail has no bypasses and precious little maneuvering room along much of its length.
Click here to view the Alice photos in our gallery.