China Wall 4 wheel drive trail is a FANTASTIC trail to check out! Located near Tarryall Reservoir the scenery is spectacular. The trail has enough lines and obstacles to have fun in a heavily modified rig or a stock off road rated 4×4. Read below for the ins and outs of the trail!
Minimum Vehicle Requirements for China Wall 4 Wheel Drive Trail
This is a trail meant for off road rated vehicles. You need 4 wheel drive with low range gearing at an absolute minimum. There are bypasses for the more difficult obstacles but the steep and rocky ascent make low range and 4×4 necessary. If you have a 4runner, Jeep Wrangler Sport (or better), an FJ Cruiser, or similar then this is the trail for you. If you have a modified vehicle like a Lexus GX470 with a lift and tires then you will also enjoy this trail! No low clearance vehicles should attempt this trail.
How To Get To The Trail Head for China Wall 4 Wheel Drive Trail
From Colorado Springs, CO you’ll head west on Highway 24 approximately 35 miles to Tarryall Reservoir Road. Head North on Tarryall Reservoir Road until you get to 212 which will be on your right. Follow 212 to the trailhead. Be sure to air down and drop into low range before starting the ascent. It’s best to do it in the dirt parking area instead of along the trail itself!
Entering The Trail and First Obstacle
As you enter the trailhead you’ll experience a steep rocky ascent. As you climb be sure to check out the views of the Tarryall area out your passenger window! Once this climb is crested there is some easy going double track before you get to your first rock obstacle. You may experience some undercarriage scraping depending on which line you take an how modified your vehicle is. There is a bypass but what fun is that?
The Rock Garden
Once you clear this first obstacle it’s mostly smooth sailing for a bit until the rock garden which comes up next! There are several different lines through the garden and a good spotter can take you and your rig on an easy path or something that’s much more difficult. The harder paths have roots, side hilling, and large rock crevasses to creep over.
Get through the rock garden and you’re well on your way to the obstacle that gives the trail it’s name! This darn near vertical climb will test your approach angle and your nerves. There’s a large mogul dirt hill as you approach and as you near the wall you can hardly see the top. The wall stands about 20 feet tall with a few different lines. While it is doable in a mildly modified vehicle it could be difficult or impossible without the traction of locking differentials. For reference, my brother’s Grand Cherokee – Rocksy has 8.5 inches of lift and 35 inch tires with ARB locking diffs in the front and rear axle. .
Finishing the Trail
This is basically the end of the trail. If you continue on you’ll get to some awesome campsites that have been chained off due to abuse and neglect from campers. The nice thing is you do not have to complete the whole trail the other way. You can veer off to the right as you get back over the rock garden and take another route out. This will put you further North on Tarryall Road. There is one difficult, steep, tight, rocky turn. Other than that it’s a fairly easy path. .
Thanks so much for taking the time to read out one of my favorite trails! If you’re interested in learning more about off roading in the Tarryall area or in Southern Colorado, please reach out! You can check out the guided adventures I offer on my adventures page here.
If you’re in the area and need parts or repairs be sure to check out the shop in Colorado Springs, Predator 4 Wheel Drive.