2019 FJ Summit XIII

If you have not heard of the FJ Summit, it is the most anticipated gathering/off-road event of the year. It takes place in the small town of Ouray, Colorado. The event is limited to around 400 vehicles. During registration this year, the event sold out in 22 seconds.

We have been sponsoring this event since the VI FJ summit. It is an excellent opportunity to get out and meet people and introduce them to what we do. While it is called the FJ SUMMIT, it is actually open to all makes of Toyota vehicles. There will be some of the most built FJ’s you’ve ever seen, down to the bone stock all ready to hit the trails.

Colorado was hit with an epic snowfall this year. There were avalanches that totally engulfed the Million Dollar Highway that leads into Ouray from the South. Somehow CODOT was able to get the road cleared in time for the Summit as well as most of the mountain passes.

2019 Avalanche on Hwy 550 just South of Ouray, CO
The now from the avalanche almost completely filled the tunnel
Snow being cleared from the Tunnel

Highway 550 was open when we arrived on July 16th and by the looks of it, you’d never even guess there was any snowfall. Well, unlessyou look at the trees that were knocked down. There was still quite a bit of clearing happening up the mountain as well.

Since there were still some trail closures, the FJ Summit team had to modify a few of the trail runs. I was the trail lead for the 6:40 California Pass / Corkscrew Gulch trails (#640calicorkscrew). The modification for my trail was that we entered Corkscrew at Ironton Park and ran the trail backwards from how we usually do it. The trail would take us all the way up and over California Pass and into the old mining town of Animas Forks. Once at Animas, the fun would begin as we now had to back track the same route back out through multiple groups on oncoming traffic and work our way back to Silverton via State Hwy 110.

Lining up at the beginning of Corkscrew Gulch, ready to head up the mountain!
This is the highest point of this trail.
Animas Forks Ghost Town

We managed to get off the mountain before things got too crazy. Not only are there at least five groups behind me running the same trails, but you have to account for the rental Jeeps and ATV’s that are now coming up the mountain. There seems to be no method to the madness as some of these “renters” don’t know any trail etiquette. Each trail leader for the FJ Summit has been instructed the rules of the (off)road and how to deal with these situations.

After three glorious days of trail riding, the even wraps up with a raffle. Attendees purchase tickets to win prizes such as an RK Sport Fiberglass hood, or even a supercharger. The last thing to do for the Summit is the Group Photo!

Group Photo on Sunday Morning

After the group photo, the event is officially over. Many memories are made along the way. Toyota owners are already gearing up for the 2020 FJ Summit. Make sure you follow their facebook page and the FJSummit.org website for details on the next Summit. I hope to see you there!