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Old 05-13-2003, 10:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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NM: Avalanche Ranch off-road park

Rock crawlers eager to test off-road skills

May 9, 2003

By Brian Newsome
Herald Staff Writer

ALLISON – Much of Steve and Jen Rumore’s 832-acre ranch is inadequate for farming, ranching or even development. Speckled with boulders and stands of piñon trees, its steep slopes offer astounding views and glimpses of wildlife, but little else.

But when this pair of off-roading enthusiasts toured the property as prospective buyers, they saw one thing – perfection. Now the Rumores have big plans for the future: They want to build a major off-road resort where those who scoff at roads can stay and play.

The Rumores bought the land for its rugged terrain. They have turned it into Avalanche Ranch, a sprawling off-road park for four-wheel-drive cars and trucks, all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes. Twelve trails – including an original wagon road – meander through trees and rocks.

People can catch a glimpse of the park this weekend as the Rumores host their first off-road competition.

In the next few years, they plan to build a restaurant, motel, campground and public rest-rooms, and acquire a fleet of rental vehicles. More than half of the land sits in New Mexico and the rest is in La Plata County. Most of the development would occur on the New Mexico side, he said.

Mr. Rumore envisions concerts, festivals, driving schools and a regular schedule of regional and national events for motocross and four-wheel-drive competitions.

"(We hope for) a small-scale Daytona International Speedway for off-road," he said.

Because there are no other private parks of this kind in the country, Rumore has adopted a system used by ski resorts. Off-road trails are marked like ski trails, from green (the easiest) to black triple-diamond (almost impossible).

Nearby, a motocross track sits in a field where daring riders may catch some air off rolling mounds of dirt.

Mr. Rumore’s passion is rock crawling, a fast-growing sport of driving four-wheel drive vehicles over boulders and up mountainsides. But his plans for the ranch are to create an off-road paradise for anyone with a vehicle and an interest in driving it off the pavement.

Visitors range from weekend recreational users to professional drivers.

Reach Staff Writer Brian Newsome at brian@durangoherald.com.

Admission to Avalanche Ranch is $15 a day and $25 for a weekend pass. Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets and chest protectors. Drivers of all-terrain vehicles are required to wear helmets. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Concessions are available on weekends. Information: www.avalancheohvranch.com.

Admission to the regional California Rock Crawling and Off-road Challenge Series – CalROCS – Saturday and Sunday is $10 for people ages 16 and older, $5 for children 8 to 15 and free for children 7 and under. Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Events should last until about 3 p.m. The park might be opened for recreational use in the afternoon. Campsites are available for $10 a night.


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Old 05-13-2003, 11:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It actually straddles the NM/CO state line. I did an article on the ranch last fall before it opened, there is a map and some pics. Cool place:
"Obama could probably eat a baby in the Rose Garden on camera and his zombies would cheer."
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