Hawkes Insider Picks: John Hartel of Gator Overland

Hawkes Insider Picks: John Hartel of Gator Overland

You’ve got your overlanding rig all set up, a full tank of gas and a well-stocked portable refrigerator. You’re ready to hit the road. Now what?

At Hawkes Outdoors, we love to reach out to our community of adventure-seeking overlanders and learn about their favorite itineraries – and the farther off the beaten path the better. Recently, traveler and outdoorsman John Hartel of the YouTube channel Gator Overland was so kind as to share some of his preferred spots in Colorado with Hawkes Journal. John also included convenient Google Maps links to make navigation a breeze for any overlander, from beginner to seasoned pro.

Have you explored any of these locations or have your own to share? Drop us a line and let us know!

Pick 1: Pagosa Springs, CO: Turkey Creek (37°19'27.6"N 107°08'31.1"W) 

This is where we’ve stayed in Pagosa Springs at Turkey Creek. 2WD-accessible. 

Pick 2: Pagosa Springs, CO: Piedra River East (37°14'15.0"N 107°20'31.0"W) 

This is where we’ve stayed in Pagosa Springs on Piedra River East. Beautiful easy access spot with great views and sounds. 2WD-accessible.

Pick 3: Little Molas Lake, Silverton, CO (8143337°44'40.9"N 107°42'32.3"W) 

This was our first camp at Little Molas Lake, south of Silverton. Great view and walking distance from vault toilet. 2WD-accessible.

Pick 4Little Molas Lake, Silverton, CO (37°44'44.6"N 107°42'22.2"W) 

This is the second campsite at Little Molas Lake, south of Silverton. 2WD-accessible.

Pick 5: Ouray, CO: Portland Trail Lower (38°00'55.1"N 107°39'45.9"W) 

We’ve stayed at three places on this trail in Ouray. This is where we shot the end of the RoofNest video. High-clearance 2WD-accessible with caution.  

Pick 6: Ouray, CO: Portland Trail Midway (38°00'45.4"N 107°39'25.9"W)

This is the second spot we stayed at in Ouray. High-clearance 2WD-accessible with caution.

Pick 7: Ouray, CO: Portland Trail Upper (38°00'55.1"N 107°39'10.0"W)  

This is the the third spot we stayed at in Ouray. High-clearance 2WD-accessible with caution.

Pick 8: Ridgway State Park, CO (38°13'01.0"N 107°44'26.1"W) 

Elk Ridge Campground Loop D. Great convenient and clean campsites near toilet facilities and a mostly clear view of the lake.

Pick 9: Gunnison, CO: Hartman Rocks (38°29'33.2"N 106°56'36.1"W)

This is the spot we’ve stayed near Gunnison. Vast dispersed camping with great views, and dispersed toilets. High-clearance 2WD-accessible with caution. 

Pick 10: Lake City camp, Eureka, CO (37°54'02.3"N 107°26'50.4"W) 

This is where we would stay if we were in the Lake City area. Absolutely beautiful spot on a cliff next to a waterfall. We will be there next time we go. We ended up camping in a friend's driveway in Lake City. 2WD-accessible. 

Pick 11: Creede, CO (37°50'43.5"N 106°56'37.1"W) 

This is where we have stayed in Creede. We ate at Tommyknocker – highly recommended!

A big Hawkes Outdoors thank you to John Hartel. Make sure to follow Gator Overland on YouTube and Instagram today, and contact Hawkes Outdoors if you would like help making your overlanding dreams come true.

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