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Peaceful Valley, Colorado, United States

Bunce School Road, Ironclads, Plane Crash 4x4 Trails

Three different trails combined into one

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Difficulty: Difficult
Length: 13.6 miles / 22 km
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
Overview: See historic Bunce School, impressive Ironclads, and interesting plane wreckage. Abundant dispersed camping. Bunce School Road is part county road and part forest road. We saw unlicensed vehicles along the entire road, but cannot vouch for OHV legality on the county portion. Open May 15 through November 30. For current conditions call Roosevelt National Forest, Boulder Ranger District at (303) 541-2500.


Difficult. Bunce School Road is mostly easy with a few moderate spots. Side trips to the Ironclads and T-33 Plane Crash are rocky, steep and difficult. The final climb to the Ironclads is extremely steep, but you are close enough at that point to hike the rest of the way.

This trail is one of 80 trails from the book Guide to Northern Colorado Backroads & 4WD Trails, 2nd Edition, by FunTreks Publishing, available at

Tips: Bunce School Road is a mix of county and forest roads. The Motor Vehicle Use Map shows the road as Road 105, but we found it still marked with its original designation of 115. Perhaps it has been corrected now. At the south end of the trail, you can head west on County Road 92 to Middle St. Vrain 4x4 Trail, described in our Northern Colorado book shown above.

Trail conditions can change without notice. FunTreks, Inc. and its owner and employees are not responsible for injury, death, or vehicle damage as a result of using this guide. The content of this guide is the property of FunTreks, Inc. and is made available to the user pursuant to EveryTrail’s Terms of Service (

Points of Interest


Parking Area at Start

From Highway 119, you'll drive in on Bunce School Road about a quarter of a mile to large parking and staging area. You'll go past historic Bunce School as you drive in. Google mapping directions will guide you to the start.

Continue straight

Continue straight to stay on Bunce School Road. Forest Road 217 on left goes south back out to Highway 72. This is a fun side trip with lots of places to camp.

Right to Ironclads

Continue straight to stay on Bunce School Road. Right uphill on Forest Road 216 goes to interesting Ironclads rock outcrop. Road is difficult and has a loop at the end, which most people drive counterclockwise.

Steep Right Goes to Ironclads

At top of loop, the steep rocky climb you see on the right goes to the base of the Ironclads. This is an extremely difficult 4x4 climb or you can just hike up.

Ironclads Rock Outcrop

You can drive or hike to the base of the Ironclads, but you must physically climb up to the top to enjoy the great view. Forest Road 216A continues on past the Ironclads a short distance but soon ends.

Right Goes to Plane Crash Site

Bunce School Road continues straight. Right here on Forest Roads 202 and 203 goes to the site of a plane crash that occurred in 1965. The road is steep and rocky in places.

Stop Here

Road gets quite narrow and full size vehicle should stop here. ATVs can continue a bit further. Follow hiking trail northeast to crash site.

T-33A Crash Site

Significant wreckage remains from a T-33A fighter jet. Details of the crash can be found in FunTreks Guide to Northern Colorado Backroads & 4WD Trails, 3rd Edition.

South End of Trail

South end of route connects to paved County Road 92. Left (east) passes through Peaceful Valley Campground back to Highway 72. Right (west) goes to Camp Dick Campground and start of Middle St. Vrain 4x4 Trail described in FunTreks book "Guide to Northern Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails, 3rd Edition." You can start Bunce School Road at this end, however, there is not much room to park.
Pictures in this guide taken by: FunTreks, FunTreks, Inc.

Copyright 2011 FunTreks, Inc

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