Driving Colorado’s Most Beautiful Roads in the Country’s Most Badass Toyotas
You might have seen more Toyota four-wheel drives than normal on the roads around Ouray, Colorado, this past week. That’s because the town just hosted the annual FJ Summit, where Toyota owners gather with their FJ Cruisers, Tacomas, and 4Runners to drive the area’s many scenic high-alpine passes. Benjamin Kraushaar, a photographer based in Durango, Colorado, hopped in for a ride over Imogene and Black Bear Passes, and then spent time in town making portraits of vehicles and their owners.
Photo: Walt Wagner III, owner of Tactical Application Vehicles in Albuquerque, New Mexico, climbs to the summit of Black Bear Pass in his 2009 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport. The truck has lots of modifications, including All-Pro Off-Road bumpers, sliders, skid plates, and ARB lockers. It’s a dedication build for Wagner’s late cousin, who was an army ranger on a long-range surveillance detachment.
Tim McGrath makes his way to the top of the 13,114-foot Imogene Pass in his 1966 FJ45. The pass connects Ouray to Telluride.
A 2007 FJ Cruiser known as “Tony the Tiger,” owned by Brandon Brierly. Some of its modifications include custom 35-inch tires and a mid-travel suspension system.
Jaimy Roquemore with his 2004 Toyota Sequoia, known as the “Broquoia.” It has 35-inch tires, five inches of lift, Total Chaos upper control arms, a winch, Baja Designs lights, and custom bumpers and sliders.
A line of FJ Cruisers and 4Runners make their way past mid-July snowbanks on the way up Imogene Pass.
Nathen Wright, owner of CBI Offroad Fab in Idaho Falls, Idaho, put the company’s custom front and rear bumpers and skid plates on this 2016 Tacoma.
The Toyota Mega Cruiser is the largest four-wheel-drive car the company ever made. There are only two in the United States.
John Bundrant with his FJ Cruiser, which features, among other things, a Fox suspension system, 37-inch tires, and lockers.
Climbing Imogene Pass, the second-highest pass in Colorado.
Brian Swearingen with his 1986 BJ74 Land Cruiser, which has a four-cylinder turbo diesel engine.