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2018 Orange Subaru Crosstrek Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone driven the easy Hollister trails with stock gear including stock (225/55-18) tires? I found some YouTube stuff as well as a forum member who showed his stock 2015 there. Looks doable with perhaps some scratches on the front bumper. Any recent experiences? Given the covid stuff I'd like to do this without taking any risk that might force others to help me so I'm looking for a reasonably soft road trip that won't involve creating problems for others.
 

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Has anyone driven the easy Hollister trails with stock gear including stock (225/55-18) tires? I found some YouTube stuff as well as a forum member who showed his stock 2015 there. Looks doable with perhaps some scratches on the front bumper. Any recent experiences? Given the covid stuff I'd like to do this without taking any risk that might force others to help me so I'm looking for a reasonably soft road trip that won't involve creating problems for others.
I was actually out at Hollister Hills about 2 weeks ago. At stock height with a set of 215/75/15 KO2's, I was able to easily go through all of the "Easy" rated trails and a good majority of "Intermediate" trails. The "intermediate" trails do get a lot tighter, so just be prepared to accept that bushes will be scraping along the sides of your car. I luckily got away with very minor scratches, but that was the turning point that I don't want scratches on a car holding me back from where I can go.
Only issues I ran into was high centering along an "intermediate" trail and just being cautious of the ridiculous lack of approach angle these cars have. Overall, it was a good area to figure out the limits of the car while still being in cell phone range. Let me know if you have any questions, definitely recommend going out there just to see what the Crosstrek is and isn't capable of.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was actually out at Hollister Hills about 2 weeks ago. At stock height with a set of 215/75/15 KO2's, I was able to easily go through all of the "Easy" rated trails and a good majority of "Intermediate" trails. The "intermediate" trails do get a lot tighter, so just be prepared to accept that bushes will be scraping along the sides of your car. I luckily got away with very minor scratches, but that was the turning point that I don't want scratches on a car holding me back from where I can go.
Only issues I ran into was high centering along an "intermediate" trail and just being cautious of the ridiculous lack of approach angle these cars have. Overall, it was a good area to figure out the limits of the car while still being in cell phone range. Let me know if you have any questions, definitely recommend going out there just to see what the Crosstrek is and isn't capable of.
Thanks for your response. originally I was going to Hollister but (I'm a birder) the migrating golden eagles won't be around there yet so I may put it off till later when I can see them hunting the fields nearby. Instead I'm going to try Knoxville (BLM) land near Napa. Knoxville | Bureau of Land Management I think I'll drive up there tomorrow. See what kind of soft roading I can do. I've seen some of the videos and the easy trails look like my old corolla could do them if dry. Wife isn't interested and social distancing means I'll take it easy as I'll travel alone on this trip.

I picked up a couple of tow rings and an additional Subaru tow hook (one for the rear and one for the front) and found that apparently, with the Subaru Factory hitch, the hole where the tow ring screws into in the rear is buried under the factory added hitch. I guess I can get pulled out using the hitch itself. I only have street tires and I'll air down but its got those big rims so if I'm not worried about scratches very much I think the street tires are the real weakpoint. Probably stick to easy trails. Got a book on California 4x4 trails and may visit some of the intermediate trails if I don't think the tires are going to be too weak . I was a little shocked that the hitch is, with the factory install, the only place I can tow from though. Run a strap through the safety chain loops I guess, then tow from the rear hitch.
 

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Thanks for your response. originally I was going to Hollister but (I'm a birder) the migrating golden eagles won't be around there yet so I may put it off till later when I can see them hunting the fields nearby. Instead I'm going to try Knoxville (BLM) land near Napa. Knoxville | Bureau of Land Management I think I'll drive up there tomorrow. See what kind of soft roading I can do. I've seen some of the videos and the easy trails look like my old corolla could do them if dry. Wife isn't interested and social distancing means I'll take it easy as I'll travel alone on this trip.

I picked up a couple of tow rings and an additional Subaru tow hook (one for the rear and one for the front) and found that apparently, with the Subaru Factory hitch, the hole where the tow ring screws into in the rear is buried under the factory added hitch. I guess I can get pulled out using the hitch itself. I only have street tires and I'll air down but its got those big rims so if I'm not worried about scratches very much I think the street tires are the real weakpoint. Probably stick to easy trails. Got a book on California 4x4 trails and may visit some of the intermediate trails if I don't think the tires are going to be too weak . I was a little shocked that the hitch is, with the factory install, the only place I can tow from though. Run a strap through the safety chain loops I guess, then tow from the rear hitch.
Oh yeah, I've got a few friends that took out their stock Outbacks to Knoxville and had no issues with the easy trails. And remember, if you need help out there or have questions out there, don't hesitate to ask. People will be more than willing to help out, some of the most valuable things I've learned were from strangers out on the trails (trying to sound not creepy). Post an update when you get back on how you liked Knoxville, been meaning to make it up there soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't make it to Knoxville after I was told an old friend turned up in Salinas. So I did go to Hollister so I could drop by and visit socially distantly my friend. Hollister was quite a bit of fun. I think I covered every green (Easy) trail, and got lost three times so I ended up doing some sections of Intermediate trails as well. One Intermediate trail stopped me cold, the stock, aired down, Falkens slipping madly, until I couldn't go any farther. As I backed down quite a ways I found the tires slipping on the dust and it was spooky holding the car, backing up, and avoiding stuff, but I did manage to get back to the green trails.

Hudner Pass had some beautiful vistas as well. It was a very different experience there as the softer roads have a very high center but the Crosstrek seemed to be high enough so there were only a few slides on the center. No damage. Some scratches though.

It is now obvious that the stock 18" Falkens on my limited are really just for getting the best mileage possible. Even aired down they struggled on the dust quite a bit, at times even on the Easy trails. The Subaru on the other hand seemed more competent that I thought possible when in x mode. Amazing how fast a computer can catch the tires skidding and compensate. I now understand the 15" rims, KO2s and giant sidewalls. On the other hand I mostly drive on pavement and mileage is important.

There was a Jeep with monster articulated axles going down the triple diamond "McCrazy" gulch so I spent a half an hour watching that thing working its way down the steepest little gulch and admired how it could climb over stuff that seemed impassible. We chatted at the end and he just lives and breathes his off roading.
 

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I didn't make it to Knoxville after I was told an old friend turned up in Salinas. So I did go to Hollister so I could drop by and visit socially distantly my friend. Hollister was quite a bit of fun. I think I covered every green (Easy) trail, and got lost three times so I ended up doing some sections of Intermediate trails as well. One Intermediate trail stopped me cold, the stock, aired down, Falkens slipping madly, until I couldn't go any farther. As I backed down quite a ways I found the tires slipping on the dust and it was spooky holding the car, backing up, and avoiding stuff, but I did manage to get back to the green trails.

Hudner Pass had some beautiful vistas as well. It was a very different experience there as the softer roads have a very high center but the Crosstrek seemed to be high enough so there were only a few slides on the center. No damage. Some scratches though.

It is now obvious that the stock 18" Falkens on my limited are really just for getting the best mileage possible. Even aired down they struggled on the dust quite a bit, at times even on the Easy trails. The Subaru on the other hand seemed more competent that I thought possible when in x mode. Amazing how fast a computer can catch the tires skidding and compensate. I now understand the 15" rims, KO2s and giant sidewalls. On the other hand I mostly drive on pavement and mileage is important.

There was a Jeep with monster articulated axles going down the triple diamond "McCrazy" gulch so I spent a half an hour watching that thing working its way down the steepest little gulch and admired how it could climb over stuff that seemed impassible. We chatted at the end and he just lives and breathes his off roading.
Yeah, I found Hudner Ranch to be a lot more relaxing than the lower section. With ATVs ripping through the trails, felt like it was only a matter of time till one of them came around a turn a little too quick. The McCray "easy" trail that switches back and forth through the black diamond was pretty fun, was definitely worried I'd somehow end up on that trail though! Lol
I think if you were to do a milder A/T tire like a Yokohama or Coopers in a 16 inch rim it may be the best of both worlds for you. A little bit better off road traction while not sacrificing your daily MPG too much. I love my KO2s, but with a 100 mile commute every day, I'll be switching to something a little more mild once these wear down. (Makes me wish I kept my stock for daily and Black Rhinos for off road).

Will also be selling my set of Gun Black Black Rhinos next month once my new wheels come in. If you're interested in 15's it may be a good choice. Ill probably end up selling them for no more than $400, especially if you're local.
 
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