Gold Mine Hill is a moderate off-road trail high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains (around 9,000 feet above sea level). It’s comprised of three stages, and it trips up most AWD crossovers and FWD cars.
The first stage is a steep rocky path. A front-wheel-drive Fiat 500X could not complete this climb. The second stage is an off-camber steep 90-degree turn. We always come to a full stop before the turn to make it more difficult. Some AWD crossovers struggle here. The third and final stage is a narrow and steep articulation section with a large dip that is too much for most crossovers and SUVs. High ground clearance and a capable 4×4 or AWD system are basically a must here.
Will a rear-wheel-drive Frontier make it up this test? The 2.5L I4 engine is great and efficient for around town deliveries, but it does struggle for power at high elevations, such as at this trail.
How about if we air down the tires to get more traction? Yes, we could have also added weight to the back of the truck for more traction, but this test was mostly about 2WD system and the tires themselves.