Toyota Prius ok for most trailheads?

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Re: Toyota Prius ok for most trailheads?

Post by tmerg2 » January 5th, 2018, 4:39 pm

Very dated but I thought I might be able to add to this thread. Last fall I went up to the Mt Adams trailhead in an old rwd sedan with 4.5" ground clearance. I checked with the ranger down below and she said I'd be okay in a Prius if I go slow, which I think has a little more clearance than me. It was fine up until the last few miles where it got very narrow/rutted. That last three miles probably took an hour since I had to go very slow and pick lines carefully, which was unfortunate because I was going for a later in the day quick up and down and got there with only a few hours till sunset. But I got there. Also done Lolo Pass in that car as well as a few other rough roads, mostly you have to be ready to either have to quit, turn around, and almost certainly go slow. Would recommend high ground clearance just to save time/energy but you can probably make a lot of places if you take your time.

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Re: Toyota Prius ok for most trailheads?

Post by BigBear » January 11th, 2018, 9:44 am

I would not recommend a Prius for FS road trailheads. I had a Civic and found its clearance insufficient to meet the challenges of water bars, spring washouts, high gravel medians, and other obstacles frequently experienced. In making your final decision, you may simply wish to do a risk assessment: how much are you willing to risk high centering or knocking out your oil pan in the forest and have to make that long walk back to town or at least phone reception, and does your AAA coverage extend to non-paved roads?

A lot of people are willing to take the risk, especially if it's your legs doing the walking.

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Re: Toyota Prius ok for most trailheads?

Post by Guy » January 11th, 2018, 10:25 am

It's amazing the places you can get a low clearance car if you have the patience! I got our old Kia so some pretty far flung places without incident.

That being said as I got older I enjoy the drive to the trailhead less and less especially if it involves creeping along between potholes. Last year we splashed out on Subaru Crosstrek and the extra clearance has been a godsend! It's not a jeep but I'm not creeping along at 10mph either!
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Re: Toyota Prius ok for most trailheads?

Post by Rancid9999 » March 21st, 2018, 10:52 am

Have taken mine into some sketchy places. Slow and Easy is the rule. And be prepared with alternate destinations and maybe adding the last mile of double-track to the hike.

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