Traversing some of the highest trails in the U.S.


Colorado is known for its epic scenery, skiing and fishing. Two-thirds of the state is also home to epic, high-mountain OHV trails that can be ridden from spring until late fall. We took a summer trip to an area known as Taylor Park to ride the 2022 Yamaha Wolverine RMAX2 1000. We have ridden different RMAXs across the Mojave Desert, along the Arizona Peace trail and on the famous Rubicon. This would be our first chance to ride at a high elevation from 9000 to over 12,000 feet.

The water crossings at high altitude do range and can change from a solid to a liquid in one afternoon. Knowing a machine has a true locking front differential like the 2022 YAMAHA WOLVERINE RMAX2 gives the driver confidence to get through any of them.



We staged out of the Taylor Park RV Park outside Gunnison. The property also has cabins for rent, a general store, cafe and SxS rentals. Along with spring fishing and fall hunting activities, the area boasts hundreds of miles of UTV trails in every direction. Our goal was to take the RMAX on the roughest trails in the area and to take it higher than we have any other UTV.

This is Mirror Lake. Early in the season, the trail around it actually goes in the lake. In the distance, the trail goes over Tin Cup Pass, which is one of the most rugged passes in the state.



We were reminded that at this elevation, the machine would have about 20-percent less power than at sea level. The RMAX ran perfectly. The fuel-injection system worked flawlessly by adjusting fuel flow for the thin mountain air. A positive result of high-altitude riding is that if your EFI system is working properly, you use noticeably less gas. We were able to do 70–80-mile runs on half a tank easily.

Yamaha uses Realize Your Adventure hashtag to show their machines are some of the best. The RMAX is so well-rounded, you can take it anywhere. This is a concept vehicle they have been exploring in for over a year now, and it looks as good as it is capable.


The power felt a little mellow, but it was hardly noticeable. This type of riding is more about the scenery than speed; however, on a long, graded road, we were still able to reach a top speed of 71 mph at 9000 feet of elevation. Back home at 3000 feet of elevation, our highest recorded top speed was 71 mph.

Discovering landmarks like this cabin below American Flag Mountain is what exploring behind the wheel of a good UTV is all about. Keeping these treasures as good as or better than you found them is important, too.


The slightly mellower power characteristics of high-altitude riding let us take advantage of the D-mode feature our RMAX LE offers. At any elevation, we typically ride in Trail mode. In the high country, if we ever wanted a little more excitement, we would twist the D-mode dial to Sport mode, increasing throttle response and acceleration across the board. At the highest elevations, we used low range a couple of times, but Yamaha’s Ultramatic CVT system worked just as well in high gear, too.

Views for days. This is one of the most scenic OHV trail systems in the country. To keep these areas open for all, it’s imperative that we do the right thing and stay on marked trails only, slow down near campsites, be courteous to other drivers, and pack out trash. Who’s with us on that statement?



The RMAX is set up to carve tight trails just as well as high-speed trails. Again, we were able to play with the extra functions of the LE model. From the driver’s seat, we could choose from the three shock settings by pushing a toggle switch on the dash. We preferred Comfort mode for most of the ride; however, if we were running at a quicker pace and the trail turned rough, a tap to Firm noticeably stiffened up the shocks and prevented bottom-out.

Yamaha does an excellent job in the design process. Not only does the RMAX2 1000 have excellent splash protection, the engine’s intake design diverts water away from entering where it shouldn’t.


At any pace, the vehicle is so controllable, you could drive with one hand. There is no weird steering feedback or bouncing around in the cockpit. The seats cradle you well and are comfortable for long days on the trail. Literally, half of our driving on this trip was over rocky terrain. We used the driver’s-side left footrest constantly, and we were reminded of how well-placed it is.

The resort at Taylor Park sits below mountain ranges in every direction. The trail leads right from your cabin or the RV park. There’s fishing, a gift shop, general store, as well as a cafe when you are done exploring. Book next year’s stay by calling (970) 641-2555.


The stock tires grip well and point the machine where you aim it. As usual, we hammered the tires for hours over the sharp, rocky terrain without fail. We are glad Yamaha went with the stronger 8-ply Maxxis tires on the machine versus the Maxxis Big Horns that come stock on so many others. All four tires are the same 30×10-14 size, so you can carry one spare, and it will work perfectly on any corner. In fact, Yamaha initially set up all RMAXs (except the Sport) as if you were going to carry a 150-pound load, so it actually handles better loaded with cargo.

Yamaha now has four versions of the Wolverine RMAX2 1000—the white LE we drove, this black XT-R , the Sport and R-Spec model, too, which starts at $21,199. See www.yamahamotorsports.com.



Our trail ride had us going up and down trails from the valley floor to high-mountain passes. We reached over 12,000 feet in elevation several times each day. We visited sights such as Oliver’s Cabin, the town of Tin Cup and Cumberland Pass. This was one of the most scenic places we have ever driven a UTV. It’s also possibly the most scenic place anyone has driven one. Thanks to the versatility, comfort and capability of the Yamaha Wolverine RMAX2, all we had to concentrate on was the excitement of the trails and the scenery. The Yamaha Adventure Pro system guided us and presented tons of other trails we will want to check out next time we’re in the area. There is no doubt we will be bringing an RMAX along and will stay in Taylor Park.

UTV Action Magazine consulting editor Cain Smead and Yamaha’s head of testing Pat Biolsi discuss navigation and the trails ahead. The trails we rode near Taylor Park, Colorado, are all on the Yamaha Adventure Pro GPS system in the Yamaha RMAX.


Cumberland Pass was the only high-mountain pass that we could make it over due to deep snow blocking the others.


Log cabins start at $143 per night, and RV spots are $60. For reservations and more info on the rest of the amenities, visit www.taylorparktradingpost.com.

See UTV Action’s full test on the RMAX2 Sport here: 2022 YAMAHA RMAX2 1000 SPORT – UTV Action Magazine

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