In the summer of 1965, a Air Force plane crashed in the Roosevelt National Forest. The T-33 jet trainer was flown by experienced pilot and Air Force Major, Jay Currie along with passenger and technical observer First Lieutenant Donald Darby. The flight started at Buckley Field in Aurora, CO and was headed to California. The flight was cut short when Air Traffic Control lost touch with the pilot over the Colorado mountains, not far into the flight.
While the cause of the crash still is unknown, there was weather and thunderstorms in the area. Before the plane went down, Air Traffic Control told Major Currie to increase his altitude from 13,000 feet to 17,000 feet. That was when contact was lost and both the Major and the Lieutenant died when the military plane crashed into a mountain near Nederland, Ward and Estes Park.
The ATV/UTV trail offers access to the plane crash through a trailhead. Once there with your ATV or UTV rental, please be respectful of the area in memory of the two lost in the plane crash. While walking around the wreckage, treat the area as an historical site and do not move or take anything you find. Plan to spend time at the wreckage site, hiking around as you’ll find debris from the crash spread out throughout the area from impact.
Contact Estes Park ATV Rental for an ATV or UTV rentals in Colorado to make the trek to the trailhead to visit this historic site. Our staff can also direct you as to where to find the larger pieces of the wreck while you are on the trail.