Alpine Loop

Alpine Loop Scenic Byway map

Length: 63 miles
Driving time: 4 to 6 hours

The Alpine Loop leaves pavement and people behind, crossing the remote, rugged, spectacular heart of the San Juan Mountains. It's demanding—the two 12,000-foot passes (Cinnamon and Engineer) require a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle — but the well-prepared motorist reaps unparalleled rewards: pristine mountain views, hiking and biking trails, great camping opportunities, and ample solitude. These rocky roads were first used by 19th-century miners, who carted their ore off to Silverton, Ouray, and Lake City in mule-drawn wagons. Spend an afternoon exploring abandoned town sites, structures, and other former mining haunts—if you want to commune with ghosts of Colorado's rich past.

Alpine Loop Photo Tour


Local Chamber(s) of Commerce

Corridor Management Plan

Special Considerations

Photo by Sally Pearce, CDOT