Travel Center

Alpine Loop

Length: 63 miles. Driving time: 4-6 hours.

American BasinAlpine LoopThe 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 4-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 townsites, structures, and other former mining haunts - if you want to commune with ghosts of Colorado's rich past.

7 ghost towns
2 high alpine passes
BLM/USFS wilderness areas
BLM Back Country Byway & Brochure
Local Chamber of Commerce(s):
Lake City

Corridor Management Plan
Alpine Loop Interim Byway Management Plan
Alpine Recreation Area Plan – CMP Appendix C

Special Considerations:
Bring a full tank of gas and extra food/water.
Closed in winter.
Roads can be muddy.
BLM Alpine Loop Junior Explorer Book
Contact Information

BLM-Gunnison Resource Area
216 N. Colorado
Gunnison CO 81230

Contact Information


Lenore C. Bates
Colorado Scenic Byways Coordinator
(303) 757-9786
4201 E Arkansas Ave, Shumate Bldg
Denver CO 80222-3406
(303) 757-9727 fax

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