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

Program Contacts
  • Logo
  • Lenore C. Bates
    Colorado Scenic Byways Coordinator
    4201 E. Arkansas Ave.
    Shumate Building
    Denver, CO 80222
  • Colorado Tourism Office
    Visit the website. 
2017 Partnerships

Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways 2017 partnerships

All-American Road Sponsor:

My Scenic Drive logo

America's Byways Sponsor:



Colorado Scenic Byway Sponsor:

Grand Circle Logo

Cotrip Badge

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal