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Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway Trail

Basics
Location:
Connects Ouray, Lake City and Silverton in the northern San Juan Mountains
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
45 to 55 miles
Difficulty:
Intermediate,
Advanced
Aerobic Difficulty:
Difficult
Time To Allow:
Varies (3 to 4 days for entire loop)
Trailhead Elevation:
9000 feet
Elevation Range:
9000 feet to 12500 feet
Elevation Change:
3500 feet
Season:
Mid-Summer to Fall

Description

The Alpine Loop follows jeep roads through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the United States, and was listed by "Outside Magazine" as one of the 10 best rides in the country. This gravel and hardrock road crosses several mountain passes over 12,500 feet above sea level. During the summer months riders can see spectacular displays of alpine wildflowers, while September is the best time to appreciate the changing fall colors. Another attraction is the variety of historic buildings and mines left over from the mining boom of the late 1800s.

Details

Location:
Connects Ouray, Lake City and Silverton in the northern San Juan Mountains
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
45 to 55 miles
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Advanced
Aerobic Difficulty:
Difficult
Time To Allow:
Varies (3 to 4 days for entire loop)
Trailhead Elevation:
9000
Elevation Range:
9000 feet to 12500
Elevation Change:
3500
Season:
Mid-Summer to Fall
Additional Details:
The Loop can be entered from either Lake City, Silverton, or Ouray. Many side trips are available, but riders must stay on designated routes. Colorado''s Columbine Byway signs clearly mark the route. Most bike riders aim for a mountain pass a day, stopping in the towns at night. Overnight camping is available along portions of the route.

Map + Directions


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Below are the Free Visitor Guides for Ouray. More Visitor Guides are available in Colorado. Click here to view them all!

Ouray Ouray Ouray
SouthwestOuray has been a special destination of world travelers for more than 100 years. This small intimate community is nestled in some of the most rugged and towering peaks of the Rockies. Set at the narrow head of a valley at 7,792 feet and surrounded on three sides with 13,000 foot snowcapped peaks - Ouray has been eloquently nicknamed the "Switzerland of America."
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Delta County Delta County Delta County
You'll want to discover all of Our Side. Delta County features playgrounds from 4, 000 ft to 11,000 ft. and all the fun stuff in between. Small country farms, orchards burgeoning with fruit, winemakers busy at their craft and chefs stirring it up.
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Ridgway Ridgway Ridgway
SouthwestRidgway is nestled in the picturesque Uncompaghre Valley and surrounded by the majestic snow capped peaks of the Cimarrons and San Juans, some of the most photographed mountains in the world.
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