- In the northern San Juans east of Telluride
- Gravel and hardrock
- Vehicle Type:
- 4wd Vehicle
- 58 miles
- 5 to 7 hours
- June to October
DescriptionThe Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway is a nationally designated backcountry route crests two mountain passes (Engineer and Cinnamon) and visits the ghost town of Animas Forks. If you want to stop and explore or appreciate the view -- and you will -- the loop can easily be a full day trip. However, there are many segments of the route that can be fun short trips by themselves.
The route is moderately challenging but should pose no problem for 4WD drivers with a bit of experience. You can begin the loop in Ouray, Lake City, or Silverton. Engineer Pass is usually not open till mid-June; other sections of the road are accessible earlier in the year.