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Alpine Loop National Back Country Byway

Basics
Location:
Between Ouray, Silverton, and Lake City in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado
Setting:
Mountainous
Surface:
Rough Dirt or Gravel
Suitable Vehicle:
4wd vehicle is recommended
Length:
65 miles
Time:
1 to 2 days
Season:
Closed during winter

Description

Cresting two passes that rise above 12,000 feet, this rough mountain road traverses around some of Colorado's most beautiful mountains. Hiking access to five of the state's highest peaks begins along this route. The mining history of the area is readily apparent in the numerous ghost towns and abandoned mining sites the road travels by. Pristine campsites, crisp mountain air, and peaceful solitude are the order of the day on the Alpine Loop.

Conditions on the road are often difficult and require slow driving. The whole route can be completed in one day without much stopping.

Details

Location:
Between Ouray, Silverton, and Lake City in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado
Setting:
Mountainous
Surface:
Rough Dirt or Gravel
Suitable Vehicle:
4wd vehicle is recommended
Length:
65 miles
Time:
1 to 2 days
Main Roads:
Co Rd 2
Season:
Closed during winter
Camping Info
There are a number of developed campsites along this route, including Amphitheater, Lost Trail, Mill Creek, Molas Lake, Slumgullion, South Mineral Creek, Williams Creek, and Wupperman.

Map + Directions

Customizable Directions


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Below are the Free Visitor Guides for San Juan Mountains. 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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South Fork South Fork South Fork
Are you looking for a naturalist paradise with affordability? Then look no further South Fork is your destination. A world class golf course, gold medal fishing in the Rio Grande, and thousands of acres of National Forest to hike, bike, ATV, ski and snowmobile through.
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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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