Segment #4 takes from around Georgetown to the base of Longs Peak! Drivers will follow a network of rough, ungraded roads though narrow valleys, up past old mining sites, and out onto the tundra of Colorado’s high country with views of the American Peaks. The full loop can be ridden from mid-May until late September. There are also two BLM campgrounds lower on Cinnamon Pass road and frequently there is dispersed camping around the Grizzly Gulch trailhead area. The Alpine Loop travels through a surreal landscape of treeless tundra, wildflower meadows and the San Juan Mountains — passing over mining roads established in the late 1800s near Silverton, Ouray and Lake City. Oct 30, 2016 - The new crop of drop-bar adventure bikes have created the perfect tools for gravel and all-road bikepacking experiences. Crossing the heart of the San Juan Mountains, this Jeep tour ascends over two renowned high-altitude passes (Cinnamon and Engineer Pass), and crosses some of the most pristine wilderness offered throughout the Southwest. The Alpine Loop, Colorado - BIKEPACKING.com With a high point of 12,800 feet, Colorado’s Alpine Loop is a breathtaking—literally—bikepacking overnighter worth every lung searing pedal. ... On the 14th of August we went for a drive from Lake City to Ouray via engineer pass and the alpine loop. After all, we’re talking about some pretty high-elevation sites, here; for much of the year, snow and ice make them totally impossible to navigate. The Alpine Loop byway traverses passes up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, beautiful wildflowers, and abundant wildlife. West of Ouray, embark on a 4x4 adventure to a green-carpeted valley where wildflowers are abundant from mid-July through early August. When: July to September. Alpine Loop and several passes were the highlight of our two week dual sport motorcycle trip. As you climb the old railroad grade, enjoy impressive views, especially up high as the trail enters a dramatic canyon with brilliant green alpine lakes. Ideal time of year: For the base loop without including the 14ers, mid-July to mid-September are the ideal time of year. The Hagerman Tunnel Loop climbs high above tree line to a historic railroad tunnel. 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. We believe travel by bicycle has the power to encourage conservation, inclusivity, and respect for all people and cultures. BIKEPACKING.com is dedicated to exploration by bicycle. The Alpine Loop is a combination of two great 4×4 roads, Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass. I make this post, however, to warn people. Our Colorado RZR Adventure was about to begin! See some of this byway’s highlights — and read below for many more! United States ; Colorado (CO) Things to Do in Colorado ; Alpine Loop; Search. Colorado's Alpine Loop Scenic and Historic Byway has a narrow window in which it's snow-free (June to September). Alpine Loop in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains introduces off-roaders to high-country scenery and Colorado mining history. 7 Incredible Bikepacking Trips in the US to Have on Your Radar. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s Silverlight Express. Alpine Loop, Colorado: See 78 reviews, articles, and 84 photos of Alpine Loop, ranked No.453 on Tripadvisor among 2,766 attractions in Colorado. We ride dual sport motorcycles along cliffsides, through rivers, over steep scree fields, down rock faces, and along amazing stretches of highway. We inspire and inform through original bikepacking routes, stories, and coverage of the gear, news, and events that make our community thrive. Welcome to Hinsdale County and its historic town of Lake City. The Alpine Loop navigates between the summits of the Rockies by way of two mountain passes. The Alpine Loop travels through a surreal landscape of treeless tundra, wildflower meadows and the San Juan Mountains — passing over mining roads established in the late 1800s near Silverton, Ouray and Lake City. Hop on this adjacent byway to experience a portion called the “Million Dollar Highway,” a world-famous, scenic drive. A bikepacking route in the Collegiate Range. Sure, you could hop in a four-wheel-drive vehicle and motor along the Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway through the San Juans. Located in southwest Colorado, the stunning Alpine Loop Scenic and Historic Byway (or Alpine Loop National Back Country Byway) is a nearly 70-mile-long drive that is arguably one of the most beautiful in the state. At the end of an active day, soak in one of the town’s four hot springs (Ouray Hot Springs Pool, Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa & Lodging, Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs or Twin Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs) — which were also enjoyed by the Ute Indians who originally inhabited the area. Following particularly snowy winters, the climb over Mosquito Pass (13,000' at the top) may still be snowy through mid-July. There’s a narrow window in which the byway is snow-free (typically June to September); the road is closed in the winter and can be muddy at other times. Alpine Loop Colorado First things first: it’s important to understand what kind of vehicle you need to make this drive, and when you need to get there to ensure it’s passable! https://www.codot.gov/travel/scenic-byways/southwest/alpine-loop See Bikepacking Roots for a full route guide, possible route updates, trip-planning resources, and conservation resources related to this route. 970-980-6908 But you can drive the Alpine Loop in one day. Alpine Loop - Colorado Scenic Byway & Jeep Tour The Alpine Loop is designated as one of Colorado’s official Scenic Byways, and for good reason. The Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway is a rugged 4x4 road that winds through the spectacular scenery of the San Juan Mountains, connecting Lake City, Silverton, and Ouray. But it's worth the wait — the 65-mile scenic drive travels through a surreal landscape of treeless tundra and mountains seemingly splashed with red and yellow paint near Ouray, Lake City and Silverton. The Alpine Loop travels through a surreal landscape of treeless tundra, wildflower meadows and the San Juan Mountains — passing over mining roads established in the late 1800s near Silverton, Ouray and Lake City. Begin in Silverton, which is a National Historic Landmark District noted for its quaint Victorian-era Main Street and famous Town Hall. The picturesque enclave is also a unique place to browse galleries and shops — Mouse’s Chocolates is especially favored for its handmade assortment of treats. All-wheel drive or 4x4 is a must, and a higher-clearance vehicle is recommended for the highest mountain passes. Be sure to check road conditions before heading out. Off roading the Alpine Loop Jeep trail in colorado. Pop into the Chocolate Dog boutique for local wine, chocolate, candy and artisan products, or hop aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s Silverlight Express for a day trip south to Durango. From Lake City, this route offers rich history, natural beauty and authentic mountain towns. Colorado is a hiker’s paradise, full of hidden overnight treks and magnificent multi-day trails. All bikepackers are masochists to one degree or another. These trails are roughly centered in the spectacular San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado between Lake City, Silverton, and Ouray. Fill up your tank before you go — you won't find any gas stations along the strech from Silverton to Lake City or from Lake City to Ouray. One-Day Alpine Loop Itinerary. Alpine Loop in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains introduces off-roaders to high-country scenery and Colorado mining history. Colorado's Apline loop trail is famous for its amazing views. Sections of the route could be rideable earlier or later in the season, but the ferry connection required for the full loop only runs from late spring until mid autumn. The scenery along any route in the area is spectacular, but one of the country’s first backcountry byways, the Alpine Scenic Loop, connects the three with 65 miles of maintained dirt road that slices through some of the most dramatic vistas in the state. Colorado 14ers loop. The Alpine Loop For those looking for a taste of the alpine without committing to weeks in the saddle or singletrack, the 80-mile Alpine Loop out of Silverton offers big-mountain vistas and lung-scorching mountain passes that you can crush on your gravel bike. Often, it’s as easy as finding a National Forest, weaving together a loop, and throwing down a campsite in the middle. Alpine Luddites. Published with permission from the guide book: The Local’s Adventure Guide to Singletrack & Tarmac – Mountain Bike Trails and Road Rides in the Upper Arkansas River Valley by Nathan Ward. It’s best explored on a 2 or 3-day Alpine Loop itinerary with overnight stops in Lake City, Silverton or Ouray. This loop connects routes up 7 of these 14ers with another ~200 miles of beautiful, singletrack-rich riding between Salida and Leadville. The Asiago Loop is a weekend bikepacking route that takes in the incredibly scenic Asiago Plateau via a mix of gravel roads, singletrack trails, and remote two-track that traverses the area’s limestone cliffs, alpine pastures, and rich history.. Neither is a highly technical 4,000-foot descent back down to where you stashed your bikepacking gear. It’s among the best places in the world to be for stunning hiking trails. Begin in Silverton, which is a National Historic Landmark District noted for its quaint Victorian-era Main Street and famous Town Hall. First things first: it’s important to understand what kind of vehicle you need to make this drive, and when you need to get there to ensure it’s passable! Or you could test your fitness by biking the thing, thus completing one of the finest mountain bikepacking trips in the country. This incredibly scenic, high-altitude route utilizes two historic rail grades and ties in some of Colorado’s finest singletrack via the Colorado Trail, Monarch Crest, and Starvation Creek as it passes over high passes and through historic mining settlements. Engineer Pass, to the north, boasts an unsurpassed vantage point for photographs of Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn peaks. Above the mine sits the Old Hundred Boarding House, a weathered two-story dormitory that precariously clings to Galena Mountain. Mark grabbed our guide book and they went over the route. … The easternmost town along this Colorado byway is Lake City, an official Colorado Main Street community that lays claim to a National Historic District. The Lake City Alpine 50 is an epic, 50-mile, alpine endurance bike race with 6,000+ feet of climbing. Depending on the route you take, the byway ends in either Lake City or Ouray — both of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Back in town, the San Juan County Historical Museum details the area’s mining heritage. Alpine Loop. Leave early to avoid traffic on the trails, affecting bigger vehicles more than motorcycles. Visit the Hinsdale County Museum, devoted exclusively to the county’s past. Engineer Pass, to the north, rises 12,000 feet and provides an unsurpassed vantage point for photographs of Uncompahagre and Wetterhorn peaks — … Originally opened in 1883, the Grand Imperial Hotel has been restored to its former glory. 11. Scenery was breathtaking. Ideal time of year: For the base loop without including the 14ers, mid-July to mid-September are the ideal time of year. Just go to the end of the road. It’s best explored on a 2 or 3-day Alpine Loop itinerary with overnight stops in Lake City, Silverton or Ouray.. The Alpine Loop Back Country Byway in the northern San Juan Mountains of Colorado is a spectacular tour of some of North America's most magnificent scenery. For history as intriguing as the surroundings are majestic, explore Ouray’s National Historic District with stops at places like the Beaumont Hotel, Ouray County Historical Museum and the Bachelor-Syracuse Mine (tours offered) that open the door to the past. The Alpine Loop. The Vapor Trail is a weekend bikepacking loop based on the longstanding 125-mile race that starts and finishes in Salida, Colorado. General Route Description The mountains of central Colorado are home to the highest concentration of 14,000-foot peaks in Lower 48. Featuring 36 Mountain Bike Trails and 18 Road Rides in and around Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado – beginner to expert, town to summit, smooth tarmac to extreme singletrack. Hiking your bike across the alpine tundra of Colorado isn't for everyone. Lake City’s remote location amid forests and foliage is prime for 4x4 adventures, hiking wilderness trails, fishing or boating on Lake San Cristobal, and in the winter, ice climbing, snowshoeing and more. See Bikepacking Roots for a full route guide, possible route updates, trip-planning resources, and conservation resources related to this route. As the name suggests, Silverton was once a mining town that drew the interest of fortune seekers. With a high point of 12,800 feet, Colorado’s Alpine Loop is a breathtaking—literally—bikepacking overnighter worth every lung searing pedal. The Alpine Loop, Colorado - BIKEPACKING.com. For the Alpine Loop Trailhead: 4) Take US-550 south about 40 miles 5) Alpine Loop Trailhead is on the left (east). There is also a 36 mile loop connected with the Ghost town trail In western PA. Ice climbing is a popular pursuit, as is hiking to the scenic waterfall in Box Canyon Park. 1.Kokopelli Trail. All rights reserved. Highpoint elevation 12,800 ft. Alpine Loop Tour.Connecting Ouray, Silverton, and Lake City, Colorado, this rugged, four-wheel drive route travels over steep mountain passes, some topping 12,000 feet. Following particularly snowy winters, the climb over Mosquito Pass (13,000' at the top) may still be snowy through mid-July. The Alpine Loop leaves pavement and people behind, crossing the remote, rugged, spectacular heart of the San Juan Mountains. The idea of developing a route fully dedicated to the Asiago Plateau was born while studying the route for the 2020 Veneto Trail event. Affectionately known as the "Switzerland of America," the high-altitude town of Ouray has a citizenry that embraces the outdoors as their most prized possession. Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway - This 65-mile route circles through the historic mining towns of Lake City, Silverton and Ouray in southwestern Colorado's backcountry. Bikepacking The Colorado Trail With Sam Skidmore. Alpine Loop Yamaha Atv San Juan Mountains Picnic Spot The Far Side Another World Lake City Big Trucks Free Time And when riding OHVs through the Alpine Loop, make sure to follow "Stay the Trail" guidance. 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