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Mountain Range

The Alpine Loop

The 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 four-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 town sites, structures, and other former mining haunts—if you want to commune with ghosts of Colorado's rich past.  An excellent dual-sport moto route, but the weekends in prime season can be overrun with 4x4's and side-by-sides so be prepared for slower traffic.

GPX route file

Click the map above to download my Alpine Loop routes.

GPX Waypoint file

Random waypoints that I used along the way to highlight certain locations, restaurants, camp sites, and other notable stops.  As I add waypoints to my file you can always find the latest version here.

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