BIKEPACKING.com is dedicated to exploration by bicycle. But you can drive the Alpine Loop in one day. 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. 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.. Back in town, the San Juan County Historical Museum details the area’s mining heritage. https://www.codot.gov/travel/scenic-byways/southwest/alpine-loop General Route Description The mountains of central Colorado are home to the highest concentration of 14,000-foot peaks in Lower 48. Article by … Oct 30, 2016 - The new crop of drop-bar adventure bikes have created the perfect tools for gravel and all-road bikepacking experiences. Be sure to check road conditions before heading out. For the Red Mountain Trailhead: 6) Continue south past the Alpine Loop Trailhead on US-550 9.5 miles 7) Turn left (east) onto dirt road, continue about .25 … Begin in Silverton, which is a National Historic Landmark District noted for its quaint Victorian-era Main Street and famous Town Hall. Neither is a highly technical 4,000-foot descent back down to where you stashed your bikepacking gear. A bikepacking route in the Collegiate Range. 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. Our Colorado RZR Adventure was about to begin! The Hagerman Tunnel Loop climbs high above tree line to a historic railroad tunnel. Spend an afternoon exploring abandoned townsites, structures, and other former mining haunts—if you want to commune with ghosts of Colorado's rich past. It's demanding—the two 12,000-foot passes (Cinnamon and Engineer) require a high-clearance 4-wheel-drive vehicle—but the well-prepared motorist reaps unparalleled rewards: pristine mountain views, hiking and biking trails, great camping opportunities, and ample solitude. 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. See some of this byway’s highlights — and read below for many more! Just go to the end of the road. Bikepacking can expose you to some absolutely beautiful locations. The Alpine Loop is a combination of two great 4×4 roads, Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass. We ride dual sport motorcycles along cliffsides, through rivers, over steep scree fields, down rock faces, and along amazing stretches of highway. Riders: Lindsay Arne, Neil Beltchenko, and Philip Sterling. 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. Events on the calendar: Ouray Ice Festival, Lake City Uncorked Wine & Music Festival, Lake City Packer Days, Ouray Mountain Air Music Series, OHV Rally & Festival in Lake City. See more ideas about colorado travel, ouray, colorado. Welcome to Hinsdale County and its historic town of Lake City. The Alpine Loop. 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! Alpine Loop, Colorado: See 78 reviews, articles, and 84 photos of Alpine Loop, ranked No.453 on Tripadvisor among 2,766 attractions in Colorado. That’s what Alan and I did. 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. Ice climbing is a popular pursuit, as is hiking to the scenic waterfall in Box Canyon Park. Hop on this adjacent byway to experience a portion called the “Million Dollar Highway,” a world-famous, scenic drive. It’s best explored on a 2 or 3-day Alpine Loop itinerary with overnight stops in Lake City, Silverton or Ouray.. Cabot, VT 05647. Whether you’re looking for a simple day hike to do with your family or a longer jaunt for you and your pals, you’ll find it here. Mark grabbed our guide book and they went over the route. 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. And when riding OHVs through the Alpine Loop, make sure to follow "Stay the Trail" guidance. Encompassing more than 1,000 square miles of untamed beauty, “ah factors” are a constant in this northeastern corner of Colorado’s mystical San Juan Mountains. I'd been itching to go on a self-supported bike trip for quite some time, and being so in love with mountain biking made something like the Colorado Trail seem perfect. Alpine Loop in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains introduces off-roaders to high-country scenery and Colorado mining history. 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! A visitor to Colorado’s Alpine Triangle will travel 150 miles of paved roads to visit the the towns of Ouray, Lake City and Silverton. 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. POSTED BY: Sam Skidmore on Monday November 9th, 2020 LAST MODIFIED: Thursday October 29th, 2020 . Segment #4 takes from around Georgetown to the base of Longs Peak! Cutting through the San Juan National Forest, the byway provides proximity to outdoor recreation like fishing at Molas Lake near Silverton, camping, wildlife watching and hiking through fields of wildflowers. Colorado is a hiker’s paradise, full of hidden overnight treks and magnificent multi-day trails. Often, it’s as easy as finding a National Forest, weaving together a loop, and throwing down a campsite in the middle. Engineer Pass, to the north, boasts an unsurpassed vantage point for photographs of Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn peaks. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, San Juan County Historical Society in Silvertown. … These trails are roughly centered in the spectacular San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado between Lake City, Silverton, and Ouray. Bring a full tank of gas and extra food/water. The MTB narrative rushes you down Argentine Pass to a resupply in Idaho Springs, then up Oh My God Road, to a mixed … Bikepacking in Colorado. Beginning and ending in Salida, this loop is a sort of choose-your-own-adventure, with the option … 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 Yamaha Atv San Juan Mountains Picnic Spot The Far Side Another World Lake City Big Trucks Free Time And some of those peaks are somewhat rideable and open to bikes, although few riders ever tackle such challenging terrain. One-Day Alpine Loop Itinerary. But you can drive the Alpine Loop in one day. All bikepackers are masochists to one degree or another. The Lake City Alpine 50 is an epic, 50-mile, alpine endurance bike race with 6,000+ feet of climbing. 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. Article by … They cannot be used to promote individual, for-profit businesses or sold or used in a photo project that is for sale. • The Alpine Loop byway navigates between the summits of the Rockies by way of two mountain passes. With a high point of 12,800 feet, Colorado’s Alpine Loop is a breathtaking—literally—bikepacking overnighter worth every lung searing pedal. These roads were originally paths used by Native Americans crossing the region. United States ; Colorado (CO) Things to Do in Colorado ; Alpine Loop; Search. Travel up Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass for breathtaking views or sample the area's many hiking and biking trails. From Lake City, this route offers rich history, natural beauty and authentic mountain towns. 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. Leave early to avoid traffic on the trails, affecting bigger vehicles more than motorcycles. All rights reserved. Leave early to avoid traffic on the trails, affecting bigger vehicles more than motorcycles. 7 Incredible Bikepacking Trips in the US to Have on Your Radar. Off roading the Alpine Loop Jeep trail in colorado. The Alpine Loop navigates between the summits of the Rockies by way of two mountain passes. With a high point of 12,800 feet, Colorado’s Alpine Loop is a breathtaking—literally—bikepacking overnighter worth every lung searing pedal. 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 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. 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. Alpine Loop Colorado. Ideal time of year: For the base loop without including the 14ers, mid-July to mid-September are the ideal time of year. The Colorado Rockies are home to some of the most amazing alpine singletrack in the USA. 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. On the more southern route, Cinnamon Pass supplies views of some of the nation's highest mountains — Handies, Sunshine and Redcloud peaks. Bikepacking The Colorado Trail With Sam Skidmore. Scenery was breathtaking. There is also a 36 mile loop connected with the Ghost town trail In western PA. Sitting around the fire the night before, our fabulous camp host Ray stopped to ask where we were going the next day. Visit the Hinsdale County Museum, devoted exclusively to the county’s past. The Alpine Loop National Backcountry Scenic Byway is the true gems of the San Juan Mountains in southwest 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. Alpine Loop - American Basin. Alpine Loop: On the alpine loop, you can camp in American Basin east of Cinnamon Pass summit. The course heads out from downtown Lake City, Colorado onto Highway 149 towards Lake San Cristobal. Most scenic byways are located on paved highways, while backcountry byways focus on the out-of-the-way sights. Engineer Pass, to the north, rises 12,000 feet and provides an unsurpassed vantage point for photographs of Uncompahagre and Wetterhorn peaks — … BLM-Gunnison Resource Area216 N. ColoradoGunnison CO 81230970-642-4940, Lake City & Hinsdale County Visitor Center800 Gunnison AveLake City CO 81235970-944-2527, Ouray Visitors Center 1230 Main StreetOuray CO 81427970-325-4746, Silverton Visitors Center414 Greene StSilverton, CO 81433(970) 387-5530, Kelli HeplerSymposium Sponsor Coordinator970-471-9621, Heidi PankowSymposium Celebration Coordinator970-261-1110, Lenore C. BatesColorado Byways Program Manager303-757-9786, Colorado Tourism Office1-800-COLORADOwww.colorado.com, https://www.codot.gov/travel/scenic-byways/southwest/alpine-loop, https://www.codot.gov/@@site-logo/siteLogo.png, Trail Ridge Road: Rocky Mountain National Park, Alpine Loop Interim Byway Management Plan. The Alpine Loop National Backcountry Scenic Byway winds through the alpine terrain of the San Juan Mountains. Bikepacking can expose you to some absolutely beautiful locations. Dec 28, 2016 - Explore Amy Wilburn's board "Alpine Loop", followed by 166 people on Pinterest. Trans-America Trail (TAT), AR-CO - BIKEPACKING.com An update from the Swallows as they make their way from coast to coast on the Trans-America Trail (TAT). 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. Welcome to Hinsdale County and its historic town of Lake City. It’s among the best places in the world to be for stunning hiking trails. The appropriate photo credits must be used. Bikepacking has taken the mountain bike world by storm, with the upper echelon of bikepackers continuing to shatter time barriers and pioneer incredible routes, and even many average mountain bikers are tackling sub-24-hour overnight trips. 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. The Vapor Trail is a weekend bikepacking loop based on the longstanding 125-mile race that starts and finishes in Salida, Colorado. 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. Alpine Loop in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains introduces off-roaders to high-country scenery and Colorado mining history. In October, I finally fought off cabin fever with a guided bikepacking trip, my first-ever, to Crested Butte and Gunnison, Colorado. We believe travel by bicycle has the power to encourage conservation, inclusivity, and respect for all people and cultures. I’ve released my first draft of Segment #4 of the Front Range bikepacking guide to the CO 14ers: Tour 14er Front Range Segment 4. Colorado's Apline loop trail is famous for its amazing views. 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. Colorado's Alpine Loop Scenic and Historic Byway has a narrow window in which it's snow-free (June to September). 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. 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. All-wheel drive or 4x4 is a must, and a higher-clearance vehicle is recommended for the highest mountain passes. The full loop can be ridden from mid-May until late September. Near Alpine, Colorado. Sure, you could hop in a four-wheel-drive vehicle and motor along the Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway through the San Juans. Often, it’s as easy as finding a National Forest, weaving together a loop, and throwing down a campsite in the middle. Alpine Luddites. Hiking your bike across the alpine tundra of Colorado isn't for everyone. 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 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. The Official Site of Colorado Tourism © 2021 Colorado Tourism Office. The easternmost town along this Colorado byway is Lake City, an official Colorado Main Street community that lays claim to a National Historic District. ... On the 14th of August we went for a drive from Lake City to Ouray via engineer pass and the alpine loop. When it’s safe to travel, pack your bags and saddle up for these treasured trails in the U.S. and beyond. The Alpine Loop byway traverses passes up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, beautiful wildflowers, and abundant wildlife. But those who summit 14ers on bicycles, without question, make the rest of us look soft. Specialty Tour – 9+ hours Start time: 8 am $200/pp (4-person minimum). The route visits the ghost town of Douglass City and railroad remnants lie scattered among the rocks. 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 … Begin in Silverton, which is a National Historic Landmark District noted for its quaint Victorian-era Main Street and famous Town Hall. Ideal time of year: For the base loop without including the 14ers, mid-July to mid-September are the ideal time of year. Originally opened in 1883, the Grand Imperial Hotel has been restored to its former glory. 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. It passes over Williams Pass to again follows the railroad bed near the old townsite of Woodstock. 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. Alpine Loop, Colorado: Phone Number, Alpine Loop Reviews: 4.5/5. We inspire and inform through original bikepacking routes, stories, and coverage of the gear, news, and events that make our community thrive. Encompassing more than 1,000 square miles of untamed beauty, “ah factors” are a constant in this northeastern corner of Colorado’s mystical San Juan Mountains. At 65 miles total, the Alpine Loop includes Engineer Pass, Hurricane Pass, Cinnamon Pass and Stony Pass (which is located along the Continental Divide at 12,800 ft). The Alpine Loop, Colorado - BIKEPACKING.com. 970-980-6908 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. Following particularly snowy winters, the climb over Mosquito Pass (13,000' at the top) may still be snowy through mid-July. There are also two BLM campgrounds lower on Cinnamon Pass road and frequently there is dispersed camping around the Grizzly Gulch trailhead area. Length: 63 milesDriving time: 4 to 6 hours. While largely tapped today, you’ll find the Old Hundred Mine and Mayflower Mill on the outskirts of town. 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. West of Ouray, embark on a 4x4 adventure to a green-carpeted valley where wildflowers are abundant from mid-July through early August. The Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway, a network of four-wheel drive roads that connect Lake City, Ouray, and Silverton, traverses passes up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, beautiful wildflowers, and abundant wildlife. Segment #4 posted – Bikepacking to the Colorado 14ers: Front Range. 3469 VT route 215. Or you could test your fitness by biking the thing, thus completing one of the finest mountain bikepacking trips in the country. The idea of developing a route fully dedicated to the Asiago Plateau was born while studying the route for the 2020 Veneto Trail event. More here. When it’s safe to travel, pack your bags and saddle up for these treasured trails in the U.S. and beyond. When: July to September. They are also home to plenty of pristine bikepacking routes including the epic Colorado Trail . This route follows the Colorado South Park and Pacific railroad from Caulk Cliffs to Hancock. The byway also stops at a series of intriguing ghost towns, including Animas Forks and Capitol City, which once aspired to be the state capital. 11. Note: Photos are to be used only to promote Colorado as a leisure destination or in a news story. See Bikepacking Roots for a full route guide, possible route updates, trip-planning resources, and conservation resources related to this route. Colorado 14ers loop. Trail Length: About 150 miles one-way Days to complete: 3-5 Riding: Mostly doubletrack and singletrack The Kokopelli Trail links two of the nation’s mountain biking meccas: Fruita, Colorado and Moab, Utah. Photo: Greg Heil . 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. Oct 30, 2016 - The new crop of drop-bar adventure bikes have created the perfect tools for gravel and all-road bikepacking experiences. Alpine Loop and several passes were the highlight of our two week dual sport motorcycle trip. Bikepacking the Alpine Loop. 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. These routes are gravel and … The Alpine Loop leaves pavement and people behind, crossing the remote, rugged, spectacular heart of the San Juan Mountains. 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. Alpine Loop - Colorado Scenic Byway & Jeep Tour The Alpine Loop is designated as one of Colorado’s official Scenic Byways, and for good reason. Translate Our Site. 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. Jul 14, 2016 - With a high point of 12,800 feet, Colorado’s Alpine Loop is a breathtaking—literally—bikepacking overnighter worth every lung searing pedal. 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. 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. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s Silverlight Express. As the name suggests, Silverton was once a mining town that drew the interest of fortune seekers. See Bikepacking Roots for a full route guide, possible route updates, trip-planning resources, and conservation resources related to this route. Above the mine sits the Old Hundred Boarding House, a weathered two-story dormitory that precariously clings to Galena Mountain. The Alpine Loop leaves pavement and people behind, crossing the remote, rugged, spectacular heart of the San Juan Mountains. Alpine Loop. For the Alpine Loop Trailhead: 4) Take US-550 south about 40 miles 5) Alpine Loop Trailhead is on the left (east). This loop connects routes up 7 of these 14ers with another ~200 miles of beautiful, singletrack-rich riding between Salida and Leadville. 1.Kokopelli Trail. I make this post, however, to warn people. Grizzly Gulch trailhead area ask where we were going the next day embark on a 4x4 to! Tundra of Colorado Tourism © 2021 Colorado Tourism Office Skidmore on Monday November,!, San Juan Mountains in Colorado ; Alpine Loop in Colorado ’ s best explored a! 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Its amazing views route updates, trip-planning resources, and Ouray mid-July through early August and. Thus completing one of the San Juan Mountains routes up 7 of these 14ers another! The interest of fortune seekers is for sale Skidmore on Monday November 9th, 2020 while byways. With overnight stops in Lake City saddle up for these treasured trails in the spectacular Juan.