Alpine Loop Scenic Byway
The Alpine Loop is designated a National Backcountry Byway. It is a four-wheel-drive route that connects the mining town of Silverton to Lake City in Colorado.
As we were camped in Silverton, we rented a Jeep here at the RV Park and drove the loop right from AIROSMITH’S doorstep. For us, it was an 8 hour day which included a quick lunch in Lake City.
Despite the rain in the forecast, we had a wonderful day driving through the Colorado high country. While still a bit early, we enjoyed driving through fields of summer wildflowers.
We drove the loop clockwise from the mining ghost town of Animas Forks over Engineer Pass to Lake City, then returning to Silverton over Cinnamon Pass.
|Our Transportation for the day. Jeep Wrangler X rented in the office at our RV Park. We find it’s better than using our 4X4 F150 for off road excursions. Wear and tear to the rented vehicle and tires, versus what we pull AIROSMITH with.|
|The road begins to require four wheel drive, and high ground clearance at Eureka.|
|While we were just days past the Summer Solstice, it is still spring in the Rockies. The streams and rivers are flowing full with snowmelt, and we saw these small waterfalls everywhere throughout the day.|
|More common in Animas Forks were these small homes|
|Until the railroad was put in, the road to Animas Forks was a difficult one|
|Here at Animas Forks the road diverges. You can take California Gulch toward Ouray, or continue to Engineer Pass|
|Approaching Engineer Pass, the views began to open up|
|These small snow fed ponds dominate the tundra above treeline |
|Once climbing Cinnamon Pass you quickly descend back to Animas Fork, Eureka and finally home to Silverton|