Alpine Loop

3.33 out of 5
View Topo Map


4x4 Trail
↑ 800 ft
↓ 4,200 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
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 largely 4WD trail boasts two 12,000+ foot passes, Cinnamon Pass
(12,613ft) and Engineer Pass (12,800ft) and is an epic high country mountain
bike adventure with 7,000ft + of climbing. The route is mainly on well maintained
4WD roads that are well signed. Take plenty of water, food and rain gear since it's
very exposed on top. The Loop itself has rustic facilities including three
campgrounds, a picnic area, and 10 restrooms along the way. The Alpine Loop
was one of BLM's first Scenic Byways. Outside magazine listed the Alpine Loop as
one of the 10 best rides in the country. The loop can be accessed from Ouray,
Silverton or Lake City. The route described starts at Eureka (there is car parking
at the trailhead) which is reached by heading NE out of Silverton about 7 miles on
Co Rd 2. Lake City is also a popular starting point and you can do the loop and
avoid the out and back from Eureka to Animas Forks.
added by jeremyg998Gramcounter
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
Get Directions
Create a free Singletracks account to get directions to this trail.

Trail Q&A
Rider Questions
Please login or create an account to ask a question.
Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Town Trail
Alpine Pedal Path
Skyline Trail
Upper Fall Line And Lower Fall Line
Fern Trail
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (4 total check-ins)
  jivey25   on Aug 21, 2016
  jivey25   on Aug 20, 2016
  BRM   on Jul 12, 2015
  stumpyfsr   on Aug 30, 2014
Photo & Video Gallery (9)
Trail Photos & Videos (9)
Reviews (3)


September 1, 2019
Review: We bikepacked out of silverton as far as we could get back in July. It was a great ride to share with my 4 year old. Most of the land in the beginning is private. I wasn't excepting that.


September 3, 2014
stumpyfsr Singletrack  
Review: Very scenic ride with a lot of climbing. Haven't done the whole loop, but will recommend to everyone who wants to try high alpine riding. Nothing too difficult there.

Bunny Hop

June 30, 2014
Review: The only reason it gets 3 stars is it's a jeep road. So you'll pass jeeps. But as one lady expressed to me, they'll be shocked to see you out "risking your life". My plan for the day was to hike one of the 14ers along the Cinnamon Pass rd. So I hired a shuttle to take me up to the American Basin Trailhead with my bike. I hiked my 14er and biked down to Lake City from American Basin. I guess it's about 20 miles, with pretty much no climbing, lots of downhill. It's doubletrack, but there's about a mile stretch with a serious cliff and no guardrail - it's a jeep road after all. The road has some good rocks in it so you bump around pretty good. The view is amazing, even if you don't hike one of the 3 14ers with trailheads along the route. In the winter and spring there's great backcountry skiing in American Basin - maybe if you have a fat tire bike? It's mostly a view thing though, not a single track experience. If you want singletrack in the area, check out the Camp Trail up the Continental Divide and the Continental Divide Trail itself.

Similar Trail: Closest I can think of is the doubletrack part of the 401 in Crested Butte.

Alpine Loop MTB Trail 3.33 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 3 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed