Alpine Loop National Back Country Byway
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|Alpine Loop National Back Country Byway|
The Alpine Loop National Back Country Byway is located northeast of Silverton, Colorado in San Juan and Hinsdale Counties. The route is circular, running from the ghost town of Animas Forks to Lake City and return. The Byway combines crossings of Engineer and Cinnamon Passes with high country scenery that features river meadows, alpine tundra, and ghost towns.
While the meadows and tundra are accessible to ordinary passenger vehicles, a high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle is required to travel the entire route.
The Alpine Loop is generally considered to begin and end at Lake City. From there the route commonly followed is west over Cinnamon Pass to Animas Forks, and then returning east over Engineer Pass back to Lake City. This clockwise circuit generally puts the vehicle on the inside "lane" of the mountainous portions (but moot because almost all is single track) with the driver on the outside, providing a better view of the relative position of the vehicle and the outer edge of the road at the top of the drop-off.
|Hinsdale||Lake City||0.00||0.00||SH 149 north||Zero milepost|
|SH 149 south||Becomes FH 30 west|
|Castle Lakes Campground|
|FH 5 west||Becomes FH 5 west|
|San Juan||FH 2 south||Becomes FH 2 north|
|FH 2 west||Becomes an unmarked road|
|Hinsdale||FH 21 south||Becomes FH 21 north|
|FH 21 north||Becomes FH 20X east|
|FH 20 west||Becomes FH 20 east|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
Alpine Loop gallery
Capitol City ghost town
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