• Range Rover Fifty - Land Rover Celebrates 50 Years of Range Rovers with Special Edition
      On June 17th, the Range Rover celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, with the original two-door Classic model having been revealed on the same date in 1970. To commemorate this illustrious occasion, a special run of Range Rover Fifty editions will be produced, with just 1,970 models made for the entire world.
  • Land Rover's Halewood Factory, History in Liverpool
      Land Rover's Lode Lane factory in Solihull, England is iconic and known around the world as the traditional home of Land Rover since 1948. However, not all English-built Land Rovers come out of the ancestral home in the Midlands. Since 2006, Land Rover's smaller transverse engine models have come from Halewood, an old Ford […]
  • A History of the Land Rover Camel Trophy: Part 4, 1990-1992
    In 1989, Land Rover released the Discovery. Based on the Range Rover Classic platform, the Discovery would define Land Rover's success in the 1990s. It would also define the balance of the Camel Trophy event, with Discovery taking the mantle of team vehicle from Defenders starting with the 1990 event. With the exception of the […]
  • A History of the Land Rover Camel Trophy: Part 3, 1987-1989
    The late 1980s would be a sort of "Glory Years" for the Camel Trophy, hosting some of the most iconic iterations of the event. With the Camel Trophy now an extremely popular global event, it also drew better and better teams. Many of the participants in these years would go on to have major roles […]

Alpine Loop

previous arrow
next arrow
While vacationing and visiting relatives in the Four Corners area of New Mexico , Vangie’s Uncle asked us if we would be interested in driving the Alpine loop. Only having been on one off road trip with the Land Rover Dealer we decided to give it a try. Well worth it… We got up early and drove to Silverton Co. from Farmington Nm.The Alpine Loop Scenic and Historic Byway leaves the pavement and people behind, crossing the remote, rugged, spectacular heart of the San Juan Mountains. It’s demanding: the two 12,000-foot passes (Engineer Pass (12,780 ft.) and Cinnamon Pass (12,620 ft.) ) require high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles.

There are six spectacular 4wd roads in the San Juans; Black Bear, Cinnamon, Corkscrew, Engineer, Imogene and Ophir. While not as difficult technically as Imogene or the dreaded Black Bear, Engineer demands more experience and skill than Corkscrew or Ophir. Engineer combines spectacular views at its summit, interesting mining locations and some challenging sections for the driver.

The rocky roads of the Alpine Loop were first used in the nineteenth century by miners who carted their mule-drawn wagons, laden with ore, to the mining towns of Silverton, Ouray, and Lake City. The Alpine Loop is 78 miles in length. The average driving time is five to eight hours. Special considerations for this trip: bring a full tank of gasoline, extra food, and water. These roads can be muddy. Roads are closed in the winter

Alpine loop

Forming part of the Alpine Loop, Cinnamon Pass (12,620 ft.) takes you through many of Colorado s historic ghost towns and mining camps. We stopped at the tourist information building and got a map. in Silverton The road to Animas Forks is gravel and suitable for automobiles. Along the way you pass many mills and town sites: Mayflower, Howardsville, Middleton. These towns sprang up during the 1800’s when silver was discovered in the surrounding mountains. We made it to Lake City for lunch and then headed back on the second leg of our adventure.

Engineer Pass (12,780 ft.) road forms one half of the Alpine Loop, running from Lake City to Ouray to via Engineer . The Loop can be made in one long day in good conditions, but one day leaves little time for side trips or stopping for any length of time to enjoy the scenery. The trail climbs through a forest of pines and crosses the stream. The first nice place to stop is Whitmore Falls. It is a large waterfall that can’t be seen from the road and must be hiked down to. Remember the altitude and take breaks walking back up to the road. The very short and steep hike is well worth the effort to see the falls. There is never any really rough or rocky spots on the trail but 4 wheel is required because of the steepness and the high altitude. The last 1/4 or a mile or so of the road is fairly narrow on both sides. More narrow on the Ouray side, but nothing like black bear pass. Two vehicles could almost always pass each other. The summit offers great views in every direction The last two miles of the road are the most difficult to drive. Portions of the road are very rocky. Experienced 4-wheelers will not have much trouble. Beginners should proceed carefully. We ended our adventure where Engineer Pass Road meets US 550 3 miles south of Ouray. A large sign points the way to the Alpine Loop and headed back to Farmington excited and exhausted.

Our next stop on the trip was to Chaco Canyon, There are a few pictures

Leave a Reply

Comment spam protected by SpamBam