• New Defender Hits Development Milestone
    The New Defender has hit a major development milestone, with 1.2 million kilometers (almost 750,000 miles) covered by the test mule fleet. To celebrate this milestone, and Land Rover's official celebration of World Land Rover Day on April 30th, a more unwrapped photo of the new vehicle was unveiled as part of its partnership with […]
  • New Land Rover Smart Wallet Concept to Test Paying Drivers for Data
    Jaguar Land Rover is developing a concept test to pay drivers in IOTA, a cryptocurrency based around the Internet of Things (IOT) in exchange for vehicle driving data.     The proof of concept will be rolled out to a test group of vehicles opted-in to collect data on driving habits, as they relate to […]
  • Event Report: Mendo Recce XXV
    Northern California's Mendo_Recce email list, a long-standing Internet Land Rover community, held its 25th annual Joe Lucas Not-a-Rallye, making it one of the very few Land Rover events in North America to celebrate an event every year, without fail, for a quarter century.  
  • Event Report: SCARR
    The Texas Rovers club held their annual SCARR event -- South Central Event Rover Rally -- from April 11-14, 2019. The event was held at its traditional home of Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area, and is designed to serve as a home event for Land Rover owners in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma to start off […]

Alpine Loop


previous arrow
next arrow
PlayPause
Shadow
Slider
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