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Designated a National Scenic Byway
 
Length: 63 miles
Driving time: 4-7 hours; portions 4WD
Open: Closed in Winter
 
 
The 65-mile Alpine Loop travels through a surreal landscape of treeless tundra, and mountains seemingly splashed with red and yellow paint, pristine mountain views, hiking and biking trails, great camping opportunities, and ample solitude. These rocky roads were first used by 19th-century miners who carted their ore off to Silverton, Ouray, and Lake City in mule-drawn wagons. Spend an afternoon exploring abandoned townsites, structures, and other former mining haunts of Colorado’s rich past. Abandoned structures are not  to be entered.  Nestled deep in the San Juan Mountains, the Alpine Loop Byway features remarkable mountain terrain. Enter a world of towering  pine trees, glistening lakes, and fresh mountain air: guaranteed to bring out  your inner explorer.

Main Towns: Ouray, Silverton, Lake City
 
Features include:
  • Open late May through September
  • Ghost towns: Eureka, Animas Forks, Whitecross, Capital City
  • Two high alpine passes
  • Uncompahgre National Forest
  • Mayflower Mill – National Historic Landmark
  • Old Hundred Mine, opened in 1872 and operated for 101 years, is open for tours
Wildlife: Elk, deer, black bear