alpine loop viewClick Here for Scenic Alpine Loop Byway

  • Start in Lake City, designated as a National Register Historic District in 1978 honoring Lake City’s role in the development of the American West. There are more than 200 historic structures that preserve the memories of times gone by – houses, outbuildings, churches, commercial blocks, public buildings, and motor court cabins from the 1930s to early 50s.
     
  • Go south on CO 149 to the Alpine Loop turnoff and Cinnamon Pass Road. Stops along this route are Sherman Town Site, the site of a mining camp established in 1875 and now a ghost town, Burrows Park, and American Basin, one of the most scenic valleys in the San Juan Mountains. Mid-summer wildflower displays are spectacular. All this portion can be two-wheel drive with some rough spots.
     
  • From American Basin, is the backcountry wanderer’s dream – a four-wheel drive only road over Cinnamon Pass to Animas Forks, an intriguing ghost town.
     
  • Continue on to Engineer Pass. At 12,800 feet, the views are spectacular. To the west is Mt. Sneffels – 14,150 feet; northeast is Uncompahgre Peak – 14,309 feet; and east is the extinct Lake City volcanic caldera which the Loop road encircles.
     
  • Head east on Henson Creek Road to Capitol City, a ghost town where the post office, some outbuildings, and brick kilns remain. Then, head back to Lake City.
     
  • End in Lake City