Colorado’s Alpine Loop Scenic and Historic Byway

Alpine Loop Colorado, UTV

ATV/UTV/Jeep Adventure on the Alpine Loop in Colorado

Looking for an awesome adventure to experience in Colorado?  Want to go on an ATV/UTV adventure?  Look no further than the Alpine Loop Scenic and Historic Byway outside of Silverton, Colorado.  Wow!  This was one of the most incredible adventures we’ve ever done!

What better way to get up-close and personal with the ruggedness of Colorado than to venture into the San Juan Mountains via the Alpine Loop out of Silverton.

The Ute Indians originally created a network of trails that traversed through these mountains.  Then in the 1800s, these trails were turned into rocky roads by the ambitious miners, who came in search of gold and silver and widened the trails to accommodate mule-drawn carts.

Nowadays, the Loop is a winding ribbon of a road traversing through the spectacular San Juan wilderness where, in some places, it’s only wide enough for one vehicle, with breathtaking hundreds of feet drop-offs unprotected by guardrails.  You really get to experience raw nature at its finest.

Alpine Loop Colorado, UTV

How can I gain access to the Alpine Loop?

The Loop is approximately 65 miles of roads that connect the towns of Lake City, Ouray and Silverton.

Is 4-Wheel Drive Necessary?

Yes!  This Loop is unpaved and parts of it require high clearance vehicles.

Are There Rentals Available?

Yes, there are several places in Silverton where you can rent from.  UTV’s, ATV’s and Jeeps are all available and popular choices.  We rented a 2-seater UTV from San Juan Adventures and by day’s end had renamed it “The Billy Goat”.  This thing could just about go anywhere with no difficulty.  It was an absolute blast to ride!

Alpine Loop Colorado, UTV

What’s There To Do?

Besides taking in the amazing, jaw-dropping scenery, there’s fishing, hiking, exploring the numerous mines and ghost towns along with photography opportunities around every bend of the road.

Specific places to stop and explore are the Old Hundred Mine, Old Hundred Mine Boarding House and the Mayflower Mill.  A visitor truly steps back in time traveling through this area.

Alpine Loop Colorado, UTV

What’s the Best Time to go There?

Late May/early June to late October.  That being said, the winter of 2018/19 saw an exceptional amount of snowfall.  So much in fact, that by July 2019 the Loop was not 100% open due to snow blockage.  We traveled up County Road 2 as far as we could go in the morning, then returned to Silverton to top off the gas tank and raced away up Highway 110 for an afternoon of adventure over Hurricane Pass.

Alpine Loop Colorado, UTV

Silverton truly is the gateway to an amazing off-road adventure on the Alpine Loop and you don’t want to miss out!

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