Alpine Loop

alpine-loop-sign2_071813-72Road: Dirt: 2/3 = 2-wheel drive accessible; 1/3 = high-clearance 4×4 – rated difficult
Round-trip from Denver: 750 miles
Length of Byway: 65 miles
Vehicle types: Car and 4×4
Elevation change: 6985 to 12,993 feet above sea level
Location: Southwestern Colorado


Alpine Loop Back Country Byway

This particular byway is the only 4×4 (required) byway in Colorado’s 25 scenic and historic byways and is one of several located in the San Juan Mountains. While a small portion, about one third, requires a high clearance 4×4, many jeep books mention that this section of the byway can still be driven by stock SUVs “with proper wheel placement.”

4×4’s along Engineer Pass trail.

If you think you cannot drive this byway because you don’t have a 4×4, then fret-not. There are at least a dozen jeep rental companies in several towns close to the byway, including Ouray, Silverton and Lake City. The nice thing about renting a jeep is that the different companies have detailed maps of not just the Alpine Loop, but of all the other jeep trails in the area.

Places to Stay



Good Eats


Nearby Colorado Byways

 Other Activities

4×4 Websites


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