Alpine Loop (San Juan National Forest)

If you have a vivid imagination and a bit of a wicked streak, you might conceive of the Alpine Loop, easily one of the most thrilling ATV trails Colorado has to offer.

That is to say, it’s not for the faint of heart, yet the trail attracts off-roaders from around the world. Alpine Loop is a circular, 75-mile system of backcountry trails that navigates through the high elevation Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass in the San Juan Mountains, connecting the mountain towns of Ouray, Silverton, Ophir, Telluride, and Lake City, where it is generally considered to begin (and end). It’s all things to all ATV riders and UTV riders, with stunning views of eight 13,000-plus-foot mountains and five designated wilderness areas, plus with hairpin twists, narrow passing points, and rocks, requiring high-clearance 4-wheel drive. Besides the main trail, you can also venture off to side loops and trails like the 22.2-mile California Gulch, and many others, to keep you riding for days. Or weeks.

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