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Lake City Alpine bike loop

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Lake City Alpine bike loop

Postby Dan Shorb » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:57 am

Anybody done this? The Alpine Loop is normally done by Jeepsters/4x4s, but was introducted here as a bike loop.

The Alpine Loop Mountain Bike Ride is an awesome trip, long, intense, but incredibly scenic. The ridge between Engineer Pass (12,780 ft.) and Cinnamon Pass (12,620 ft.) is worth the entire trip.The route between the passes follows an exposed ridge above tree line with views in all directions for miles. The route passes old mining ruins and ghost towns like Capitol homestead. Mill Creek and Henson Creeks are lovely drainages. The route looks down into Silverton and Ouray and the 14'ers in the area, Redcloud, Sunshine, Handies, Uncompahgre, and the Wetterhorn, are all visible.

The route is mainly on well maintained 4WD roads that are well signed. There are even several bathrooms placed along the way. Take plenty of water, food and rain gear since it's very exposed on top. The Alpine Loop was one of BLM's first Scenic Byways. Outside magazine listed the Alpine Loop as one of the 10 best rides in the country.

Getting There: The starting location is typically in Lake City, Colorado. There are a number of motels and RV camprounds in Lake City.

Distance: 52 Miles, 5,630 ft. Elevation Gain, Mostly on 4WD roads at high elevations (>12,000 ft.), some steep climbs.
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Re: Lake City Alpine bike loop

Postby Pivvay » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:43 am

d_shorb wrote:Anybody done this? The Alpine Loop is normally done by Jeepsters/4x4s, but was introducted here as a bike loop.


I've done part of it during a Colorado Trail thru ride. From what I saw it would be well worth doing.
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Re: Lake City Alpine bike loop

Postby Dan Shorb » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:07 am

Pivvay wrote:
d_shorb wrote:Anybody done this? The Alpine Loop is normally done by Jeepsters/4x4s, but was introducted here as a bike loop.


I've done part of it during a Colorado Trail thru ride. From what I saw it would be well worth doing.


sweet thx!

Any other info on trails between there and Crestd Butte? We're riding and climbing for a month
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Postby Pivvay » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:24 pm

I would definitely do the Coney/Cataract segment of the Colorado Trail and I'd recommend the CT from just outside Silverton to the end as well if you can fit in any or all of those segments. The Coney/Cataract is pretty tough going over 13k but it's usually very quiet and really pretty.

Plus you'll find tons to ride in Crested Butte. Enjoy! It's really beautiful up there.
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Postby a_skier » Sat May 01, 2010 3:37 pm

You can stay plenty busy riding just CB for a month, but definitely explore Hartman's Rocks in Gunnison, and there is also some good riding around Rio Grande Reservoir as well as Snow Mesa heading towards Creede.
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Postby Dan Shorb » Sat May 01, 2010 5:56 pm

a_skier wrote:You can stay plenty busy riding just CB for a month, but definitely explore Hartman's Rocks in Gunnison, and there is also some good riding around Rio Grande Reservoir as well as Snow Mesa heading towards Creede.


Thanks. I read about Harts rocks and snow mesa too. we're also looking around Durango, thinking perhaps a section of the CT down there. Neither of us have really explored CO much, so any info helps. Thanks!

A month does go fast, no?
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Postby johnmnichols » Mon May 03, 2010 2:02 pm

The jeep roads around Ouray/Silverton are fun on a mountain bike as long as it's not super dusty. Not fun riding and inhaling copious amounts of dust kicked up by jeeps.

I second the riding around CB. Tons and tons of singletrack options there that will keep a smile on your face for a long time.
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Postby a_skier » Mon May 03, 2010 5:58 pm

Yeah, I'd have to agree with the comments above re: riding the alpine loop- way too much traffic and dust for my taste.

Hopefully this isn't too much like spam, but this should give you a few ideas for riding in CB: http://14erskiers.com/franksblog/crested-butte-mountain-biking-guide/
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Postby Dan Shorb » Mon May 03, 2010 6:45 pm

FortMental wrote:Biking it is a bit of a waste IMHO.
If I'd resources, I'd take loaded motorcycles on the loop.


Thou speaketh the truth me thinks. Thanks for the input. I think we'll stick to less traveled single track. (if you wanta moto/climb those 14ers sometime let me know).

a_skier wrote:Yeah, I'd have to agree with the comments above re: riding the alpine loop- way too much traffic and dust for my taste.

Hopefully this isn't too much like spam, but this should give you a few ideas for riding in CB: http://14erskiers.com/franksblog/crested-butte-mountain-biking-guide/


A little self promotion is appreciated in this case Frank. Thanks for the list, I'll save it and use it, as CB is our main biking target. Also, sick skiing man, way to go! Seriously, awesome!
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Postby Pivvay » Mon May 03, 2010 7:05 pm

a_skier wrote:Yeah, I'd have to agree with the comments above re: riding the alpine loop- way too much traffic and dust for my taste.

Hopefully this isn't too much like spam, but this should give you a few ideas for riding in CB: http://14erskiers.com/franksblog/crested-butte-mountain-biking-guide/


Just get up early and bike fast. The jeepers will still be eating bacon and fueling up by the time you're napping in the sun.
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Postby Dan Shorb » Tue May 04, 2010 3:39 am

Pivvay wrote: The jeepers will still be eating bacon and fueling up by the time you're napping in the sun.


:lol: :!:
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Re: Lake City Alpine bike loop

Postby adbirds » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:31 pm

I'm planning to do this ride August 16th. Arriving at Lost Trail campground above Rio Grande Reservoir on the 14th for prep rides in Moose country. Then to Lake City for a night before the Alpine loop ride on my mountain bike. Anyone want to go along? Take plenty of water and lights just in case late return. 52 miles, ... and half is up"hill".
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