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Unread 02-06-2013, 07:40 PM   #1
ELMCZJ95
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Alpine Loop

Hey guys,
First time posting on the Colorado section of JeepForum. I'm a cadet at the Air Force Academy, this summer I'll be a junior and able to bring my ZJ (build thread in signature) out here from Florida. A few friends and I are trying to plan a 3 day wheeling/camping trip out in that area near the Alpine Loop. I doubt it will take us 3 days to drive the entire trail seeing as how its 52 miles long, has anyone been camping up there who can help me out with places to camp on the trail?

Thanks

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Unread 02-10-2013, 09:39 AM   #2
gspup
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I've never camped on the loop but it shouldn't be hard to find a spot. You can drive the loop in one day. I wouldn't recommend camping on that trail, it's super popular so you'll have cars driving by your camp site all day.

Try mineral creek for camping. That's where I like to camp. Fun trail too.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 09:59 AM   #3
TripLeader
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I've been out there a couple times. Both times I've camped about 15 minutes outside of Lake City, just at the start of the Nellie Creek Rd. (That's the road that goes up to the Uncompahgre Pk. trailhead.) There's about four sites up there. It's National Forest, but not an established site, so it's free. Those sites are also off the main loop, so you won't be right in the dust of the vehicles on the road. There's a vault toilet about 200 yards away on the main loop.

Also, I would recommend you do the Alpine Loop in a clockwise fashion. That way you will be on the inside of the road when you're on the most exposed part of Engineer Pass.

You can do the loop in one day. If you want to stop a lot and look around at the old mines and ghost towns, make sure you get an early start, or set aside an extra day.

I also found that the portion of the loop that goes into Ouray was the roughest overall section. My opinion that the primitive at-large camping near Lake City is more available then near Ouray, so Lake City is the place to start. Plus Lake City is closer to Colorado Springs.

If you have any other questions, just ask. I love the San Juans.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 01:18 PM   #4
ELMCZJ95
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Thanks a lot for the info guys! Looks like I have quite of planning to do, I'll probably stop at all of those ghost towns and stuff like you guys mentioned. Sounds like it will be a fun time!
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Unread 02-15-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
ca7erham
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I highly recommend camping up around old Carson Road....I would recommend you start from Lake City like others said, best starting point from the springs, plus I can show you guys some local Gunnison trails when you pass through as warm up for the Alpine Loop....one note about the Alpine Loop; there are a few much smaller less used jeep trails in the Lake City area that put the Alpine Loop to shame, but thats a different story.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 02:40 PM   #6
ELMCZJ95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ca7erham View Post
I highly recommend camping up around old Carson Road....I would recommend you start from Lake City like others said, best starting point from the springs, plus I can show you guys some local Gunnison trails when you pass through as warm up for the Alpine Loop....one note about the Alpine Loop; there are a few much smaller less used jeep trails in the Lake City area that put the Alpine Loop to shame, but thats a different story.
Sounds like a plan, don't know if I'll be able to do that actual Jeep trails though. I have a stock Land Cruiser and Hummer coming with me
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