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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So me and a few friends are planning a trip next summer to do the Alpine Loop, but I'm having a difficult time finding somewhere to stay for a week. Anyone have any good history with the area? Trying to stay in either Silverton, Ouray, or Lake City.

So far I've found a few good houses to rent but I wanted to be sure we were close enough that we could drive our SXS's to the trails and not have to trailer them around once we get there. We'll most likely have 2-3 SXS's and a Jeep.

Any help y'all have would be greatly appreciated!
 

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I checked out Ouray and Silverton this year. Ouray had lots of cool brewerys and restaurants, seemed like a nice place. Silverton was dingy and it felt like the snow had just melted off even though it was early September. No idea on the riding from either area, I was passing just through in a car.
 

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TexaxCoyote, Alpine Loop has some beautiful scenary. We rode out of both Lake City and Silverton this past summer in August, 3rd time for Lake City. In Lake City we have stayed in the cabins at the Texan Resort A TEXAN RESORT-Lake City- southwest Colorado Mountains with Cabins,Lodge,Vacation Homes and Lots of Fun Things to Do great place to stay. You can ride your ATV/SxS anywhere in the town of Lake City, regardless if they are licensed or not, town and county are very OHV friendly. You can ride to restaurants or to the North or South ends of the Alpine Loop (to make the entire loop) from wherever you stay in Lake City. Just obey the speed limits. Southern Vittles is a restaurant we always make plans to eat at, at least once.

In Silverton we stayed at the Red Mountain Motels, Cabins, RV Park https://www.redmtmotelrvpk.com/, because some of our group were in motorhomes and the rest of us stayed in their cabins/motel rooms. Would also recommend it, nothing fancy but very adequate and clean. Right downtown Silverton there are a few hotels you can stay in, pricey but nice is the Grand Imperial Hotel. The town in small, probably 1/2 mile long by 1/4 mile wide, so wherever you stay doesn't really matter as far as going to the restaurants, bars, shopping, etc. In Silverton you can also ride your unliscensed ATV/SxS in town on the designated streets. They have OHV streets signs in town, you can pretty much ride to all the businesses/restaurants/bars, just not in the residential areas.

The riding is great from both Lake City and Silverton. The only thing with Silverton is, if I'm not mistaken there is only 1 gas station in town (on the South West end of town) you can get within about 2 blocks of it staying on the streets that you can legally ride on, but on that last 2 blocks it is illegal to ride an unlicensed OHV. Sort of a dumb law but to get to the gas station you have to get on a State Hwy 550. You might check with someone local in Silverton; a couple of places rent SxS there or the Chamber of Commerce to see if they have a trail where you can ride to the gas station legally. The Bent Elbow has a great breakfast and the Golden Block Brewery has really good wood fired pizzas.

My next trip to that area I want to stay in Lake City a few nights and then take enough clothes and ride to Silverton and spend 2 nights there and then ride back to Lake City. This is what I would actually recommend to add a new adventure to the trip. Just check on the latest information on the gas situation in Silverton.

If you need to stay in just 1 town, then definitely make it Lake City, more to do and you have access to both the North end and South end of the Alpine Loop, or can make the entire loop in a day. Silverton would get old for a full week and Ouray is not OHV friendly as far as riding to the trails from town.

If you have more questions, I'll be glad to try to answer them for you. Am pretty familiar with the area after 3 trips there.
 
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If you stay in Ouray you will have to trailer to Alpine Loop, you will have access if you get a place on the designated OHV route in Silverton;
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/townofsilverton/ohv-atv-info
A bunch of our party stayed in houses/cabins at Lake San Cristobal that they booked on VRBO. It is south of Lake City on the Alpine Loop so you will have access to the Loop and town.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
So it sounds like I'm better off in Lake City. Next problem: have any of y'all had issue with leaving your SXS outside at night? None of the rental properties seem to have a garage.
 

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Never had a problem out West, but did have my 10 ft. trailer with 2 4-wheelers on it stolen in 2014. Trailer was locked to vehicle and they stole trailer and all while it was parked in a motel's parking lot in Russellville, AR. That same night a 16 ft. trailer with a Rzr was stolen, too, at a different motel in Russellville. Had it insured with Progressive and they treated me very fairly. Since then I have added a cheap motorcycle burglar alarm to the Wolverine and a cheap motion detector and a trailer wheel lock to my trailer. All 3 items are a good, inexpensive deterrent. For what insurance can be bought for, usually between $250 - $350 for a year, it is good to have and your trailer can be added to the policy for very little extra.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
UPDATE: My RZR buddy and I will be in Colorado in August to ride the Alpine Loop. Anyone have any suggestions regarding gear to pack and whether we should get our OHV permits ahead of time or if we can buy them when we arrive? This will be our first out of state run so we're just trying to make sure we have fun and everything goes well. Any input from Colorado natives would be helpful.
 

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I would get my OHV sticker once I got in Colorado, check this link to find locations;
https://www.cpwshop.com/issuerlist.page

Shouldnt need a lot, sweatshirt in the mornings, rain gear, fuel and a map.
With all the wildfires around, maybe a extinguisher and gas mask and a spark arrestor.
Stay hydrated, altitude sickness is no fun.
We are headed up there this week, we're hoping its not too smoky.
Make sure you run up the short road to "American Basin".
Oh yeah, a camera/phone so you can share some pics/videos here. and dont roll a machine on "The Wall"!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Noload. Let me know how your trip goes and if there's anything else I may need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well our trip was a success. I would highly recommend the Alpine Loop to anyone that wants a fun trail ride. We stayed in Lake city at Lake San Cristobal. The wolverine covered 300 miles in 5 days back and forth across Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass. We even managed to go to see a few "ghost towns".
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Looks like you guys had a good trip.
Did you get over all the trails you wanted to?


A few pics from Kendall Mt.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We didn't get to do the California Pass. I think thats where your last picture is from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well folks I'lll be heading back to Colorado in a few weeks for another trip with the Wolvy. Staying in Silverton this time and I had a few questions for anyone who's been there/done that.
-Anywhere in Silverton to get an OHV permit? I looked online and couldn't find one?
-Can we take trails to Telluride? Are there any trails around Telluride worth seeing?
-Has anyone gone over the Alpine Loop at night? We're planning on hitting up a concert in Lake city one night which would put us coming over the mountains after midnight.
 

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I haven't been down there yet this year but they had record snowfall with lots of avalanche damage and debris strewn about.
Last I heard the avalanche on the road from Silverton to Animas Forks may not melt and be open till late July/August, and I wouldn't know how much of the high trails will be open. You can keep check on some of the roads/trails here.

Bushducks - Jeep Trail and Backroads Trip Reports<br>Colorado Jeep Trails and Passes - Opening Dates

If the roads open you shouldn't have any trouble crossing Cinnamon Pass at night, watch out for moose or deer on the road.

Some of the trails out of Silverton are Kendall Mt, Stony Pass, Kite Lake, Minnie Gulch, Eureka Gulch, Corkscrew Pass among others you can ride out of Silverton.

You will have to trailer up 550 to get to Clear Lake, Red Mountain Pass, Ophir Pass, Imogene Pass, and Black Bear Pass. You can go over the summit of Black Bear but not down into Telluride, it is one way travel. You can ride to the outer limits of town over Imogene Pass, just not into town. Again with the snow they had this winter I doubt these passes are even open.

This is video of Imogene Pass (one of the highest in Colorado)from July 2005

This can explain the trails a lot better than I can.
https://funtreks.com/product/atv-trails-guide-colorado-silverton-ouray-lake-city-telluride/
 

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TexasCoyote, We stayed in Silverton and rode out of there for 3 days in 2017. Not sure about being able to access trails around Telluride from Silverton, don't know of a way you can legally cross Hwy. 550 with an OHV. There might be a way to get to Telluride via Ouray via Yankee Boy Basin, but I'm not familiar with it, maybe someone else can answer this.

There is a large rental place that rents SxS right in the middle of town in Silverton, assuming they are still in business, should be pretty easy to Google them and give them a call to see if they sell permits. If they don't they would definitely know who does.
 

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We camped on the Black Bear side and crossed 550 (quickly) to access Red Mountain Pass and then back again to do Ophir Pass. If you know where its not to bad.

Imogene/Yankee Boy you will have to trailer to.......do not break the rules......they ARE NOT OHV friendly. Even out on the trails west side of 550 we didn't hardly get a wave from anyone, some wont even look at you as you pass their window on a narrow trail, the locals don't want to see or hear us, and the mountain bikers just love us, not all but there are definitely some jeep snobs that wont even wave to their own kind if their in the wrong vintage rig. They have their own wave and they will NOT acknowledge a Hummer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We won't be in Silverton till mid August so helpfully everything is cleared and opened by then. We may try to ride Yankee boy and some of the other trail systems but we were hoping to ride to and from as much as possible.
 

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We won't be in Silverton till mid August so helpfully everything is cleared and opened by then. We may try to ride Yankee boy and some of the other trail systems but we were hoping to ride to and from as much as possible.
Here’s a pic I took today of the San Juan mtn range right above Ouray. That’s more snow than I’ve ever seen on them the 1st week of July. I’ve lived here 23 years. I’ll bet it’s all opened up in August but as for July, I think that’s a big ? mark.
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The mining roads through the passes you want to travel are at that elevation on the other side of those mtns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Getting ready to head back to the Alpine Loop in 10 days. Anyone know what the status of the trails is? Is everything open?
 

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I haven’t checked for anything official but a client told me yesterday that they opened Imogene pass late last week, so possibly their doing that everywhere! That’s the same one in the video Noload sent!
 
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