Alpine Loop: Fall

Last week, Bob and his friend Judy were in town and wanted to head up into the mountains in the Jeep. We had just gotten snow a few days prior but it looked like there might be enough melted off that we could get up into the high country one last time. It was such a beautiful day that we decided to take the top and doors off the Jeep as well; it was a little chilly on the highway but being able to see out was well worth it up high! (And the sun was warm! I actually got a little sunburnt…)

Jeep tour

Alpine Loop sign

When we stopped to air down at the trailhead, Judy and Bob were already marveling at the colors. The very beginning of Engineer Pass road is really fun; the shelf above the canyon is always spectacular and the views get better and better as you go higher.


Engineer Pass Road

Jeep Tours

San Juan Mountain scenery

San Juan Mountains.

Ridgway Jeep Tours

San Juan Mountains

Once we reached the snow, we realized that the north slopes were still fairly covered. Fortunately, the road towards Engineer wraps up the southern slopes of Engineer Mountain to Oh! Point before wrapping around northwards towards the official pass (actually lower than the Point).

Engineer Pass Road

Snow blocks Engineer Pass

Instead, I hiked to the top of Engineer Mountain which sits just above the pass. The views were spectacular! I headed down to the jeep where F and Bob had decided they wanted to head up to the summit as well, so I headed back up with them! From the top I definitely spent some time plotting assents of other mountains near the pass; there’s so much to explore here!

Engineer Mountain Panorama

Bob on Engineer Mountain

Bob at summit of Engineer Mountain

Jeep at "Oh point"

We headed back down the mountain towards Animas Forks and then on towards Silverton. Just outside of Silverton, F and I hopped out of the Jeep to explore a tight canyon (looking forward to coming back in the summer!) and to scramble up to an exploratory mine shaft. Once we were all loaded back in the Jeep, it was time to head back to the highway and home. The day was such a good way to finish out the Jeeping season in the San Juans!

Animas River

Canyon near Silverton

Adit entrance

Fall Colors

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