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Lake City, Silverton, Colorado, United States

Cinnamon Pass 4x4 Road

South half of the famous Alpine Loop

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 19.5 miles / 31 km
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
Overview: This trail, combined with Engineer Pass constitutes the famous Alpine Loop. The western half of the trip passes many historic points and climbs to outstanding views. Side trip up Wager Gulch takes you to Carson Ghost Town. Cinnamon Pass Road also accesses beautiful American Basin, one of the best places in the area for wildflowers. There’s a large staging area for unlicensed vehicles soon after the pavement ends on C.R. 30 if starting from Lake City as described here. Mostly on BLM land. For current conditions contact the San Juan Mountains Center in Silverton at (970) 387-5530 (closed in winter).


Moderate. Most of this trail is easy; however, the western half is steep and rocky in a few places. The side trip up Wager Gulch is slightly more difficult. All roads, when dry, are suitable for any stock 4x4 SUV with moderate ground clearance. The side trip up American Basin is borderline difficult.

This trail is one of 100 trails from the book Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4WD Trails by FunTreks Publishing, available at

Tips: Climbs to above 12,000 feet. Take plenty of water and warm clothing; the weather can change quickly. Don’t forget your camera.

Trail conditions can change without notice. FunTreks, Inc. and its owner and employees are not responsible for injury, death, or vehicle damage as a result of using this guide. The content of this guide is the property of FunTreks, Inc. and is made available to the user pursuant to EveryTrail’s Terms of Service (

Points of Interest


Large Parking Area

We've started the trail at the east end. If you are combining this trail with Engineer Pass to drive the Alpine Loop, this will allow the two trails to be driven in a clockwise direction. Google directions from Lake City will get you to this point, a large parking and staging area. Unlicensed vehicles can head west from this point.

Williams Creek Campground

On right is entrance to Williams Creek Forest Service Campground with 23 fee sites.

Wager Gulch

County Road 36 on left is Wager Gulch. It's a moderate trail that climbs steeply to Carson Ghost Town. This side route is described in detail in FunTreks book, "Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, 3rd Edition."

Mill Creek Campground

On left is entrance to BLM Mill Creek Campground with 22 fee sites.

Overlook Sherman Townsite

Parking area on left is overlook of historic Sherman Townsite.

Toilet, Hiking Trails

Public toilet marks location of hiking trails on both sides of road.

Burrows Park

Cabins at Burrows Park.

American Basin

Road on left goes up gorgeous American Basin. Trail is a bit challenging for stock vehicles as it climbs higher. Great seasonal wildflowers and worth a hike if trail gets too tough.

Cinnamon Pass

After long climb on narrowing shelf road, you reach a wide area at Cinnamon Pass, elevation 12,640 ft.

View of Animas Forks Ghost Town

As you descend narrow shelf road, look below for great view of Animas Forks Ghost Town and California Gulch.

County Road 2

Drop steeply downhill to County Road 2. Right uphill goes to west end of Engineer Pass Road and eastern end of Mineral Creek Trail, both available as eGuides from FunTreks. Left downhill goes to Silverton.
Pictures in this guide taken by: FunTreks, FunTreks, Inc.

Copyright 2011 FunTreks, Inc

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