Colorado Photography of the American West

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03 May 2009

Sunday Morning Gallery - Alpine Loop to Cinnamon Pass

Today's Sunday Morning Gallery is Part 2 of our Lake City vacation. After finding our campsite (see the April 26 blog entry in the archives) and enjoying a day of rest we packed up the 4 Runner with dogs and lunch and headed up the Alpine Loop 4WD road to Cinnamon Pass.

Cinnamon Pass Road is part of the Alpine Loop in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado. This route is opened by snowplow early in the season. Be warned though, in the summer peak season Cinnamon Pass Road is an extremely popular 4WD route. Parts of the road are a single lane rock shelf with no pull offs. Uphill traffic has the right of way in these situations and believe me when I say that you do not want to back up on some of this road! There are also a few switchbacks that a full sized SUV can not navigate without several passes. If you are squeamish about steep plunging drop offs without guard rails this may not be your cup of tea.

Like many trails/roads in Colorado, the Cinnamon Pass Road was travelled originally by Native American Indians, in this case Ute Indians. The first documented travel by white settlers was in the early 1860s when Charles Baker used Cinnamon Pass in his exploration of the San Juan mountains.

Cinnamon Pass is at 12,640 and there are signs located here explaining the tundra conditions at this altitude. By the way, this is not paid advertising for Toyota. But don't you think they should send me money for this shot?

After a fun day driving up to the pass we headed back to camp and our room with a view, popped a beer, and kicked back. Not a bad day.


  1. Cool photo of you, Julie. Don't like those roads! Thanks for sharing!

  2. wow this looks like so much fun! great pictures too!

  3. Wow! Intimidating looking roads! Great photos of you and Ric! Sounds like a great day to me!

  4. Love the mountainy one the best! Beautiful!

  5. Sounds like an amazing day! The sky is so blue. Wonderful photos :)

  6. wow that looks like a pretty narrow road Julie. I love that shot w the dogs.. my lab would love your two. I know I would love them too!
    thanks for sharing the adventure and the history!

  7. We once took an old RV on roads like this! Looks like you had fun!


Contemporary photography of the cities, landscapes, flora and fauna of the American West.
Julie Magers Soulen Photography