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Camping: Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Cebolla Ranger District

Quick Facts

Cinnamon Pass - Engineer Pass Road

Beginning Elevation: 8,670 Feet (2702.6 Meters) Lake City
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Elevation Gain: 4,548 Feet (1417.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 8,670 Feet (2702.6 Meters) Lake City
High Point: 12,850 Feet (4005.6 Meters) Engineer Pass
Length: 43 Miles (71.67 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
USGS Maps: Lake City, Lake San Cristobal, Redcloud Peak, Handies Peak and Uncompahgre Peak




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

The route that connects Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass is part of the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway. (A full description of that byway can be found on Wildernet.) This four-wheel drive loop passes through the rugged mining territory of the San Juan Mountains. Many of the roads and trails accessible from this route were first created by silver and gold miners during the nineteenth century.

Follow Colorado Highway 149 south from Lake City for two miles. Turn onto the road that leads to Lake San Cristobal, State Highway 3. Continue traveling on this road past Williams Creek and Mill Creek Campgrounds. One and a half miles past Mill Creek Campground, there is a fork in the road, bear right at the fork. (You'll be following the path of the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway.) About eight miles northwest on this road is another fork. The left road goes to the American Basin Trailhead. Take the right fork to go to Cinnamon Pass. Once you reach Cinnamon Pass (elevation 12,600), follow the road down to Animas Forks. Turn right at Animas Forks and follow Forest Road 876, passed Denver Lake, on your left, to a fork in the road. Follow the right side of the fork as it ascends via switchbacks. Stay on this road to Engineer Pass (elevation 12,850). The road descending from Engineer Pass is the Henson Creek Road. Follow it back to Lake City (about 15 miles).

Directions from Lake City: This loop begins and ends in Lake City. Follow Highway 149 south from town to begin. The loop is formed by State Highway 3, Cinnamon Pass Road, Forest Road 876 and Engineer Pass Road.



Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Richard
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We traveled up Engineer pass road from Ouray, to Mineral Point to Animas Forks for lunch. Then up Cal. Gulch to Cal. Pass to Hurricane Pass and down Corkscrew Gulch. Great trip, awesome views above timberline. Not too difficult for a Jeep. Just need to be careful, patient and enjoy the trip. Stay on the established trails and pack out what you pack in.
Conditions: Bright, sunny 50 degrees. Saw a Golden Eagle riding the wind.

Filed By: Steve Green (Littleton, CO)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is a fun, over used pass full of tourists and tours. Still a great one, especially for begginers and flatlanders. I did this fully loaded two up on my R100RS BMW. Kinda tough on that bike, but cake on a dirt or DS bike. The only hard part is the lack of a McDs at top. ;)

Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: First part of Engineer is rocky but fun. Not a lot of people till the Animus Forks area, then allot! Good pass but best part is you can be out all day and even for days on this because there are a network of 4x4 trails to go on. Bring extra gas and food but tread lightly!

Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: great for dirt bikes but not in winter u will get lost in the snow



Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Boating Lake San Cristobal
Yes
ICON Dispersed Camping Cinnamon Pass - Engineer Pass Loop
Yes
ICON Family Camping Williams Creek Campground, Mill Creek Campground
Yes
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Cinnamon Pass - Engineer Pass Road
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Cataract Gulch Trailhead, Williams Creek Trailhead, Cuba Gulch Trailhead, Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch Trailhead
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Cataract Gulch Trailhead, Williams Creek Trailhead, Cuba Gulch Trailhead, Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch Trailhead
Yes
ICON ATV Riding Cinnamon Pass - Engineer Pass Loop
Yes
ICON Motorcycle Riding Cinnamon Pass - Engineer Pass Loop
Yes
ICON Scenic Driving Cinnamon Pass - Engineer Pass Loop
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Cinnamon Pass - Engineer Pass Loop
Yes



Related Activities
Wager Gulch - Carson Road - Wager Gulch-Carson Road is a moderate to difficult four-wheel drive into the mining country of the San Juan Mountains and the Continental Divide.

Williams Creek Campground - Williams Creek Campground lies on the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway and the Gunnison River. It is a good place for individuals interested in hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing or scenic driving, to camp.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Ouray County Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 145 , Ouray, CO, 81427, Phone: 800-228-1876

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