Alpine Loop Ouray

Part of the Alpine Loop, Mineral Springs 4 Wheel Drive Trail



View toward Ouray from Alpine Loop

5 miles from Ouray off of Highway 550 the Alpine Loop heads to Mineral Springs.    This section was the toughest driving challenge of the Alpine Loop with the exception of Poughkeepsie Gulch and very upper California Gulch.

 A large sign points the way to the Alpine Loop. The first two miles of the road are the most difficult to drive. Portions of the road are very rocky.  Beginners should proceed carefully.

This section is challenging 4 wheel drive territory that is best for outfitted 4 wheel drive vehicles and experienced drivers.




San Juan Chief Mine

About 2 miles past the Poughkeepsie Gulch turnoff you will pass through the remains of the Des Ouray Mine. The mine got it's name from it's investors from Des Moines, Iowa. The boilers at the site powered a sawmill that operated at the site of the mine in the 1920's.


Continuing on the Engineer road for about another 1.2 miles you will come to a sign pointing right to Mineral Point. This road allows access to the San Juan Chief Mill. This is a difficult stretch up a rocky creek bed. If you're up to the challenge, have fun. Inexperienced 4-wheelers can get to the San Juan Chief Mill by staying on the main road and taking the faint road leading off to the right about a quarter mile past the Forest Service public toilets.


Mining artifact

There are many mines and artifacts along this stretch.




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