Alpine Loop SxS Tour (Silverton CO)
Rocky Mountain Loop – Ghost Towns – Mining History
The Alpine Loop is one of the 10 best ATV trails in Colorado. Honestly, it’s probably the best.
The US is a beautiful country with a lot of diverse amazing beauty, but it’s hard to beat this high elevation ride through the Colorado Rockies. That’s why this 63 mile loop is one of the most popular Colorado ATV tours.
This full day tour takes you on a high tundra loop that passes through Lake City, one of the most remote towns in the lower 48.
Ride over Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass and enjoy sweeping views in all directions. Surrounded by mountains with peaks over 14,000” high, every turn features new stunning vistas.
The Alpine Loop passes several ghost towns including Animas Forks, Mineral Point, and Capitol City. Animas Forks, once a bustling mining town with 450 residents, is now a ghost town with a few old surviving buildings.
This region is also littered with the remains of long abandoned mines, a rich part of Colorado’s history.
Vehicle rentals are also available.
Yankee Boy Basin Ranger UTV Tour (Ouray CO)
Switzerland of America – Wild Flower Wonderland
Ouray bills itself as the Switzerland of America.
Surrounded by jagged mountain peaks, the Ouray / Silverton area is renowned for having some of the best ATV trails in the US. This includes the world famous Alpine Loop as well as the popular Yankee Boy Basin.
Yankee Boy Basin is a dirt road that runs 18.6 miles through a high walled canyon in the San Juan Mountains surrounded by the jagged peaks of Potosi Peak, Teakettle Mountain, Cirque Mountain, Stony Mountain, Gilpin Mountain and Mount Sneffels which is over 14,000”.
This tour takes you through a lush green alpine basin that is full of wildflowers from mid July through early August.
Rugged peaks, waterfalls streams, meadows and wildflowers – this ATV tour is Colorado at it’s best.
The last mile or so is very steep and rough with drop offs as it gains elevation. This is the scariest, but also the most stunning part of the drive.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew! The trail end with a small loop at Wright’s Lake.
With Ride-N Adventures based in Ouray, Yankee Boy Basin is just one of several off roading routes available. They’ll deliver your ATV for free right to the Yankee Boy Basin trailhead. Super easy! You have the option of riding on your own or booking a guide.
St. Elmo RZR Tour (Buena Vista CO)
Ghost Town – Ride The Continental Divide
Most Colorado ATV tours are family friendly and geared towards beginners, but this tour is for advanced riders only.
This ATV tour starts in St. Elmo, a ghost town and former mining settlement. With over 43 preserved buildings, St. Elmo is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the West.
Although it’s on a dirt road, it’s easily accessible by car, but it’s most popular as an off roading destination.
This ride is part of the Miners Loop, an exciting back country ride that takes you over three mountain passes over 12,000” high: Hancock, Cumberland and Tincup.
Ride through forests, alpine tundra and high mountain peaks that take you over the Continental Divide. The views on this trail are unsurpassed.
Full and half day guided tours are available from RMAR (Rocky Mountain Adventure Rental. They provide transportation from their office to the starting point in St. Elmo. They also offer vehicle rentals.
Continental Divide SxS Tour (Winter Park)
Historic Railroad Route – Wagon Toll Road
Winter park is an underated ski town. A bit off the beaten path, most people pass it by on their way to the more popular resorts of Keystone, Breckenridge or Vail. But, this ski town has a casual friendly vibe offers year round fun.
Summer and fall are the perfect time to visit Winter Park for hiking, biking and off roading.
Plus Winter Park is on the way to Grand Lake, a gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park. Lakes, mountains and a nearby national park make this region definitely worth a visit.
The Continental Divide Tour starts in Winter Park and takes you 15 miles up to Corona Pass at an elevation of 11,660”.
Ride through the Arapahoe National Forest on your way to the top where you’ll be rewarded with impressive views of the Rocky Mountains and Fraser Valley.
This guided tour takes you past an historic railroad train trestle that was part of a 23 mile long railroad rout over Rollins Pass.
Now abandoned, this early railroad route is considered a significant engineering feat of the early 20th century and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Prior to the railroad, Rollins Pass, was a toll road. It’s hard to imagine, but this was an important wagon road for navigating the region. In 1866, John Rollins got approval from the Colorado Council and House of Representatives to officially operated his tour road.
Camp Hale ATV Tour (Leadville CO)
Fighting Nazis – History With A View
Camp Hale is a popular ATV destination. Located at 9,200 feet, the camp is a large wide open valley surrounded by mountains. It’s located in the White River National Forest with miles of trails that take you into the mountains.
You can reach 12,000’ peaks while riding through forests, mountains and beautiful alpine meadows.
Camp Hale is a real slice of history. Established during WWII in 1942, this army base at one time housed 15,000 soldiers. Camp Hale trained the 10th Mountain Division, a branch of the US army trained specifically for mountaineous and arctic conditions.
Soldiers were trained in mountain climbing, cold weather survival, weapons and explosives. The soldiers were part of a national effort to create an elite ski corps with advanced Alpine and Nordic skiing skills.
At one point it also held 400 Nazi prisoners of war from the German Afrika Corps. In a bit of a scandal, two German Sergeants escaped with the help of a US Private. Thankfully they were caught in Mexico and turned over to the US.
Although this base only existed from 1942 to 1945, it was a big part of the war time effort.
Most of the building and remains of the camp have long been removed, but there are some foundations and other remnants of it’s past.
Nova Guides offers Colorado ATV & SxS tours that include hotel pick up, 2 hours of trail time and lunch at McAllister’s Grill, their resort located at Camp Hale. They also offers rentals so you can head out on your own.