Ouray, Colorado

Drive Engineer Pass

Originally added by olivia witt

The San Juan's offer many backroad adventures including this known gem. Engineer pass brings you though ghost mining towns, 13,000 foot peaks, and overwhelming views. Combining this pass and Cinnamon pass makes up the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway connecting Silverton to Lake City and back. The pass is also one of the highest passes in Colorado with the elevation at 12,800 at the top. This pass has never and will never disappoint anyone looking for the thrill of combining 4-wheeling and stunning views.

This pass is closed December through May but when opened, does not fall short of views. I drove it on opening weekend and the snow was piled high all around (pictured above) but the views were just as amazing as driving it in late summer. 

Starting in Silverton, drive east on Colorado 2 through the ghost mining towns of Howardsville, Middleton, Eureka until you reach Animas Forks. Just before Animas Forks, the road forks and take the road on the right following the signs towards Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass. As you keep driving, the road does not hesitate to start climbing in elevation. A four-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance is mandatory up this pass but if you do not have one, there are multiple places to rent a Jeep during the on-season in Silverton. Just before you hit the highest point, you can take a road to the left that is 0.25 mile out-and-back drive to an overlook. The highest point brings you to overlook 13,000 and 14,000 foot peaks from the elevation of 12,800. After this point, you will start making the descent towards Lake City. 

The road itself at some parts can get rough, but this pass is drivable for anyone. 

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