Leaving Lake City, CO took us by lake San Cristobal, a beautiful lake. We then took state road 30 towards the American Basin and Cinnamon Pass trails, part of the “Alpine Loop”.[singlepic id=58 w=320 h=240 float=right]The road was well maintained at the start and offered incredible views of the creek down below and the mountains we were heading in to.[singlepic id=59 w=320 h=240 float=right] The starting altitude was 8,000 ft and the terrain varied from rocky cliffs to rolling meadows. The sky was a brilliant blue, but rain was in the forecast for the afternoon.[singlepic id=43 w=320 h=240 float=left] There are a ton of camping spots all along the road up to the trail head. Some of the land is private property, but the public areas are well marked and they even have pit toilet huts along the way. In the form of wildlife, we saw deer and marmot. We also saw several dams on the creek (obvious signs of beaver), but no beaver. We finally came to where state road 30 aka Alpine Loop aka Cinnamon Pass Trail split off from the American Basin trail.[singlepic id=49 w=320 h=240 float=left] The sign clearly states 4 wheel drive or high clearance vehicle needed. After driving it, 4 wheel drive is nice, but not needed. Clearance is needed due to the rocks and ruts. You can tell right away when you start up Cinnamon pass, the trail starts to get steeper and the trail narrows to a one lane road and only room for passing every so often. The rule is that the down hill vehicle has the right of way, so if you’re going uphill and another vehicle is coming, you have to either pull over as far as possible to allow the other vehicle to pass, or back down to a spot where there is room to pass. I did not relish the thought of backing down on the trail.[singlepic id=48 w=320 h=240 float=right] Andie left her mark on the snowpack and we continued on to the top of the pass. The altitude of the pass is over 12,000 ft. and you can tell by the amount of snow still lingering in July.[singlepic id=51 w=320 h=240 float=right] We started heading down the western side of Cinnamon and Andie wanted to drive, so we switched seats. I was comfortable going up Cinnamon pass, unlike Pike’s Peak yesterday, but wasn’t entirely comfortable with Andie driving. She IS a great driver and did a great job, but the pucker factor was still there. I know my jeep and how the gearing works and feels, but she doesn’t.[singlepic id=52 w=320 h=240 float=right] The trail comes to a junction with Engineer pass trail and the ghost town of Animas Forks.[singlepic id=47 w=320 h=240 float=left] From there, we turned towards Silverton, passing through the old Eureka mining site. In Silverton, we stopped at Grumpy’s saloon to eat lunch. From there, it was on to Ouray via the “Million dollar highway” or 550.[singlepic id=45 w=320 h=240 float=left] Be sure and check out the rest of the pictures on the Photos Page. I will be able to post more when we get home, so take another look next week.