(crossposted from CO4x4.org.)
Liz and I ran the Alpine Loop from Silverton to Lake City and back on Saturday, 7/14. We were staying in Durango and I'd never done any trails in the San Juans, so we loaded up my new-to-me '07 4runner, which is bone stock (even has the running boards still on it) and headed up.
First thing that happened was we stopped in Silverton to look around. There are some interesting vehicles in Sillverton, for sure.
I actually saw this old half-track last time I was in Silverton which was in May of 2002. I guess it's affiliated with the local American legion. The bed is not original (looks like it may be off of a post-WWII M-37) but the half track is otherwise authentic.
Also saw this. You know, not many people ordered the Checker 4 door with the 4 wheel drive option:
And then it was off to run the loop. Unfortunately I misread my Charles Wells book and headed up to Red Mountain Pass. Nice trip - but I found out I should have taken County Road 2, not US 550. DOH!!
So we went BACK to Silverton, and then took the correct road out of town.
Pretty easy drive until we got to the vicinity of Animas Forks (the well-preserved ghost town) and then it got a bit steep and narrow. Still no problem for the 4runner (parked at the top of Cinnamon Pass here):
Liz always likes to have us pose for pictures wherever we go. She likes to shoot and she owns a jeep. Yes, I'm a lucky guy!
The trip down was quite beautiful with intermittent showers and great views to the East.
It was raining by the time we got to Lake City so we stopped long enough for some homemade fudge and then headed back up Engineer Pass.
Passed through Capitol City which is apparently for sale. Nice area...
No photos at the top of Engineer but we put the Go Pro on and got some awesome video! As soon as I can figure out how to edit, I'll post it up on You Tube or Facebook or something.
We ended the day by exploring the ruins of Animas Forks. By the time we left it was raining hard. Yay rain!
All in all a great trip. The 4runner did fine although on some of the bigger rocks I did scrape the underside a bit. Also scraped the running boards. Well, with no lift and factory-size tires (265/70/16, or 30.6" nominal size) I guess I should expect it. Running board removal, bigger tires and possibly a lift are in the 4runners near future...