|Silverton Pamorama from the Kendall Mtn Road|
This short trip can be done by any 4x4 vehicle *car, truck, UTV or ATV" and will give you a good mix of the scenery, elevation and the more mild road conditions in the Alpine Loop area.
|Full route map from an back to Silverton, Co.|
|Detailed loop map|
From Silverton, take County Highway 2 north. You will pass the old Mayflower Mill which is open for tours on an irregular basis and also the road to the Old 100 Gold Mine which has regular tours well worth your time.
Mayflower Gold Mill
Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour
You will pass the very small town of Howardsville and the Gold Mill in that locale which may soon be back in operation. Farther up north past Middelton is the old townsite of Eureka, Co. This was the next biggest town in San Juan County for many years of it's heyday. Very little is left of the old towns or the one huge, Sunnyside mill. The locales are now a popular, dry camping areas.
Eureka, CO @ Ghosttowns.com
|Campers at Middleton|
|The Eureka Townsite from the north|
|A great summer house?|
Animas Forks is one of the best preserved, old mining camps and ghost towns on the planet. There is ample parking and some interpretive info at the site. There is much data on the Internet about this attraction as follows:
Animas Forks - Wikipedia
Animas Forks @ Mountains Rule Blog
We proceeded up County Road 9 to California and Placier Gulch and then into Picayune Gulch. Along the way are more very well preserved old mining structures and mills. Soon you will be way above the timberline!
California Gulch @ TrailDamage.com
Picayune Gulch @ TralDamage.com
|An easy climb up to California Pass|
|Sound Democrat Mill in Placier Gulch|
More on the: Pacier Gulch & Sound Democrat Mill
Leaving Placier Gulch, you will traverse a few easy switchbacks. Only one required a 2 point turn in my Big Dodge Pickup. From there the road is easy passing a remote cabin before it takes a fairly steep descent back to County Road 2.
|Plenty of snow in the last week of June.|
|An old Skidoo abandoned along the road|
|Steep descent! Normally the uphill vehicles have the |
right of way. In this case there was no valid place
for me to backup to so the UTV's made the yield.