Engineer Pass Road

· Silver Thread

Engineer Pass Road

Aliases: Mount Uncompahgre, Nellie Creek, Alpine Loop

This road connects Lake City with Silverton and forms the northern part of the Alpine Loop. Engineer Pass requires 4WD and high clearance, but accesses some of the most beautiful and extensive tundra habitat in the state. Those without 4WD can hike up the Nellie Creek road (or drive it in a high-clearance vehicle) to the trailhead for Uncompaghre Peak, highest peak in the San Juans at 14,309 feet. The spruce-fir habitat around the trailhead and along the Engineer Pass Road is excellent for the likes of Three-toed Woodpecker and Pine Grosbeak. In the alpine tundra areas, look for Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, American Pipit, and, with luck, White-tailed Ptarmigan. These roads are closed during the colder months.

County: Hinsdale

Habitat: Spruce-Fir Forest, Streamside Willow, Krummholz, Alpine Tundra

Directions: Follow CR 20 (Engineer Pass Road) along Henson Creek west of Lake City to the Ouray County line at Engineer Pass. The Nellie Creek road heads north from the Engineer Pass road about five miles west of Lake City. The base of the Nellie Creek road is accessible in a passenger car; but you'll have to hike Nellie Creek from there.

Delorme: 67 D5
Roads of Colorado: 115 E4

Dates of Access: Summer months
Hours: Any
Ownership: US Forest Service/Private
Admission: Free

Restrictions: Respect private property on the lower portions of the road

Parking: Roadside/trailhead
Lodging: Primitive camping

Handicapped: No
Handicapped Access: None

Latitude: 38.0169447
Longitude: -107.4254243


Drinking FountainNo
Gravel TrailsNo
Paved TrailsNo
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo

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