Cinnamon Pass

4.6/5 (60 reviews)
Lake City, Colorado (Hinsdale County)
Last Updated: 05/27/2023

Trail Information


Ghost Town
This trail, just outside of Lake City, CO, is an over 25.5 mile-long trail that when connected with Engineer Pass - Alpine Loop Connector and Engineer Pass makes up the famous Alpine Loop. The two connected is a nearly 60 mile long trail that can make for a sunup to sun down day on the trails in the area. If you are running the Alpine Loop, then you will get onto the Engineer Pass part via the Engineer Pass - Alpine Loop Connector. You can also just connect to Silverton by taking this trail straight through and past the ghost town of Animas Forks. Along the way, you’ll run into ghost towns, mines and scenic overlooks that can make for some spectacular memories and images. Some of these ruins are over 100 years old and in amazing shape for their age. Tread lightly around these treasures. The overlooks are plentiful and while we’ve noted some of them here, you may find yourself stopping often to take pictures. These trails are what is left over of the road system needed for mining in the 1800’s during the gold and silver boom in the San Juan Mountains. The Bureau of Land Management now manages this trail from start to finish and maintains the surface and historical markers that you will see along the way. This trail is relatively easy and for everyone from the beginner to the experienced off-roader. It offers something for everyone along this route. The road is not a very rough surface in most places but it is a true off-road trail and will test your fortitude with shelf roads and some of the inclines. For Jeep owners, there’s a special note here. Jeep has designated some trails as Badge of Honor trails and this is one of the few in Colorado. Its fame means that Jeep will recognize if you ran it and provide you with a badge to put on your rig showing you completed the trail.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

This trail is a 25.5-mile straight connection from Lake City to the ghost town ofAnimas Forks. It’s also one of the starting points for the Alpine Loop. This trail is great for nearly as any high clearance vehicle can make this trail in good conditions. Other than some shelf areas, this trail is relatively easy throughout with no major obstacles to note. You’ll encounter a few rocks in the dirt and the occasional stream crossing as well. This trail travels well above the timberline and much if it is fragile alpine tundra. It’s extremely important that travelers follow the trail and do not deviate from it. The damage one vehicle can do can by going off-trail can take years for the area to recover. Typically, this trail opens in June, however there is no standard date to give out. This trail and area is completely governed by snow and unstable rock in the region. The San Juan Forest Service maintains a list of the trails in the area and what is open to the day. We will update this page as the trail is open or closed seasonally. In summer, it's a good idea to check this page directly for updates that can close the trail in summer for short periods, like rockslides and accidents. Click here for the most up to date information. To run the Alpine Loop in it’s traditional route, start in the town of Lake City. Go south and begin the loop at Cinnamon Pass. When you get to waypoint 20 on Cinnamon Pass, turn right (north) and head uphill towards Engineer Pass. After 2.1 Miles the Engineer Pass - Alpine Loop Connector ends, turn right (east) to pick up Engineer Pass at waypoint 11 back towards Lake City.

Trail Reviews

4.6/5 (60)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/28/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

What a different experience than the typical summertime months we go! Pass opened days before thanks to a lot of hard work plowing these insane drifts!!! Highly recommend but also not for the faint of heart, passing oncoming traffic was more difficult because there isn't much room and the shelf drop off is very close. Ran into few people but those who were out there were courteous and trail etiquette was strong! Started on the Silverton side, made a stop in Animas Forks, super cool seeing it with snow still.
Official Crew
Visited: 05/27/2023

Trail is now open. All the way through.
Official Crew
Partially Open
Visited: 05/24/2023

Open to the top on the Silverton side. Lake City side still closed.
Partially Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/21/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Snow free and open until waypoint 11, about 16 miles in from hwy 149(lake city side, then there’s a closure gate until snow removal operations are complete.)
Official Crew
Visited: 12/01/2022

This trail travels above the timberline and is considered impassable due to snow until spring. See you next season!

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Start Free Trial