Have you ever noticed how driving around helps you relieve stress and get your mind off of things? Sometimes all it takes is to grab those keys, start that engine, and accelerate to the unknown. The toxicity in life can get the best of you, and your mind and body’s initial response is to get away from it all – well, at least temporarily.
The Alpine Loop offers more than just fresh mountain air. Imagine a drive-by along this 65-mile stretch along its tundra and vast mountain range surrounded by trees and breathtaking views. So, get your bags packed and your 4×4 ready because this will be a 4-7 hour drive just for the loop alone. And if you’re coming in from outside Colorado, check those powder coating on your wheels and bumpers if you are coming in from Utah.
The Scenic Route
The Alpine Loop view is spectacular in the autumn season. Mountains are shining in red and yellow with cloud shadows crawling over the treeless tundra. People love the crisp mountain air that has a hint of musk and woody accents. Roll down your windows after passing the landmarks as you drive along. Take in as much of that fresh air that is such a treat nowadays, far from that polluted city air. The entire drive will have two known Alpine passes that would give you a good vantage point of the nation’s prominent peaks like the Handies and Redcloud peaks.
Consider camping if you have more time to spend. The view and ambience differ from day and night. You can choose to stay at available camping grounds or experience local inns and fall in love with local townsfolk.
People enjoy the outdoor activities available along the loop. If you are ready to break some sweat, you can try the biking trails open or take a hike at Uncompahgre National Forest. Driving along is one thing, but if you want to get closer to nature, try these activities and get closer to glistening lakes and whispering trees.
Apart from driving, nature appreciation also relieves stress. If you plan on adding outdoor recreation in your itinerary, make special preparations accordingly.
The Alpine Loop byway goes through three old mining towns of Ouray, Silvertown, and Lake City. These towns offer historic spots, especially old abandoned mining places. Find the time to explore urban legends and stop by ghost towns that used to be a mining village.
You’d find that everyday living in these towns are slow paced and far from that busy city life. When you see towering trees instead of high-rise buildings, you’d feel more relaxed and less intense. During those occasional stops for directions and supplies, take the time to start a conversation with the townsfolk and build rapport. They know about every ghost stories and places to visit, just like the next local tour guide available.
A few hours’ drive may be enough to alleviate stress and clear your mind, and it would be enough to fall in love with the experience of driving along the Alpine Loop. However, it would take more than a few hours to experience everything it has to offer totally. Most people come back to visit those places they missed, or experience the same things they loved about it again.