Scenic Tours

What to Bring

Around every curve on our mountain roads, you can see white-capped peaks, lush valleys, and lots of wildlife! But if you're too busy driving and trying to get around our rugged and steep mountain roads, you might not see much of this!

For these reasons as well as our incredible knowledge about our area’s flora, fauna, history, and roads, take a trip in our comfortable 4x4 vehicles and tour with us! We take you to the tops of the peaks and down to the town, with everything in between. You can visit ghost towns and alpine meadows, meandering streams and beaver meadows ... all without having to sweat the drive over the steep and rugged terrain. Descriptions of each of our scenic tours are listed below. Half-day, full-day, and multi-day trips are available. We can also personalize trips. Large group rates vary, so contact us for more information on discounts.

Alpine Loop 4WD Scenic Tour

The Alpine Loop is a National Historic Byway that traverses Cinnamon and Engineer Passes, both reaching over 12,000 feet. At its peak, the road takes you to a breathtaking 12,980 feet, covering twisty, narrow, and steep roadway. The "Loop," as it's called, is the country's highest 4-wheel drive road and is a beautiful way to see the Rockies at their fullest without having to hike. During this tour, your guide will point out natural, geological, and historical highpoints. If you want to stop and take photos, wander through ghost towns, or just enjoy the beauty, just let your guide know. Otherwise, your guide will offer suggestions for activities and photographic opportunities.

This tour is a full-day tour that generally begins at 8 am and ends between 4 and 5 pm. We’re flexible, so if you can’t start til late or want to change the times at all, just let us know! This tour also includes lunch and beverages.

The Alpine Loop tour is our most popular tour, so we suggest reservations, especially during our busy summer season (June through August). September means the leaves turn to brilliant gold, and we can book up quite quickly then as well.

Big Blue 4WD Scenic Tour

Big Blue is a gorgeous alpine valley in the eastern section of the Uncompahgre Wilderness with Big Blue Creek and two other feeder streams, Soldier Creek and Fall Creek, running through it. This gorgeous mountain paradise is a place that we recommend everyone see. It contains groves of aspens and spruce and fir forests, and the creeks are some of the prettiest in the west.

To reach Big Blue, your guide will take you north of Lake City and then exit onto a one lane road that will twist its way up about 11 miles before you head down into Big Blue valley. Be sure to keep your eyes open for wildlife because this tour is almost always good for deer viewing. Along the way, you'll see some of the most stunning aspen groves around, so keep your camera handy.

The Big Blue tour is a full-day tour that generally begins at 8 am and ends between 4 and 5 pm. We’re flexible, so if you can’t start until late or want to change the times at all, just let us know! The tour also includes lunch and beverages.

Because our summers can be quite busy, we suggest reservations. However, walkins are always welcome.

Wager Gulch 4WD Scenic Tour

Wager Gulgh is a half-day tour that initially takes you on the Alpine Loop road, but then takes a smaller, more rugged road that terminates at Carson Ghost Town. Most consider Carson, at 11,600 ft, to be the best preserved ghost town in the San Juans. It was established in 1881 as a mining town but was abandoned in 1902. The town is privately owned, but visitors can stroll around as long as care is taken.

Spend the morning or afternoon enjoying the mountain views and learning about this wonderful ghost town. Your guide will offer opportunity for photography and point out the highlights. The Wager Gulch tour is a half-day tour generally starting at 8 am and ending around 12:30 pm. If you want, afternoon trips are also available. We’re very happy to change the start and end times: Just let us know!

The tour also includes beverages. You can add lunches for $9 per lunch.

American Basin 4WD Scenic Tour

This tour takes you to American Basin, one of the most photographed areas in the Colorado Rockies. It's famous for flowers… millions upon millions of flowers that are normally in full bloom from mid July to mid August. Your guide takes you to American Basin using part of the Alpine Loop road. After a little over 16 miles, you veer left onto a fairly rough road to American Basin, and then a 4-wheel drive road to the trailhead for Handies Peak. Handies is one of the 14ers that encircle the Lake City area.

The American Basin tour is a great way to spend your morning, and we suggest extending the trip to include a picnic lunch. You start your tour at 8 am and return by 12:30 pm. If you want, afternoon trips are also available. We’re very happy to change the start and end times: Just let us know!

This tour also includes beverages. You can add lunches for $9 per lunch.

Cebolla Loop Tour

Cebolla (suh Voy yah) means onion in Spanish, but it's really a beautiful mountain stream that meanders from the Slumgullion pass area all the way to Blue Mesa reservoir. This half-day tour takes you along the upper-half of the stream, where you pass beautiful valleys as well as gorgeous canyons. Your guide takes you through two wilderness area, Powderhorn and LaGarita, the Cathedral Valley, and the Mason State Wildlife Area on a relatively easy going road. This tour enables you to view lush valleys, beaver ponds, streams and wildlife. And keep your eyes out for moose! They often enjoy the lush greens that run the bottoms of the streams and ponds.

The Cebolla Loop tour is a half-day tour generally starting at 8 am and ending around 12:30 pm. If you want, afternoon trips are also available. We’re happy to accommodate your start and end times, so just let us know your needs.

This tour includes beverages. Lunches are also available for $9 per lunch. (The Cebolla loop offers many choices for beautiful picnics.)

2-Day 4WD Tour Package

The Lake City area is considered the most roadless in the lower 48 (as per the USGS). With all of these wilds, it’s no surprise that many are befuddled over where to go in exploring our huge expanse of wilderness. If you’re interested in seeing more than just the highway view, we offer 2 days worth of scenic touring designed just for you!

By booking these days, you can save 20% off of the normal tour price! As with all tours, you’ll be with one of our area experts who can help you appreciate all that you see and do on your tour. They are friendly, enthusiastic, super knowledgeable, and can offer great advice for the rest of your trip as well. This package includes:

  • 2 days of scenic 4WD touring, each day in different areas
  • Natural history guidance and instruction
  • Beverages and lunches

This package saves you 20% off of the regular tour fees!

Total Exposure

If you want to experience all that Lake City and The Sportsman has to offer, this package is for you. We get you into fly fishing; out on the trail; and touring the highest 4-wheel drive road in the lower 48...all with one low price! You even have a "free" day to select the activity of your choice. Your instructor's focus will be to get you "out there" and enjoying mountain adventures. Your package includes:

  • 1 day of guided fly fishing (normally $275)
  • 1 day of guided hiking (normally $130)
  • 1 day of scenic touring (in our safe 4x4 vehicles) (normally $140)
  • 1 day of your choice of: fly fishing, hiking, or touring (normally $275)
  • All fly fishing gear, unless you bring your own Hiking necessities carried by your guide    (You just bring your personal products!)
  • Daily lunches 
  • Beverages and snacks to get you through each day
  • Transportation to and from the streams and trails
  • Guidance and instruction for each activity


Per Adult: $660  (Save 20% off regular price!) 
Per Child: $530 (Save 25% off regular price!)