Alpine Tunnel Trail - Snowy Hike on Railroad Grade
Photos and Video of our Snowy Adventure in the Mountains (Near St. Elmo & Hancock, CO) - June 2, 2009
June 2, 2009 - The Alpine Tunnel Trail begins at the
Hancock Ghost Town (five miles south of St. Elmo)
and consists of the old railroad bed
that once served trains traveling through the mountains of central Colorado. At the
a three-mile walk on this trail,
a tunnel was built through a mountain for easy traveling of trains - known as the Alpine Tunnel.
On today's hike, way too much snow remained on the trail. Derrick and I were approximately 1.5 miles
into the hike when sleet and snow flurries came down on us, and that is when we
decided to turn back. When I return and reach the Alpine Tunnel from the
east side of the divide, I will surely update this page. In the meantime, enjoy the snowy photos below.
My visit of the Alpine Tunnel from the west side of the divide in Gunnison County can be seen here:
How To Get There: From Nathrop,
travel west on Chaffee County Road 162
as if you were traveling
to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs,
Agnes Vaille Falls and
St. Elmo. Just before reaching St. Elmo, a dirt road is on the left
(C.R. 295 - not sure if it's marked) with signage to Romley and Hancock. We took that road approximately five miles
to Hancock where the trail begins.
Although many portions of the road are generally okay for any car, a
high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle
is required to make it to Hancock. A portion of
road in Romley is very bumpy with a few large rocks sticking up from the road.
All the best,
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||At the trailhead.
||The beginning of the trail.
||Williams Pass is a nearby 4-wheel drive road that is open during the month
of August for 4-wheeling. Looks very interesting!
This road is a short distance along the Alpine Tunnel Trail.
||The railroad grade has a right turn that's known as Sawmill Curve. Information is
posted about the danger of trains derailing in this spot in the old days.
||Looking back at the trail with mountains in the background. Don't bank on this with 100% certainty, but I'm fairly sure
Pomeroy Mountain (alt. 13,139 feet) is the tallest peak on the right.
||As we continued, the trail became very snowy. It reminded me of the
Waterdog Lake Trail last week!
My other railroad pages:
Midland Railroad Bed (Manitou Springs)
Colorado Railroad Museum
||Along the trail is another spot with information about how
hard of a job it was to keep the railroad tracks clear of snow during winter. In this photo,
a train with some kind of specialized snow removal apparatus was photographed.
||More snow! Oh and yes folks, the date of today's hike was June 2, 2009.
Some of my other snow pages of late:
Snow Photos (4/17/09)
YOUTUBE VIDEO: Snow in Buena Vista, CO (2/11/09)
Snow and Mt. Princeton (12/19/08)
Snow Photos (10/22/08)
Snow Photos (9/12/08)
Snow Photos (5/13/08)
|We realized we should have brought along snowshoes and gaiters.
Then, once it began sleeting fairly hard, our decision was finalized. We turned around.
No worries ... we'll be back.
LEFT: The mountains and the Continental Divide we were walking toward. You can see the railroad grade on the left.
RIGHT: Pretty mountain view facing north. In the far ridge above timberline, the
summit of the Poplar Gulch Trail can be seen.
My other pages from this region:
Mary Murphy Mine
Hancock Ghost Town
Bike: St. Elmo to Hancock
Alpine Tunnel (West of Continental Divide)
St. Elmo Ghost Town
Emma Burr Mountain
||I was so happy to be in the snow! :)
||Before we drove away, Derrick and I made a snowman. :)