Hancock Pass / Alpine Tunnel Route Description
From your vehicle, ride back down County Road 162 a short distance, and take a
hard right on Road 295. The road climbs gradually as it follows the old
railroad grade, keep an eye out for the remains of old mining operations, some
of which will be hard to miss...
After about 5.8 miles, you will reach a parking area, and a road junction.
Take Forest Service Road 295.2 toward Hancock Lake & Hancock Pass. Shortly
after you start following 295.2, take a right turn to continue to Hancock
Pass. At this point, the road gets rockier and starts to climb steeply...
As the climb continues, the forest gives way to tundra, and spectacular views
abound as you approach the top of Hancock Pass, after about 8 miles...
After a well deserved rest at the top of the pass, descend steeply for about
a mile into
Brittle Silver Basin, where you'll reach a three way junction - stop and enjoy
Turn right on Forest Service Road 888, and follow it until it joins a
well-maintained dirt road at about 9.7 miles. Follow this road to the right
as it climbs gently toward the Alpine Tunnel. You are now following the
railroad grade again, along the way you'll see signs describing the history
of the railroad, as well as many spectacular mountain vistas...
After about 12 miles, you'll pass by the ruins of several railroad structures
and see the collapsed entrance to the Alpine Tunnel in front of you. A few
buildings remain, including the old station, where at certain times of the
year, a ranger may be on hand to provide some history on the railroad and the
tunnel. Follow a
steep singletrack which takes off on the right side of the tunnel, and climbs
up and over the top.
Follow the trail down the other side where it joins an old road.
Just to the left, you'll be able to see the other collapsed tunnel entrance -
follow the road as it descends to the right. Many old ties remain in
the ground on this section of the railroad grade - This is the section you
brought your dual-suspension bike along for... If you stop to pick up your
teeth or let the blood flow return to your hands, you may catch a nice view
of Tunnel Gulch far below.
Follow the road until you reach the junction with the parking area at about
16 miles. Return the way you came down road 295 to Saint Elmo...
Back To Hancock Pass / Alpine Tunnel