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Monday, August 17, 2015

Northrop, Colorado - Alpine Tunnel Hike - East Portal

The Alpine Tunnel trail begins in the old mining town of Hancock.  From Buena Vista, go south on 285.  Turn right on CR 162 towards St Elmo.  Continue 15 miles to CR 295 ( see previous blog post for this road) .  Drive  about 5 miles to the old mining townsite of Hancock.  Trail begins across bridge.

The trail is fairly easy.  It is close to six miles round trip with a gradual incline.  Beginning elevation is 11,070 feet; ending elevation is 11,614.  The trail follows the old Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad.

 a lot of the old railroad ties remain

the views are spectacular

there were several little spring crossings

The wildflowers were amazing; we will do a separate blog on them for all of you who like flowers

What can we say, we were simply surrounded by beauty in every direction we looked.

Click to enlarge and see the trails we did not take over the Continental Divide.
The Alpine Tunnel to Gunnison, Co. that we were going to see.

Following the old railroad line that was abandoned in 1910
A pika. They are found in Asia and North America. They have no tail.
Storm cloud coming over the divide. Thundering. Time to leave.
Rock slide
Where the tunnel entrance was
Straight up on one side. Straight down on the other.

a great hike...on the way down, we had sleet and hail.

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