|Typically Open:||05/15 - 10/31|
|Highest Elevation:||11064 feet|
|Duration:||About 30 minutes|
|Shape of Trail:||Connector|
|Best Direction to Travel:||N/A|
|Nearest Town:||Buena Vista|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Buena Vista|
|Official Road Name:||FS 295|
|Management Agency:||San Isabel National Forest|
|District:||Salida Ranger District|
Situated near the famous ghost town of St. Elmo and within the San Isabel National Forest, this trail will lead you through an area with some of the most historic and beautiful country that Colorful Colorado has to offer. If turn of the century railroads, mining history, and ghost towns are what you are looking for, you will not be disappointed. You will travel through the ghost town of Romley which existed as a service town for the Mary Murphy Mine. Romley was also known as the "red town" because all it's buildings were painted red with white trim. It was originally called Murphy's Switch because of the presence of it's railroad siding. With an even more scenic setting, you come to the ghost town of Hancock, with only its log foundations still showing. Hancock served the workers who built the famous Alpine Tunnel. Its main population peak was in the 1880's and 1890's while the tunnel was being built. The train ran through Hancock carrying miners, passengers and supplies. It is said Mark Twain took the ride one time just for the experience.
Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 5" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 5" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 6" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep, but with good traction.Read more about our rating system
As you approach St. Elmo you will pass a National Forest restroom and parking lot on your left. The road will split shortly after where you will turn left and take the upper road. If you have made it into St. Elmo you have gone to far.
Continue straight here as the Grizzly Lake Trail departs to the left.
Continue straight here. There is a small parking area on the left and the start of the Iron Chest Mine Trail.
The trail takes a bypass downhill to the right to avoid going over the remains of an old rail trestle. There are several opportunities for picture of the trestle in this area.
Continue straight on the main road as the Pomeroy Lakes Trail begins on the left. This area was also once the site of the town of Romley
Continuing on the main road. The Allie Bell Mining structure stood straight until somewhere in the mid-50s. It started collapsing into a strange pose and looks as if it's overhanging the road. The structure should only be visited from the outside of the building.
Hancock, now a ghost town, originally served the workers who built the famous Alpine Tunnel. Its main population peak was in the 1880's and 1890's while the tunnel was being built. Mining was secondary in Hancock. There is only one remaining structure left, which you can walk up to and see its log foundations.
The trail ends at a parking area for the hiking trail to Alpine Tunnel East Portal. There is plenty of room for several vehicles in the parking area. The Hancock Lake Trail begins to the left.