Alpine Tunnel West

4.3/5 (9 reviews)
Pitkin, Colorado (Gunnison County)
Last Updated: 06/18/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

The main trail of The Alpine Tunnel Historic District. This trail is for anyone interested in ghost towns, mining history, and of course, railroad history. The Alpine Tunnel was the first railroad bore ever drilled in the United States, the first ever to carry tracks under the Continental Divide and, in 1882, the highest point ever reached by a railroad at 11,251' above sea level. Anticipating that the mineral rich area would be the next big mining "bonanza,” as many as 10,000 different men worked to build the line and the tunnel at various times. Laborers, working for $3.50 per day, and explosives men, who worked for $5.00 per day, were often forced to go from their worksite to their cabins in groups in order to avoid being lost in the snow. The only complete structure remaining is the Telegraph Office, which was built in 1890. The railway through the tunnel operated from 1882 to 1910 and cost $300,000 to build. The Alpine Tunnel Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 1996.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.3/5 (9 reviews)
Marcus Trusty
Official Crew
27350
Status: Temporary Closure
Visited: 06/18/2022

Closed due to rock scaling.
Trail Review: Alpine Tunnel West - Marcus Trusty
Trail Review: Alpine Tunnel West - Marcus Trusty
Todd
Official Crew
83950
Status: Open
Visited: 07/16/2021

Open.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 07/03/2021

I think this took me just around an hour to drive and there was a ton of SxS, ATV, and dirt bike traffic. Cool valley below you but didn’t see any wildlife in it unfortunately.
Marcus Trusty
Official Crew
27350
Status: Partially Open
Visited: 05/18/2020

The trail is open to Waypoint 2.
Marcus Trusty
Official Crew
27350
Status: Impassable
Visited: 11/01/2018

Snow has fallen closing the upper portion of this trail for the winter.

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