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Hancock Pass, Alpine Tunnel

No Reviews
Location Buena Vista, CO
Rating Moderate,
Length 11.6mi
Time 4hrs

Vehicle Types


Follow railroad grade over high pass to Alpine Tunnel.

Pass through historic site of Hancock on way to 12,140-ft. Hancock Pass. See restored train depot at Alpine Tunnel. Enjoy more difficult side trip to Hancock Lake. Combine this trip with Tomichi Pass, Trail #40. No unlicensed vehicles allowed on C.R. 162 east of parking lot at Waypoint 01.


Trail Ratings Defined

Very rocky and slow going, but okay for aggressive stock SUVs. Skid plates are helpful. The drive should not be attempted if snow is on the trail. F.S. 839 to Alpine Tunnel is a high shelf road, but easy.




Add 3mi for side trip to Hancock Lake



High Point


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Current Conditions

719-539-3519Gunnison and San Isabel National Forest

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Trail Updates

Submitted by Denny
The trail is rough and very rocky. Looking at the terrain on both sides of the road one has to wonder where they all the rocks came from. Slow go even in an RZR. But fun and still beautiful. Those wishing to see the Alpine Tunnel will have to hoof it from the cutoff. Several years ago an avalanche took a piece of the road off at the Palisades. Local railroad fans are trying to put something together to get it fixed but the cost is up there and that part of the road didn’t have much room to give to start with.

Submitted by John
This entire trail is now very rough and rocky with many large exposed steps and boulders. It is not passable in a stock SUV without damage and likely not at all. On August 2019 I traveled this trail in a Jeep TJ on 35″ tires without need of lockers but I would not do it again. It is not a moderate trail with a few obstacles, it is a miles-long rock garden. I saw only ATV and UTV traffic. Only the larger, long-arm suspension UTVs appeared to be enjoying the trail.

Submitted by Paul
From the alpine tunnel trailhead, I got 1.5 miles up. Scouted ahead and found trail blocked by snow. Turned around while I still could. A lot of water running down the trail.

Submitted by Charles Wells
A section of the Palisades has collapsed pending repairs by the Forest Service. FSR 839 is closed just north of Waypoint 06. Until this is repaired, you can not get to the Alpine Tunnel or Williams Pass Trail. See road damage HERE.


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