CDT: Alpine Tunnel

4.75 out of 5
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↑ 17,800 ft
↓ 18,100 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
This ride starts in the ghost town of St. Elmo.From here ride east on the you drove in on .Turn right on Hancock Road FSR 295.You are now on the historic Denver,South Park and Pacific railroad grade. After about six miles you enter the old townsite of Hancock. Cross the bridge look for Alpine Tunnel trail sign.On the lower part of the trail there are still alot of railroad ties left. It's amazing since the railroad has,t operated since 1910. The trail continues to the east portal. Just before the tunnel turn left on Continental Divide Trail. The next five miles is singletrack almost entirely above timberline. Climb a steeply for about 1/2 mile.When you come to a trail junction at top of ridge follow CDT to the right. Climb some more. From here you can see Tunnel Lake. The singletrack is difficult and rated expert. There are streem crossings and beautiful alpine meadows for several miles.One more climb, then a screaming downhil until you reach FSR267.1 Turn right down a rocky old minning road to St. Elmo.
added by lostcauseDoubletrack
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Heritage Park
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (10 total check-ins)
  Greg Heil   on Sep 11, 2019
  ACree   on Aug 9, 2018
  Chris Shannon   on Jun 17, 2018
  mlspottery   on Sep 2, 2017
  Ben Neumann   on Aug 13, 2017
Photo & Video Gallery (42)
Trail Photos & Videos (42)
Reviews (4)


September 4, 2017
John Fisch Epic  
Review: Great loop! The five mile dirt road warmup is perfectly scenic. The next doubletrack stretch is also scenic and adds a few rocks for fun. Then, once at the tunnel, the genuine singletrack that ascends to the top of the ridge, is vicious, but very well worth it. There is some very cool above treeline touring. Then the singletrack plummet into the lush, wooded hillside is a blast! Then its a few miles of alternating smooth and rocky road back into St Elmo Ghost town. 18 miles with almost 2,500 feet of climbing, but it feels like more due to the altitude (goes over 12K ft).

Bunny Hop

January 15, 2015
tomcat32 Bunny Hop  
Review: This was the first alpine ride I did when I moved to Colorado. The route starts out easy up the dirt road to Hancock (Watch for Jeeps and ATVs on weekends). The trail begins to climb toward Alpine Tunnel but is still moderate at best. From the Tunnel the trail gets steep rising to the Continental Divide Trail. The trail is primitive on the CDT with a barely visible ribbon of trail at places. Don't expect fast time on the CDT or a well worn tread much of the way above treeline. Don't worry about going slow though because the views are awesome and you'll enjoy the slower pace so you can look at the 360 views of alpine vistas. The trail drops on nice treaded singletrack on switchbacks back down to Tincup Road and a fast downhill road to St. Elmo. The ride isn't overly technical but the elevation notches the ride in difficulty. The intitial climb to above the Alpine Tunnel is probably going to be a hike a bike for a few minutes. Theres a good chance you'll be alone above Alpine Tunnel as well. Lots of neat mining era relics along the way and St Elmo is interesting ghost town. this link will show you pictures and give a thorough write up

Similar Trail: Canyon Creek

World Champ

July 23, 2014
Greg Heil World Champ  
Review: This section of singletrack along the Continental Divide may be one of the most epic backcountry-style high alpine rides I've ever done! The views are to die for, the singletrack is sweet, and the history along the Alpine Tunnel section is very interesting. Topping out at 12,300 feet, this ride isn't for the faint of heart... or the faint of lungs!


September 16, 2013
ACree Gnarly  
Review: One of my favorite rides in CO. Not a lot of singletrack for the mileage, but lots of history and great views. Rated at 4 due the narrow and primitive singletrack. The trail is very faint in places, however it's not overly technical at all.

For another variation with a bit more history, take a left on Williams Pass, cross the continental divide, then climb up to the Alpine Tunnel from the West.

CDT: Alpine Tunnel MTB Trail 4.75 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 4 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed
Feature Article
Mountain Bike Destination: Salida, Colorado
10 Best Mountain Bike Trails in the San Isabel National Forest
Ride Report: Above Treeline on the Alpine Tunnel Trail, St. Elmo, Colorado