It’s late fall / early winter and we can still make it up through the passes – that’s well above 12,000 ft. Not your typical fall / winter in Colorado. A few friends and I got together and set out to do these 2 passes and see the ghost towns and Alpine tunnel.
Started out early (0530 hrs) and hit the road to the Trail Head near St Elmo, CO. After 2 hrs we unloaded the 2 ATVs so they could join the Land Rover and Jeep.
Great adventure weather was windy but sunny, and everyone was ready for a great day. The Rover lead the way to the top of Hancock Pass at 12,156 ft.
We took the opportunity to enjoy the local sites – abandoned mines, the Front Range, etc. Here is a small sample of what we got to see:
Some have said that Allie Belle is one of the most scenic abandoned mines, not certain about that as we have seem some spectacular ones, but it was very nice. I know that I am in awe every time I get out and see these feats… considering some sites are late 1800’s.
From here we continued over the pass to the Alpine Tunnel Rd, and we were disappointed to find the road closed 😦
As you can see, no way of getting the Rover around this unstable section. Last thing we’d want is to slide off the mountain 😉 so we did’t get to see the Alpine Tunnel. We took the opportunity to hit one more Pass… Tomichi Pass, 12,020 ft.
The drive up this pass is not too bad, however there was some snow and the road is very narrow (to say the least) while off cant too. Fun drive for sure. The summit was fantastic, and if you ever get the change GO! The views are worth it… as well there are 2 or 3 more abandoned mines to see on the other side of Tomichi.
Here we are at the summit. The weather at this point started to turn bad, as we watched the clouds roll in, we continued to the base on the other side and had lunch.
We enjoyed a nice feast of brats, and drinks… then did the return trip up and over the 2 passes and home. The total time was 12 hrs, but what a fantastic outing.
In the end all of us were safe, fed and got to experience some of Colorado’s wonders! I recommend that if you have a chance to do Hancock and / or Tomichi… DO IT! The only regret is we didn’t get up to Alpine Tunnel. Next time, we’ll do just Hancock and hike up to Alpine Tunnel 😀 – Another day.