Hancock pass. The trail was easy (Honda Civic easy) till we got to the Hancock town site. Before that you go over the washed out section of the trail which is below the old bridge. A lot of dirt and some gigantic culverts were added to help alleviate that happening again. Also before the town site is the Allie Belle mine. It looks like it is about to fall out into the road. Kinda cool. It was at this point that I realized that I had been down this road before in my old F150. I chickened out before. It was a long time ago and I had next to no experience 4-wheeling but having taken the whole trail now, the F150 would have been fine.
Again, back to the report. We took the spur at the town site which takes you to the Hancock Lake which was beautiful. We then headed back to the main trail and up to the pass. There is a nice rocky section on a shelf which is has some fun spots. The top of this shelf was where I had quit with the F150. It was kind of a waste since that was about the hardest part of the trail. We made it up to the top where we met some folks from the springs at the top of the pass. They were nice folk.
We headed down the trail and headed off to the Alpine Tunnel which is an old tunnel which caved in 10 or 15 years ago. The site is pretty cool to look at but the tunnel itself is a bit disappointing. Basically all there is a trail about wide enough for a narrow gauge train to go through up to a dirt pile. There is some heavy equipment working on some digging at the tunnel which lead us to believe that they were opening it up so you could see some of the original tunnel. There was one of those "Obama is giving folks jobs" signs at the site. After talking to the historian at the tunnel, we realized it was just another waste of funds. They are only digging it so you can see the top few rows of the portal into the mountain. I was raised with the idea that if you were going to do something, do it right. This seemed like a waste. The palisade walls on the trail going up and down from the tunnel was very cool.
Directions: Take 285 to Johnson's Village. Make a left at the T and drive for a few miles till you see a sign for St Elmo on the right. Take that road almost all the way to St Elmo. On the left you will see a sign for Hancock Pass.
This is a great trail to run with Cumberland Pass and Tincup Pass to make it a loop back to St Elmo.
Allie Belle Mine
Hancock Lake (optional spur and a very short easy hike)
Some switchbacks headed down.
The palisades in the distance
What the palisades looked like 100 years ago.
Alpine tunnel. Again a short hike to see this stuff: Old station
The tunnel itself, being worked on...