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Hancock Pass and Alpine Tunnel OHV Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(14)
Monarch, Colorado

Hancock Pass and Alpine Tunnel OHV Trail is a 14.2 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Monarch, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for camping and off road driving and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 14.2 mi Elevation gain 3,143 ft Route type Point to Point

Dog friendly

Camping

Ohv / off road driving

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Description
Waypoints (12)
Contact
Tips

Fun, challenging SUV trip with lots of history Pass through historic site of Hancock on way to 12,140-ft. Hancock Pass. See restored train depot at Alpine Tunnel. Take short side trip to near ghost town of St. Elmo. Enjoy more difficult side trip to Hancock Lake. Unlicensed vehicles allowed after parking area on County Road 295. Located in Gunnison and San Isabel National Forest. For current conditions call Salida Ranger District (719) 539-3591. 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. This is a popular off-roading area. If this route were hiked, it would likely receive a Hard rating.

Located in Gunnison and San Isabel National Forest. For current conditions call Salida Ranger District (719) 539-3591.

Snow can linger at pass well into July. High alpine environment; carry adequate supplies and warm clothing even on a hot day. Weather can change quickly. Trail conditions can change without notice.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (14)
Photos (111)
Recordings (5)
Completed (27)
K B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeRocky

Just ran the pass. Wide open. Only a few side-by-side vehicles- no other cars/jeeps. Was muddy, wet, and slippery- so needed some 4 low. Otherwise easy. Extremely bumpy and rocky around tree line - will beat you up a little and slow going. Took 2.5 hours to get over to Piktin. Then 1 hour to over Cumberland to Tin Cup. Then 2 hours over Tin Cup to St. Elmo. Full circle - about 5 hours.

dogman1911 User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2020
OHV/Off Road DrivingRocky

For anyone considering this in a full-size truck, it is do-able, but make sure your truck is capable. I went over the pass from the St. Elmo side in a Ram Power Wagon with 37” tires and 1-1/2” front spring lift (Thuren). I do have additional skid plates underneath but stock suspension besides the above. I took my time, picked smart lines and had no issues. The long rock field coming up from the east side near the top was probably the most challenging part but even at its gnarliest, I never scraped bottom. The view at the top of the pass was well worth it.

Caleb Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 2, 2020
OHV/Off Road DrivingRocky

Alpine tunnel is the easiest part of the route but has quite a few interesting historical markers. Hancock pass was interesting. I would give this trail 5 stars for the fun rock crawling section of Hancock Pass except that the rock gardens on the Eastern side of the pass really tried my patience and gave me soreness in my neck and back from how rough it was. I think it was around 1-2 miles of straight rock garden.

Crama Koury
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 5, 2020
HikingFloodedSnow

We LOVED this area! We were able to drive a lot of the way up to the top........ the hiking was not really hard but it was mostly in water with rocks and old railroad ties. The trail river crossing is really sketchy so we hiked down until we found a better crossing....... lots of snow here and there........ absolutely beautiful scenery. We will be going back!

Kyle Kary
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 31, 2019
OHV/Off Road DrivingRocky

I tried Hancock Pass in my nearly stock 2015 Toyota Tacoma and boy was it challenging. The trail is incredibly rocky and a bit steep at points, and I ended up beating the crud out of myself and my truck. I didn't make it the whole way and turned back just a short distance above the treeline. The only other people I saw were all in lifted jeeps or side-by-sides, so I probably wouldn't recommend it in a stock vehicle.

Stephen Duskin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2019
OHV/Off Road DrivingClosedSnow
View Stephen's Recording
Tanya Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2018
OHV/Off Road Driving

Great trail, but lots of traffic. Alpine Tunnel was completely closed so we ended up going over the pass and landing in Pitkin. Great camping down Marble Quartz just before you get to Pitkin.

Heidi Clanton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2018

We rode on ATV. It was great!

Zarina Naz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2017

Loved atving through here. Beautiful, and the history is fascinating. Definable want to do it again.

Robert Knowlton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2016
OHV/Off Road Driving

Hancock Pass is a beautiful route with lots of historical sights along the way. The road seems much rockier and more rutted than I remember from my trip 12 years ago. Airing down tires helped tremendously. Proceeding up to the pass from the north is primarily just rocky. The southern side has a couple challenging switchbacks with rock drop-offs that had me teetering on two tires with my stock 4x4 Ranger w/ oversized tires. As of August 28, 2016, the road to the Alpine Tunnel on the south side is closed at the junction with Hancock Pass Road due to an impending rockslide further up the road.

James Hicks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2016
First to Review

Beautiful trail on old railroad bed. Informative markers along the trail. Ties still embedded in trail are hard on the soles of your feet.

Brian Cross
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving
JB Bridwell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 14, 2018
Hiking
View JB's Recording
Annalee H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 13, 2017
Hiking