Alpine Tunnel Trail


Length of Hike: 6.3 miles RT

Difficulty: Moderate

This trail has it all: a historic ghost town, railroad history, primitive high alpine singletrack and a fantastic descent. The trail is a 6.3 mile out and back hike on an old railroad bed that was once the highest railroad tunnel in the world (11,523 ft.) and the first to be built through the Continental Divide. The Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad began connecting St. Elmo to Pitkin, CO in November 1879. The railroad was plagued with many accidents during its 30 year life. The last train to come through this tunnel was in November 1910.

Along a trail that has a gentle grade, gorgeous scenery awaits all ability levels. This hike is suitable even for children as it follows the railroad bed. If you’re looking for turn of the century railroads, mining history, and ghost towns, you will not be disappointed!

Directions to Alpine Tunnel:

This trail is 11.5 miles west of Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort on CR 162. Turn left on US Forest Service Road 295 to find the trailhead.

10 Hiking Essentials

  1. Water (1.5 Liters per person per 5-6 hours)
  2. Snacks (Beef Jerky, nuts, power bar)
  3. Navigation (map and compass and/or GPS)
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Extra clothing (hat, socks, gloves)
  6. First aid supplies
  7. Light (headlamp or flashlight)
  8. Fire starter and matches/lighter
  9. CD Rom or mirror, whistle, mosquito repellant
  10. Emergency shelter (Biffy Bag)



*****Please Remember*****

You are starting your adventure at roughly 8,000ft.

You are likely going to an even higher altitude – hydration is key.

Water, Water, Water!

This activity is an extreme test of a person’s physical and mental limits and carries with it the potential for property loss, serious injury, and even death.  The risks include, but not limited to:  actions of other people, lack of hydration, weather, and/or other natural conditions.  Princeton Holdings, LLC DBA Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is not liable for any injury, property loss, damage, death, etc. occurring due to any activity outlined by any information sheet provided by the property.  Guests are participating in these activities on their own merit and assume all liability, with no liability to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort or its agents.


Surrounding Towns

Buena Vista, Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado is just 9 miles from Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. This unique mountain town is located on the Arkansas River. There are many shopping opportunities along with restaurants, a brewery and a distillery. LEARN MORE

Salida, Colorado

Salida, Colorado is 21 miles from the resort. This is Colorado’s largest National Historic District. Dine on the banks of the Arkansas River and explore the many art galleries in this historic downtown. This area was named Colorado’s first Creative Arts District. LEARN MORE


Call: 719-395-2447