Tunnel Lake Hike Directions (text and photos by Glen Kirkendall)

  • Travel to the Alpine Tunnel and park your vehicle.

  • Go to the Depot.  Elevation: +/- 11,365'

  • Walk .2 miles above the depot and look for a narrow trail on the right side of the railroad grade.  The Altman Pass trail is directly across the grade from the old stone Alpine Tunnel memorial that has been damaged.

  • Follow the Altman Pass trail to the saddle at the top.  Elevation: +/-12,000' Continue hiking the trail until you find a sign that lists the "Continental Divide Trail."

  • Follow the trail up and over the ridge to the left of the sign. You will see a lovely open valley.

  • Continue on the distinct trail until you see a rock cairn on the left side of the trail. You will see the Tunnel Lake to the right.  It will be evident. Hike toward it and find the trail that will take you to the lake. Elevation +/-11,960'. There are nice picnic areas with trees at the bottom of the lake.

  • Return to the Alpine Tunnel via the same trail you followed to the lake.

The round trip is four miles.  Allow plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings.  It was mighty chilly up there but it was beautiful.  Seeing the ptarmigan was a bonus! They are beautiful creatures in their winter plumage.

Photos (click on any photo for larger view)
ptarmigan
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