chaffee county scenic byways
salida and buena vista scenic byways downtown salida colorado
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hancock colorado
Railroad snow removal Hancock Colorado

HANCOCK COLORADO

Directions: Follow same directions to St. Elmo; continue past Romley to Hancock

Hancock was founded to house the workers who built the railroad’s 1771-foot-long Alpine Tunnel, elevation 11,523 feet. Its population peak was in the late 1870's while the tunnel was being built. The community had a population of 200 people, five stores and plenty of saloons. The tunnel was completed in 1881, and the train ran through Hancock carrying miners, passengers and supplies to Gunnison. It is said Mark Twain took the ride one time just for the experience. The tunnel was plagued by problems and finally closed in 1910.  Mining diminished and the trains stopped running in the 1920’s.  Visitors can enjoy a 3-mile hike to the east portal. There are interpretive signs along the way that tell the story of the historic tunnel but in Hancock only one building remains.

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