Tour These Abandoned Railroad Tunnels Near Buena Vista Colorado
You can drive through a number of abandoned railroad tunnels just down the road near Buena Vista, Colorado. Have you visited the Midland Railroad Tunnels on CO Road 371?
The site is easy to get to, and you won't need a park pass. What's more, you can explore these fascinating tunnels without even leaving your car.
Just Down The Road Near Buena Vista, Colorado
Set a course for Buena Vista, roughly 61 miles south of Breckenridge, or 83 miles northeast of Gunnison. Buena Vista, with a population of 2,700, sits at an altitude of 7,965 feet. According to the town's official website, many consider Buena Vista to be the whitewater rafting capital of the world.
Midland Railroad Tunnels
The Midland Railroad Tunnels were used by the Colorado Midland railway from the 1880s until 1918. Uncover Colorado reports these tunnels ran from Colorado Springs to Leadville and Aspen, with trains carrying loads of silver, iron ore, and various other supplies.
The Midland Tunnels In 2023
If you're in the mood for adventure, you can visit the Midland Railroad Tunnels today. You can drive through them, bike, or walk through them. You won't need a pass, and there are no fees.
Your exploration will take you a little over five miles, ending at the Hagerman Tunnel, a 2,161-foot railroad tunnel, crossing the Continental Divide at an altitude of over 11,000 feet.
The tunnels run along the Arkansas River, one of the four major drainages that flow out of Colorado. The Arkansas River, fed by snowmelt, runs a bit later than most, offering a longer season for those that enjoy recreation on the water.
Visit Year Round
The tunnels are open year-round, and for the most part, are not monitored. You'll notice several signs advising you to "Watch For Falling Rocks."
If You're Looking For a Hike
You might want to check out the historic Midland Railroad Grade, and the eight-and-a-half-mile point-to-point hike. Alltrails advises exploring this hike between April and September. It will take about three hours to complete. With an elevation gain of 1,003 feet, it is rated as a "Moderate" level hike.