Ute Pass  LbNA # 9009 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateJul 4 2004
CountyEl Paso
LocationManitou Springs, CO
Last Found Sep 5 2011
Hike Distance?

Originally, Ute Pass was a bison trail that connected Colorado's prairie with the mountain meadows of modern-day South Park. Ute Indians followed the herds through the pass, widening it, and creating the track that would later be followed by wagons. In the late 1800s, the Colorado Midland Railroad put in tracks to serve the mining operations to the west, and brought prosperity into many area mountain towns. Today, Highway 24 roughly follows the path of the old Ute Pass, but remnants of the railroad and original trail can still be seen in some areas.

Terrain: Difficult! A very steep, slippery slope with loose gravel up to the trail and back down. The trail is mostly flat, but with some washed-out areas close the edges of ravines. We did hike it with a six-year-old in tow, but used extreme caution.
Clues: Easy

Directions/Clues: Heading west on Highway 24 from Colorado Springs, you'll pass a stoplight at Cave of the Winds Road. Past this on the left, you'll see a large conical hill with a gravel turn-out behind it. This is your destination, but continue on Hwy 24 west and take the first left-hand turn lane you can. There is no street here to turn onto, you'll make a U-turn and head back on Hwy 24 east until you reach the turn-out. Park here. Walk back toward the road until you see a stone bridge over the creek. Cross here and head up the gravelly slope. This is very slippery, proceed cautiously up this steep slope, and you'll emerge onto the old rail grade between two railroad tunnels. Head left. Proceed through three tunnels to the mouth of the fourth. Notice this one has old timber supports still in place. Within this tunnel is a fence, past the fence is private property, please respect it. When you're done exploring, return to the mouth of the fourth tunnel. If the tunnels didn't, a tree of three should serve to remind you of the old rail line.

- No inkpad or pencil in the box, make sure you bring your own.
- Recommend a walking stick for the steep slopes up to and down from the trail.
- Recommend a flashlight, some of the tunnels are long, curved and dark.
- Be very cautious around the old tunnels and watch for falling rocks. Some tunnels may contain debris and tripping hazards.
- Pigeons are living in some of the tunnels, be cautious of them and other animals.
- Respect private property.
- Please do not ask me for additional hints without offering a bribe of unpublished clues, hitchhikers, etc.
- Please email me with notes about the box: jelybean.books@comcast.net.