The Alpine Tunnel Site incorporates a interpretive signs with a ten mile, four-wheel drive tour in the rugged terrain of the Sawatch Mountain Range. The tunnel itself is the focal point of the site and the culmination of the tour. It is inoperable now, but once stood as an engineering marvel of the late nineteenth century. Visitors can see the remains and reconstructions of the railroad watering tanks, station complex and tunnel.
The Alpine Tunnel was carved through the Continental Divide in 1880-1881 by the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad. It was built in hopes that it would beat the Denver and Rio Grand Railroad into the rich mineral country around Gunnison. The race was won by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, which came over Marshall Pass. The Alpine Tunnel was used until 1910.
Directions from Gunnison: Drive east on Highway 50 to Parlin. Turn left and travel toward Pitkin on BLM Road 3101. Drive passed Pitkin about three miles, then turn right on Forest Service Road 839. This road leads to the Alpine Tunnel Site. The road is not suitable for automobile use.