Camping and Inspiration from the Hagerman Tunnel Trail

Two weeks ago I was camping at 11,000 about Turquoise Lake and Leadville in one of my favorite spots on earth: Hagerman Tunnel Trail and Pass.  I’ve been going to this same destination since my first summer back in Colorado right out of college 20 years ago!  And, I’ve soaked up much inspiration on previous visits – here’s a painting I created from colors I found in old photographs I took years ago.

I don’t remember how I first discovered this trail and my “secret” camping spot, but I keep coming back for several reasons.  It still feels a bit off the beaten path (and Colorado has alot of beaten paths these days).  It is the site of an old narrow-gauge railroad bed from the 1880’s which leads to what was once the highest train tunnel in the world – Hagerman Tunnel.  I’ve always loved trains.  And finally, I love the feeling of coming back to an old, friendly and familiar place.

I’ve shared this special place with many people over the years (maybe I’ll do a photo-spective sometime from the last 20 years).  I’ve included more images than I normally do in my posts, but why not (can you find the hidden pika)?  Hope you love my views, too!

My hidden camping spot with views of Turquoise Lake, Leadville and Mt. Massive.
My hidden camping spot with views of Turquoise Lake, Leadville and Mt. Massive.
Historical sign about the Midland railroad and Hagerman Tunnel.
Historical sign about the Midland railroad and Hagerman Tunnel.
Old railroad bed... now a hiking trail to the tunnel.
Old railroad bed... now a hiking trail to the tunnel.
"Douglass City" ghost town.
"Douglass City" ghost town.
The tunnel... with perpetual ice flow.
The tunnel... with perpetual ice flow.
Fascinating rock shapes and texture... can you find the pika?
Fascinating rock shapes and texture... can you find the pika?
4WD road continues over the pass and to the Divide.
4WD road continues over the pass and to the Divide.
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