Historic Alpine Tunnel Construction Closure Schedule

Reopening Not Expected until Oct. 31



United States Forest Service


For travelers to the West Slope in Colorado this summer, some important closures are in place for a popular visitor trek in the National Forest area.


The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests’ Gunnison Ranger District, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation (NFF), announces the temporary closure of the region surrounding the Historic Alpine Tunnel road and Palisade Wall to allow for ongoing construction.


Construction will begin June 18 and continue through the summer and fall seasons as weather allows. Approximately 506 acres will be closed in the Alpine Tunnel region. Visitors who take alternative routes should be prepared for significantly longer travel times and no available services. The purpose of the closure is to protect public safety during the Alpine Tunnel Road and Palisade Wall Repair reconstruction activities.


The closure region includes:

  • National Forest System Road (NFSR) #839 – Alpine Tunnel road
  • National Forest System Trail (NFST) #298 – Williams Pass Jeep trail
  • Lands above and below NFSR #839, progressing south along the closed corridor surrounding NFSR #839 and continuing south to NFST #888
  • NFSR #767.1B (also known as NFS road 7767.1B)
  • NFST #888
  • NFST #539
  • St. Elmo to Pitkin—Alternate routes include traveling via Hancock Pass to Tomichi Pass to Black Sage Pass to Wuanita Pass or via Tin Cup Pass to Cumberland Pass. Both alternate routes will add additional hours of drive time, so please plan accordingly.

Rock masonry crews will reconstruct the approximate 100-foot section of the Palisade Wall and Alpine Tunnel road that received extensive damage due to an avalanche in 2016. This project is made possible by funding prioritized for deferred maintenance projects through the Great American Outdoors Act.

“The Alpine Tunnel Historic District holds great significance in Colorado’s history,” stated Dayle Funka, Gunnison District Ranger. “It is vital that we acknowledge its importance and preserve it for the coming generations. We are thankful for the funding provided by the Great American Outdoors Act, which will allow us to address the critical restoration needs of the district.”

For more information on current fire restrictions, conditions and recreation opportunities, visit the forest website or www.westslopefireinformation.com. Connect with us or follow us on social media (Twitter and Facebook).