Tunnel Hill  
USGS 7.5' Map: Fraser, Berthoud Pass
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 1 FR152, FR897 7.23 9,600 ft. NA 1-2 hours
County: Grand
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Arapaho National Forest,
Sulphur Ranger District
9 Ten Mile Drive, P.O. Box 10
Granby, Colorado 80446

Summary: Tunnel Hill is a graded road that follows a water diversion system near Winter Park ski resort.
Attractions: Camping
Agency - Nov 16 to Jun 14
Best Time: June - May have drifts
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows possible
Trail Heads
Lower Cherokee, FT85 - Hike, Horseback, Mountain Bike
Upper Cherokee, FT92 - Hike, Horseback, Mountain Bike
Chickadee, FT89 - Hike, Horseback, Mountain Bike
Blue Sky, FT86 - Hike, Horseback, Mountain Bike
Camping: There are a few dispersed campsites along the west end of the road.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore the 4WD roads around Winter Park.
Fall Colors: Average - There are aspen mixed in the pines, west section of the road.
Navigation: From Winter Park, CO. head northwest on Winter Park Drive toward Clover Lane for 0.3 miles. Turn left onto Timberhouse Road and go 0.45 miles. Make the hairpin turn to the right onto Turnpike ski run.

Following the Turnpike ski run (road) up into the forest you will be on a graded wide road. After coming into the trees you will come to a large intersection that crosses Cooper Creek. The roads in front of you go into the Winter Park Ski runs. Take the hairpin turn to the right and continue into the forest where there will be a covered water diversion canal on the left side of the road.
Road with covered water diversion on the left

photo by:
Adam M

After climbing into the forest the road will narrow up as the water diversion system goes underground here. On your right the Lower Cherokee trail heads into the forest. On the left the Upper Cherokee trail heads into the trees. From here the road heads into a more open area and runs along the side of a ridge. At a haripin turn you will cross a small saddle and head down into the Little Vasquez Creek drainage. The road will pass into some pine forest and aspen groves. The road will get a bit steeper and drop down through two short switchbacks. At the second one is a spur road to the left, FR152.3, that runs parallel with the main road. Stay to the right heading down hill. As you drop down and come to Little Vasquez Creek you will cross an intersection. The road on the left is the other end of FR152.3. To the right is FR156 which heads down the Little Vasquez Creek valley. A bit further down you will pass FR156 on the left, which heads up the valley. After crossing Little Vasquez Creek you will head up the other side of the valley and pass a water diversion building on the right where the diversion system runs a pipe down and across the valley to the other side and into a tunnel that connects to the point earlier along the road where the diversion system went underground. Just a bit past this building, on the left, is another with a tunnel down to the Little Vasquez Creek. The covered diversion system will once again be along the side of the road.
Road with water diversion system on the left

photo by:
Adam M

After making a curve to the left you will pass a campsite on the right and then pass the Chickadee Trail also on the right. Shortly you will come to a large open area with a campsite on the right and an intersection ahead. The road to the right FR897, heads down to Vasquez Creek passing the Blue Sky Trail and a campsite. Further you will come to another intersection. The road on the right passes a campsite, crosses Vasquez Creek and ends at FR148. Back at the second intersection the left will head back up hill, passes a campsite and connects back into FR152.

Back at the first intersection the road to the left is the main FR152 route. It will run through the forest passing the reconnection of FR897. The road will head south above and along Vasquez Creek through the forest for a long distance. You will come to a wide area along the right side of the road, and then you will come to the water diversion system that sends Vasquez Creek into the system and then cross the creek, pass a campsite on the right, and end at FR148.
Data updated - November 11, 2022     4WD Road driven - September 3, 2022     Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2022