Last Update: 10/27/1997 - Jens Moller
If approaching from Tin Cup, head towards the Grave Yard and up the pass. If approaching from Pitkin, you have the option to going up to the western portal of the Alpine Tunnel (which also passes the entrance/exit of Hancock/Tomichi Pass) - This is a 10 mile side trip that is well worth your while.
|On the Pitkin side, not far from the Alpine tunnel turn-off you'll come to the Bon Ton mine ruins. These are below a set of switch-backs that head up (or down of you are coming from Tin Cup) the pass. There are buildings on both sides of the road. You can pull in to the mine/living area (the mine tailings dump is up on the hill at the back of this photo) and take a photo break. There are 6 or 7 buildings in the area. This one is in the best shape.||
growing in the front room
This area gets hundreds of inches of snow per year and the damage to the
buildings are obvious. Watch your step here. Along with all manner of junk
from the previous occupants, there are often fresh deer, elk and bear
droppings and cow pies (there are a number of cattle ranches in the area).
You may come upon cattle walking along the sides of the road on the way down
from the summit of Cumberland Pass down to Pitkin.
Along the pass, on the way down to Tin Cup you will see numerous streams that are dammed up by beavers. If you closely, you may be able to see one or two swimming around their dens.
|At the summit, there are a series of roads that head off to other mining camps that were active in the area. The closest train was towards Pitkin from here and this pass was the lifeblood of the miners in the area. Please do not stray from the main road unless you are driving a 4WD and have Forest Service maps of the area. Many of these old mines areas near the summit of Cumberland Pass are on steep roads that are quite easy to get down, but can be very difficult to drive back up again. Stay on the main road if you are planning to visit the areas on either side of the pass.||
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