Burro Schmidt Tunnel
Red Rock Canyon State Park
The Burro Schmidt Tunnel is a 2,000-feet long tunnel near Red Rock Canyon State Park in the El Paso Mountains that was hand dug by prospector William Schmidt through solid granite from 1906 to 1938. Be sure to bring a flashlight, as you can walk the entire length of the tunnel, through Copper Mountain, to daylight on the opposite side. No admission is charged to this monument to one man's obsession
There are two ways to get to tunnel:
From Red Rock Canyon State Park, head north on Highway 14 for several miles until you reach four large billboards, which are the only ones between Red Rocks and Highway 178. Turn right (east) on a dirt road (EP15), and follow the EP15 signs about 9 miles until a sign to Burro Schmidt Tunnel directs you to turn right. Continue up the hill and park just before the house. The tunnel is on the road and around a bend just beyond the house.
To return home, head back down the hill and go left at the junction with EP15. A short distance further, go right at a poorly marked junction where a conspicuous old mining tumbler (looks like a boiler) sits on the right side of the road. From here, the road winds around, crosses a rise, then shoots straight for Highway 14, which is evident in the distance. On this last stretch, a confusing maze of roads criss-cross the route out. Just continue on a fairly straight course aiming for Highway 14 and the four billboards.
An alternate route, heads south from Red Rock Canyon a couple of miles on Highway 14 and turns left (east) on the Randsburg Road toward Garlock. After about 10.5 miles, turn left onto a dirt road (EP100) at a telephone pole with a white barrel in front of it. Continue up the hill on EP100 for several miles and over a pass. Just beyond the pass, go left on EP15 and follow it until a sign to the Burro Schmidt Tunnel directs you to turn left. Continue up the hill and park just before the house. The tunnel is on the road and around a bend just beyond the house.