We have covered the main access points from I-70 and US 24, but there are some additional areas to hunt that are worth noting.Tennessee Pass
If you head South on US 24 to the top of Tennessee Pass (the Southern boundary of GMU 45). Both the right and left side of the road are generally open areas to hunting. There are some areas that are private (they are usually very well marked, but be sure to have a map). If you'd like to hunt on private land, you must obtain written permission from the landowner whose property you'd like to hunt on.
Redcliff to Shrine Pass
There are additional areas from Redcliff back to Shrine pass. There is some good hunting in this area, but this area is mixed in with private land and is also popular hunters.
Camp Hale Cont
If you would like a good hunt relatively free from other hunters, you could camp at one of the Camp Hale campgrounds (to the right of the main entrance, just follow the signs). After Labor Day, they turn off all the water to the faucets and some of the bathrooms may be locked, but the actual campsites are still open. Hunting access is a relatively short distance from here: Head West from the main entrance and you will encounter a hill (go straight up it). Slowly walk up until you get above the old railroad lines, and you will be in good elk country from the first 1/4 mile in. From here access to Camp Hale Pond Lake, Yoder gulch, or Rule Gulch are all possible. Just remember this area is high altitude and you are hunting at about 11,000 feet where the oxygen is pretty skimpy.
Access from Eagle, Avon and Vail Pass
There are some other access points from near Eagle, Avon, and on top of Vail Pass, but are not recommended for novice hunters. These areas will require detailed knowledge of the area terrain and game movement and endurance, determination and patience to be successful. At present you can still drive up all the main roads in the bottoms, with either an ATV or 4X4, and yes you will need 4X4 in the last two- three seasons to get past the snow!
My father drew one of the first 25 elk tags in this unit and my family has continued to hunt in GMU 45 for the past 40 years. We have harvested many bulls and cows; you just have to hunt and hike a bit to get the job done. If there is one thing that we always talk about in our family, it is how beautiful and special this country is. There's Camp Hale where the 10th Mountain Division trained for combat, the Mount of the Holy Cross, and nearby is one of the most beautiful ski and resort areas in the world.
Note: The article above was written to assist hunters with a description of the unit and some of the access points for hunting. Road closures, changes in USFS policy and real estate ownership can occur at any time. It is the responsibility of the hunter to verify the information provided above and understand the article is meant as a guide to begin the process of personal scouting. The map inserts were taken from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Hunting Atlas.