Colorado highway pass sign gallery

I think the Continental Divide is the cat's pajamas. To think that you can be at a point where part of a rain shower can end up draining a thousand miles one way or a thousand miles the other way. On a failed mountaineering trip in April 1995, I drove to 4 highway passes on the Divide within 3 hours, with only slight detours from my nominal route! The Divide deserves a grand tribute. However, it will have to settle for this stupid collection of photos from it's high passes. (Plus a few bonus passes thrown in for good measure.) The passes appear in descending altitude order.

Loveland Pass

This is one of the 4 passes that started this obsession, photographed in April 1995. On US 6, providing an alternate route to the Eisenhower Tunnel. The highest paved road in the United States that is open year-round.

Weston Pass

This is not on the Continental Divide, but is still one of the highest passes in the state accessible in a regular car. The last 2 miles from the east are very steep for a 2WD car, so be careful; the approach from the west is probably impossible without 4WD and/or high clearance. Shot in September 2002.
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Hoosier Pass

Another of the "Fab 4" from April 1995. As you can read for yourself, this is on CO 9 connecting Alma and Breckenridg(e).

Fremont Pass

On CO 91 between Leadville and Copper Mountain, at the noble Climax strip mining operation. Shot in June 1995.

Slumgullion Pass

It was night and I was trying to illuminate the sign with my car headlights and overexposed the photo. The second scan is at high resolution and I fiddled with the contrast and such to make the sign just legible. I had to resort to scanning the negative to make this happen. In any case, this pass is located along CO 149 between Lake City and Creede. Shot in June 1996.


Monarch Pass

This pass on US 50 between Salida and Gunnison was so exciting that I didn't even get out of my car. (Actually, there is some touristy stuff there to avoid.) Shot in June 1996.

Berthoud Pass

Home of Colorado's 1st ski area, and now an operating ski area again. On US 40 between Winter Park and Empire. Shot in March 1995.

Red Mountain Pass

An infamous pass. It is not on the Divide, but is the highest pass along US 550. Its infamy lies mainly in that this area is subject to vicious avalanches during the snow season which have claimed the lives of several snowplow drivers and civilians alike. During August 2005, it was quite innocuous.
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Molas Pass

Although not the highest, this may be the most scenic of the passes along US 550, just south of Silverton. Although cut off in this photo, 13er Grand Turk is impressive from here. The Colorado Trail crosses this pass perpendicular to the road. Shot in August 2005.

Spring Creek Pass

Why let nightfall stop you (Part II)? On CO 149 between Lake City and Creede. Shot in June 1996 illuminated by my high-beams.

Coal Bank Pass

This is a rather obscure pass just south of the Divide along US 550, but it does have a sign - and an outhouse. Shot in August 2005.
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Cameron Pass

This pass has a dirty secret; it's not on the Continental Divide. Thus, it didn't deserve the short walk needed for a decent photo. On CO 14 between Walden and Fort Collins. Shot in June 1996.

Lizard Head Pass

Your tax dollars at work. On CO 145 between nowhere and nowhere, and not on the Divide. Shot in July 1996.
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Kenosha Pass

Not on the Divide; not worth getting out of the car. On US 285 between Fairplay and Denver.

Willow Creek Pass

An out-of-the way pass on CO 125 between Walden and Granby.
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Rabbit Ears Pass

Once malapropped to "Rabbit-ass Pierce" by a TV weatherman, this pass lies between Steamboat Springs and Kremmling on US 40. The third highest of the "Fab 4" from April 1995.
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Poncha Pass

On US 285 between Alamosa and Poncha Springs, but not on the Divide. Shot in June 1996.
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Muddy Pass

Alas this pass does not pass muster as a named point anymore. I know not why this pass lost it's name. It did not pass gas nor do anything else crass. It has a lot of class and did not harass anyone. There is no broken glass nor fragments of brass. As the kid from "South Park" with the great mass would say, "this sucks ass!" But, the old maps call it Muddy Pass.

This pass represents the western terminus of CO 14, just below Rabbit Ears Pass. My favorite pass for when I lived in Laramie, turning off of US 40 meant that I had but 100 miles of unmolested driving to home. This was the lowest of the "Fab 4".
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File last modified: 08 January 2005

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