Fall River Pass

Last updated
Fall River Pass
Trail Ridge pass.jpg
Trail Ridge Store at Fall River Pass
Elevation 11,796 ft (3,595 m)
Traversed byUS 34.svg US 34
Location Rocky Mountain National Park, Larimer County, Colorado, U.S.
Range Front Range
Coordinates 40°26′26″N105°45′17″W / 40.44056°N 105.75472°W / 40.44056; -105.75472
Topo map USGS Fall River Pass

Fall River Pass (elevation 11,796 feet (3,595 m)) is a mountain pass in northern Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains of the western United States. It is located in the Front Range, within Rocky Mountain National Park. The pass is traversed by U.S. Highway 34 on Trail Ridge Road between Granby and Estes Park. However, as at Milner Pass on the Continental Divide, the road does not descend after reaching the pass from the west, but instead continues to climb along a side ridge; thus, neither pass is the high point on Trail Ridge Road, which crests at 12,183 feet (3,713 m) elevation, east of Fall River Pass, still within Rocky Mountain National Park. On the other hand, the old, largely unpaved, and one-way-uphill Fall River Road (see adjoining map) does have its summit at Fall River Pass, where it joins the modern highway for the descent to the west.

The Alpine Visitor Center, one of five visitor centers for Rocky Mountain National Park, is located at Fall River Pass. The highway has a moderately steep 6% grade on either side of this point.

Coordinates: 40°26′26″N105°45′17″W / 40.44056°N 105.75472°W / 40.44056; -105.75472

Related Research Articles

Continental Divide Trail Long-distance scenic trail in the western United States

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a United States National Scenic Trail with a length measured by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition of 3,028 miles (4,873 km) between the U.S. border with Chihuahua, Mexico and the border with Alberta, Canada. Frequent route changes and a large number of alternate routes result in the actual hiking distance to be between 2,700 miles (4,300 km) and 3,150 miles (5,070 km). The CDT follows the Continental Divide of the Americas along the Rocky Mountains and traverses five U.S. states — Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. In Montana near the Canadian border the trail crosses Triple Divide Pass (near Triple Divide Peak, from which waters may flow to either the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean or Pacific Ocean.

Rocky Mountain National Park National park in Colorado, United States

Rocky Mountain National Park is an American national park located approximately 76 mi (122 km) northwest of Denver International Airport in north-central Colorado, within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park is situated between the towns of Estes Park to the east and Grand Lake to the west. The eastern and western slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the center of the park with the headwaters of the Colorado River located in the park's northwestern region. The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments, from wooded forests to mountain tundra.

Blue Ridge Parkway Scenic parkway in the United States

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. The parkway, which is America's longest linear park, runs for 469 miles (755 km) through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties, linking Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It runs mostly along the spine of the Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. Its southern terminus is at U.S. Route 441 (US 441) on the boundary between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina, from which it travels north to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The roadway continues through Shenandoah as Skyline Drive, a similar scenic road which is managed by a different National Park Service unit. Both Skyline Drive and the Virginia portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway are part of Virginia State Route 48 (SR 48), though this designation is not signed.

Kootenay National Park National park in British Columbia, Canada

Kootenay National Park is a national park of Canada located in southeastern British Columbia. The park consists of 1,406 km2 (543 sq mi) of the Canadian Rockies, including parts of the Kootenay and Park mountain ranges, the Kootenay River and the entirety of the Vermilion River. While the Vermilion River is completely contained within the park, the Kootenay River has its headwaters just outside the park boundary, flowing through the park into the Rocky Mountain Trench and eventually joining the Columbia River. The park ranges in elevation from 918 m (3,012 ft) at the southwestern park entrance to 3,424 m (11,234 ft) at Deltaform Mountain.

Hanging Rock State Park State park in North Carolina, United States

Hanging Rock State Park is a 9,011-acre (3,647 ha) North Carolina state park in Stokes County, North Carolina in the United States. The park is 30 miles (48 km) north of Winston-Salem and is located approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) from Danbury in Stokes County.

Trail Ridge Road Highway in Colorado within Rocky Mountain National Park

Trail Ridge Road is the name for a stretch of U.S. Highway 34 that traverses Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park, Colorado in the east to Grand Lake, Colorado in the west. The road is also known as Trail Ridge Road/Beaver Meadow National Scenic Byway.

U.S. Route 34 Highway in the United States

U.S. Route 34 (US 34) is an east–west United States highway that runs for 1,122 miles (1,806 km) from north-central Colorado to the western suburbs of Chicago. Through Rocky Mountain National Park it is known as the Trail Ridge Road where it reaches elevation 12,183 feet (3,713 m), making it the third highest paved through highway in the United States. The highway's western terminus is Granby, Colorado at US 40. Its eastern terminus is in Berwyn, Illinois at Illinois Route 43 and Historic US 66.

Skyline Drive National Scenic Byway in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA

Skyline Drive is a 105-mile (169 km) road that runs the entire length of the National Park Service's Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, generally along the ridge of the mountains. The drive's northern terminus is at an intersection with U.S. Route 340 (US 340) near Front Royal, and the southern terminus is at an interchange with US 250 near Interstate 64 (I-64) in Rockfish Gap, where the road continues south as the Blue Ridge Parkway. The road has intermediate interchanges with US 211 in Thornton Gap and US 33 in Swift Run Gap. Skyline Drive is part of Virginia State Route 48, which also includes the Virginia portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but this designation is not signed.

Alpine Visitor Center Visitor center at Fall River Pass, Colorado


Rocky Mountain National Park's Alpine Visitor Center is located at 11,796 feet above sea level at Fall River Pass, one mile west of the highest point on Trail Ridge Road and four miles east of the Continental Divide at Milner Pass in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is the highest visitor center in the National Park System.

Poudre Canyon

The Poudre Canyon is a narrow verdant canyon, approximately 40 mi (64 km) long, on the upper Cache la Poudre River in Larimer County, Colorado in the United States. The canyon is a glacier-formed valley through the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains northwest of Fort Collins.

Never Summer Mountains Mountain range in Colorado, US

The Never Summer Mountains are a mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in north central Colorado in the United States consisting of seventeen named peaks. The range is located along the northwest border of Rocky Mountain National Park, forming the continental divide between the headwaters of the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park to the local-east and the upper basin of the North Platte River to the local-west; the continental divide makes a loop in these mountains. The range is small and tall, covering only 25 sq mi (65 km2) with a north-south length of 10 mi (16 km) while rising to over 12,000 ft (3,700 m) at over ten distinct peaks. The range straddles the Jackson-Grand county line for most of its length, and stretches into Jackson and Larimer county at its northern end. A panoramic view of the range is available from sections of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. One of the northernmost peaks, Nokhu Crags, is prominently visible from the west side of Cameron Pass.

Milner Pass

Milner Pass, elevation 10,759 ft (3,279 m) is a mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado in the United States. It is located on the continental divide in the Front Range, within Rocky Mountain National Park, along the boundary between Larimer and Grand counties. The pass provides the passage over the continental divide for US 34, also known as Trail Ridge Road between Estes Park and Grand Lake. The pass is not, however, the high point on Trail Ridge Road, which crests at 12,183 ft (3,713 m) east of the pass within Rocky Mountain National Park. Along with the rest of Trail Ridge Road, the pass is generally closed in winter from the first heavy snow fall until the opening of the road around Memorial Day. The gentle pass divides the headwaters of the Cache la Poudre River and several creeks near the headwaters of the Colorado River to the west. The road near the pass provides a panoramic view of the Never Summer Mountains to the west.

La Poudre Pass

La Poudre Pass elevation 10,184 ft (3,104 m) is a high mountain pass located in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado in the United States.

Weminuche Wilderness Protected area in southwestern Colorado, US

The Weminuche Wilderness is a wilderness area in southwest Colorado managed by the United States Forest Service as part of the San Juan National Forest on the west side of the Continental Divide and the Rio Grande National Forest on the east side of the divide. The Weminuche Wilderness was designated by Congress in 1975, and expanded by the Colorado Wilderness Acts of 1980 and 1993. It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of the town of Silverton, 17 miles (27 km) northeast of Durango, and 8 miles (13 km) west of South Fork. At 499,771 acres (2,022.50 km2), it is the largest wilderness area in the state of Colorado. Elevation in the wilderness ranges from 7,700 feet (2,300 m) along the Animas River to 14,093 feet (4,296 m) at the summit of Windom Peak.

Andrews Bald

Andrews Bald is a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains, located in the Southeastern United States. It has an elevation of 5,920 feet (1,800 m) above sea level, making it the highest grassy bald in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The mountain is one of two grassy balds maintained in the range by the park service. The other is Gregory Bald, in the western Smokies.

Piper Mountain Wilderness

The Piper Mountain Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located in the White Mountains 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Big Pine, California in Inyo County, California.

Fall River Road United States historic place

The Old Fall River Road, sometimes referred to as "The Old Road" by park staff in Rocky Mountain National Park, was the first automobile road to penetrate the interior of the park. The road linked the east side of the park near Estes Park with Grand Lake on the west side. Work began in 1913 but was interrupted in 1914 by World War I with final work being completed between 1918 and 1920.

U.S. Route 34 (US 34) is a part of the U.S. Highway System that travels from Granby, Colorado, to Berwyn, Illinois. In the U.S. state of Colorado, US 34 is a 260-mile-long (420 km) road that spans across northern Colorado. It begins at US 40 in Granby and ends at the Nebraska border, where it continues as US 34, east of Laird.

Sierra Madre Range (Wyoming)

The Sierra Madre Range is a mountain range in the western United States, located in south-central Wyoming and north-central Colorado. Geologically, it may be considered an extension of the Park Range of Colorado. South of the Great Divide Basin, the US Continental Divide runs along the Sierre Madre high points. Its western basins drain into the Colorado River and its eastern into the North Platte River. Buck Mountain is the highest peak in the range and lies within Colorado. Bridger Peak is its highest elevation on the Wyoming side of the range.

Nesquehoning Mountain

Nesquehoning Mountain or Nesquehoning Ridge is a 15–17-mile-long (24–27 km) coal bearing ridge dividing the waters of Lehigh Valley to the north from the Schuylkill River valley and the several near parallel ridgelines of the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians barrier range all local members of which run generally WSW-ENE in the greater overall area.