Fremont Pass and the Climax mine
|Elevation||11,318 ft (3,450 m)|
|Location||Lake County, Colorado, United States|
|Topo map||USGS Climax|
Fremont Pass is a 11,318-foot (3,450 m) mountain pass in central Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains of the western United States.
It forms the continental divide on the border between Lake County and Summit County. The pass is named for John C. Frémont,an explorer of the American West who discovered the pass while traversing present-day Colorado during the 1840s. The pass provides a route between the upper valley of the Blue River, a tributary of the Colorado River, with the headwaters of the Arkansas River to the south. The pass summit is the site of Climax Mine, a molybdenum mine. The pass is traversed by State Highway 91.
Despite being one of the highest mountain passes in the state, the only steep part is the switchback on the final ascent toward the Climax mine on the south side. The rest of the pass is gentle.
The Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad built a narrow gauge railway over Fremont Pass in 1884. It was sold in foreclosure proceedings to the Denver, Leadville & Gunnison Railroad in 1889 and became later part of the Colorado and Southern Railway. Operating ended in 1937. The line south of Climax is retained, converted to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge in 1943 and now operated by Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad.
A second narrow gauge railway line was built by Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in 1881. Passenger service ceased in late 1909 and the last sporadic freight service in November 1910. The line was abandoned on 1 December 1923.
In 1909, the Shoshone Transmission Line was built to connect a generating station near Glenwood Springs with Leadville and Denver. This historic electric transmission line has been modernized several times and is still in use, although the development of the Climax mine has caused major changes to the line in the vicinity of the pass.
The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, often shortened to Rio Grande, D&RG or D&RGW, formerly the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, was an American Class I railroad company. The railroad started as a 3 ft narrow-gauge line running south from Denver, Colorado, in 1870. It served mainly as a transcontinental bridge line between Denver, and Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rio Grande was also a major origin of coal and mineral traffic.
Leadville is the statutory city that is the county seat and only incorporated municipality in Lake County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 2,602 at the 2010 census and an estimated 2,762 in 2018. Leadville is situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet (3,094 m).
Climax was an unincorporated mining village and a former U.S. Post Office located in Lake County, Colorado, United States. Climax is known for its large molybdenum ore deposit. Climax is located along the Continental Divide at an elevation of about 11,360 feet. It was the highest human settlement in the United States, and it holds the record for having had the country's second highest Post Office and the highest railroad station.
The Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad was a historic 3 ft narrow gauge railroad that operated in Colorado in the western United States in the late 19th century. The railroad opened up the first rail routes to a large section of the central Colorado mining district in the decades of the mineral boom. The railroad took its name from the fact that its main line from Denver ascended the Platte Canyon and traversed South Park. Founded in 1872 by Colorado Governor John Evans, the company was purchased by the Union Pacific Railway in 1880, though it continued to be operated independently. The line went bankrupt in 1889 and was reorganized under the new moniker the Denver, Leadville and Gunnison Railway. When the Union Pacific went bankrupt in 1893, the DL&G lines went into receivership and were eventually sold to the Colorado and Southern Railway. In the first half of the 20th century, nearly all the company's original lines were dismantled or converted into 4 ft 8 1⁄2 instandard gauge. The last train to run the old DSP&P tracks was from Como, Colorado on April 11, 1937. A section of the standard gauge line between Leadville and Climax is still operated as a passenger excursion railroad called the Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad. At its peak the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad had 335 miles (539 km) of narrow gauge line, making it the largest narrow gauge railroad in the state of Colorado.
Hagerman Pass, elevation 11,925 ft (3,635 m), is a high mountain pass that crosses the continental divide in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. The pass traverses the Sawatch Range west of Leadville, connecting the headwaters of the Arkansas River on the east with the upper valley of the Fryingpan River above Basalt, in the basin of the Colorado River.
Tennessee Pass elevation 10,424 ft (3,177 m) is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. The pass was named after Tennessee, the native state of a group of early prospectors.
Kenosha Pass, elevation 10,000 ft (3,000 m), is a high mountain pass located in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States.
The Mosquito Range is a high mountain range in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. The peaks of the range form a ridge running north–south for approximately 40 miles (64 km) from southern Summit County on the north end, then along the boundary between Lake and Park counties. The ranges forms a high barrier separating the headwaters of the Arkansas River near Leadville from South Park and the headwaters of the South Platte River near Fairplay. The highest peak in the range is Mount Lincoln at an elevation of 14,286 ft. Other fourteeners in the range are Quandary Peak, Mount Bross (14,172 ft), Mount Democrat (14,148 ft), and Mount Sherman (14,036 ft).
Argentine Pass, elevation 13,207 ft (4,025 m), is a high mountain pass that crosses the Continental Divide in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. Argentine Pass is located on the crest of the Front Range along the boundary southwest of Georgetown and is the highest named vehicle-accessible pass in the state.
The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a 3 ft narrow gauge United States heritage railroad located in the Rocky Mountains in Clear Creek County, adjacent to Interstate 70 in Colorado.
Boreas Pass is a high mountain pass in central Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains of the western United States. The pass is located on the continental divide, at the crest of the Front Range along the border between Park (south) and Summit counties.
The Rio Grande Southern Railroad was a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow-gauge railroad which ran in the southwestern region of the US state of Colorado, from the towns of Durango to Ridgway, routed via Lizard Head Pass. Built by Russian immigrant and Colorado toll road builder Otto Mears, the RGS operated from 1891 through 1951 and was built with the intent to transport immense amounts of silver mineral traffic that were being produced by the mining communities of Rico and Telluride. On both ends of the railroad, there were interchanges with The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, which would ship the traffic the RGS hauled elsewhere like the San Juan Smelter in Durango.
David Halliday Moffat was an American financier and industrialist.
The Argentine Central Railway was a 3 ft narrow gauge railroad in the United States built from the Colorado and Southern Railway at Silver Plume, Colorado, to Waldorf, Colorado, and onward to the summit of Mount McClellan. Construction began on August 1, 1905, and the line was opened to Waldorf a year later on August 1, 1906, a distance of about 6 miles. It was financed and organised by Edward J. Wilcox, owner of 65 mining properties in the Argentine region that were consolidated into the Waldorf Mining and Milling Company in 1902. His headquarters at Waldorf was accessible only by pack mule for much of the year.
The Colorado and Southern Railway was an American Class I railroad in the western United States that operated independently from 1898 to 1908, then as part of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad until it was absorbed into the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1981.
Granite is an unincorporated community with a U.S. Post Office in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. The zip code of Granite is 81228. According to the 2010 census, the population is 116.
Standard gauge was favored for railway construction in the United States, although a fairly large narrow-gauge system developed in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Utah. Isolated narrow-gauge lines were built in many areas to minimize construction costs for industrial transport or resort access, and some of these lines offered common carrier service. Outside Colorado, these isolated lines evolved into regional narrow-gauge systems in Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Hawaii, and Alaska.
The Utah Division of the former Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RGW) is a rail line that connects Grand Junction, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah in the Western United States. It is now incorporated into the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) system as its Green River and Provo Subdivisions, forming a portion of the Denver-Nevada Central Corridor. Daily passenger service is provided by Amtrak's California Zephyr, and the BNSF Railway and Utah Railway have trackage rights over the line.
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