A view of the sign at the pass in April, 2014.
|Elevation||8,772 ft (2,674 m)|
|Location||Grand / Jackson counties, Colorado, U.S.|
|Topo map||USGS topo map|
Muddy Pass (el. 8772 ft.) is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado in the United States.
A mountain pass is a navigable route through a mountain range or over a ridge. Since many of the world's mountain ranges have presented formidable barriers to travel, passes have played a key role in trade, war, and both human and animal migration throughout Earth's history. At lower elevations it may be called a hill pass. The highest vehicle-accessible pass in the world appears to be Mana Pass, located in the Himalayas on the border between India and Tibet, China.
The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 4,800 kilometers (3,000 mi) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. Located within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, and the Sierra Nevada, which all lie farther to the west.
Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census.
The pass straddles the continental divide along the boundary between Jackson and Grand counties. The pass separates North Park and the headwaters of the North Platte River with Middle Park near the headwaters of the Colorado River. It is named for Muddy Creek, a tributary of the Colorado that descends southward from the pass to join the Colorado at Kremmling.
A continental divide is a drainage divide on a continent such that the drainage basin on one side of the divide feeds into one ocean or sea, and the basin on the other side either feeds into a different ocean or sea, or else is endorheic, not connected to the open sea. Every continent on earth except Antarctica which has no free-flowing water has at least one continental drainage divide; islands, even small ones like Killiniq Island on the Labrador Sea in Canada, may also host part of a continental divide or have their own island-spanning divide.
Jackson County is a county in the state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,394, and it was the fourth least-densely populated in the state. The county seat and only municipality in the county is Walden.
Grand County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,843. The county seat is Hot Sulphur Springs.
The pass is one of the lower crossings of the continental divide in Colorado, in a gap between the Park Range to the north and the Rabbit Ears Range to the east. It is rarely closed in winter and has a mild approach on both sides, with no switchbacks or tight spots. It provides the route of U.S. Highway 40 between Kremmling and Steamboat Springs. The road briefly enters the watershed of the North Platte (see North Park). Rabbit Ears Pass, which is just to the west of the pass, provides a third crossing of the continental divide along the U.S. Highway (Berthoud Pass being the other). State Highway 14 from Walden, Colorado has its western terminus at the pass, where it intersects U.S. Highway 40.
The Park Range, elevation approximately 12,000 feet (3,700 m), is a mountain range in the Rocky Mountains of northwestern Colorado in the United States. The range forms a relatively isolated part of the Continental Divide, extending north-to-south for approximately 40 miles (64 km) along the boundary between Jackson (east) and Routt counties. It separates North Park in the upper basin of the North Platte River on the east from the Elk River basin in the watershed of the Yampa River the west. It rises steeply out of the Yampa River basin, forming a climatic barrier that receives much snowfall in winter. The northern end of the range lies in Wyoming and is known as the Sierra Madre Range.
The Rabbit Ears Range is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in north central Colorado in the United States. The range stretches east-west along the continental divide forming the border between Grand and Jackson Counties, separating Middle Park (south) from North Park (north). The range connects the Front Range on the east with the Park Range and the Gore Range on the west. It is traversable at Willow Creek Pass. Muddy Pass separates the Rabbit Ears range to the east from the Park Range to the north. Rabbit Ears Pass, and Rabbit Ears Peak, despite their names, are not in the Rabbit Ears Range, but actually reside in the Park Range to the south.
The Town of Kremmling is a Statutory Town in Grand County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 1444 at the 2010 United States Census. The town sits along the upper Colorado River in the lower arid section of Middle Park between Byers Canyon and Gore Canyon. The town was founded in 1881 during the Colorado Silver Boom days, but the lack of mineral resources in the nearby mountains made the town grow very slowly in the early days.
A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.
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Muddy Creek is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately 60.5 miles (97.4 km) long, in north central Colorado in the United States.
Middle Park is a high basin in the Rocky Mountains of north-central Colorado in the United States. It is located in Grand County, on the southwest slope of Rocky Mountain National Park, approximately 50 miles (80 km) west of Boulder.
Clear Creek is a tributary of the South Platte River, approximately 66 miles (106 km) long, in north central Colorado in the United States. The creek flows through Clear Creek Canyon in the Rocky Mountains directly west of Denver, descending through a long gorge to emerge on the Colorado Eastern Plains where it joins the South Platte. Clear Creek is unusual in that it is a stream named "creek" fed by a stream named "river". Fall River empties into Clear Creek along I-70 west of Idaho Springs, Colorado.
North Park is a high, sparsely populated basin in the Rocky Mountains in north central Colorado in the United States. It encompasses a wide valley in Jackson County rimmed by mountain ranges at the headwaters of the North Platte River and several smaller tributaries, including the Michigan River, Illinois River, and Canadian River. The valley receives its name from being the northernmost of the three large mountain valleys in Colorado on the western side of the Front Range. The others are Middle Park and South Park respectively.
State Highway 14 in the U.S. state of Colorado is an east–west state highway approximately 237 miles (381 km) long. One of the longest state highways in Colorado, it traverses four counties along the northern edge of the state, spanning a geography from the continental divide in the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, and including North Park, the Poudre Canyon, and the Pawnee National Grassland. It provides the most direct route from Fort Collins westward via Cameron Pass to Walden and Steamboat Springs, and eastward across the plains to Sterling.
Willow Creek Pass, elevation 9,659 ft (2,944 m), is a mountain pass that crosses the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains of north central Colorado.
State Highway 125 (SH 125) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Colorado. The highway runs north–south through Jackson and Grand counties in north central Colorado. It furnishes the principal north–south link through North Park and a connection to Middle Park over Willow Creek Pass. It is two-lane along its entire route. SH 125's southern terminus is at U.S. Route 40 west of Granby, and the northern terminus is at Wyoming Highway 230 at the Wyoming border.
Rabbit Ears Pass is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado in the United States. The summit has the shape of rabbit ears, which displays two large columns of basalt rock formations from the second volcanic episode. Rabbit Ears Peak is underlain by a pink tuff and the basalt immediately to the west is underlain by red, vesicular ash. Volcanic breccia occurs only at the Peak, which is a large stratified breccia pile. The three basal layers are cut by a basalt dike immediately beneath the peak. From petrographic evidence there appears to have been one period of lava flows and this surface can be seen at Rabbit Ears Peak.
The North Fork South Platte River is a tributary of the South Platte River, approximately 50 miles (80 km) long, in central Colorado in the United States. The river is located near the headwaters of the South Platte in the Rocky Mountains southwest of Denver, draining a rugged area of the Front Range just south of the basin of Clear Creek.
Hoosier Pass elevation 11,542 ft (3,518 m) is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. The name derives from Indiana, nicknamed the "Hoosier State," which was the original home of many pioneers.
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).
The Middle Fork South Platte River is a tributary of the South Platte River, approximately 50 miles (80 km) long, located in central Colorado in the United States. The river provides part of the drainage of South Park, the intermontane grassland basin located between the Front Range and the Mosquito Range in the Rocky Mountains southwest of Denver.
Boreas Pass, elevation 11,481 ft (3,499 m), is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the 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.
Byers Canyon is a short gorge on the upper Colorado River in Grand County, Colorado in the United States. The canyon is approximately 8 miles (13 km) long and is located in the headwaters region of the Colorado between Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling. U.S. Highway 40 passes through the canyon between Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling. The Union Pacific Railroad's Moffat Route also travels through the short canyon.
State Highway 9 (SH 9) in the U.S. state of Colorado is a 138-mile-long (222 km) state highway through central Colorado. SH 9's southern terminus is at U.S. Route 50 (US 50) near Cañon City, and the northern terminus is at US 40 in Kremmling. SH 9 is part of the Gold Belt Byway from US 50 to High Park Road and Colorado River Headwaters Byway from US 40 to Trough Rd.
The Colorado River is a major river of the western United States and northwest Mexico in North America. Its headwaters are in the Rocky Mountains where La Poudre Pass Lake is its source. Located in north central Colorado it flows southwest through the Colorado Plateau country of western Colorado, southeastern Utah and northwestern Arizona where it flows through the Grand Canyon. It turns south near Las Vegas, Nevada, forming the Arizona–Nevada border in Lake Mead and the Arizona–California border a few miles below Davis Dam between Laughlin, Nevada and Needles, California California before entering Mexico in the Colorado Desert. Most of its waters are diverted into the Imperial Valley of Southern California. In Mexico its course forms the boundary between Sonora and Baja California before entering the Gulf of California. This article describes most of the major features along the river.