Boreas Pass Road

This road, just outside Breckenridge, CO, crosses the range where it divides the headwaters of the Blue River (a tributary to the Colorado River) to the north with the headwaters of the South Platte River to the south. It is traversed by Forest Service Road 33, a gravel road passable by two wheel drive vehicles in spring, summer and early fall. The road runs from Breckenridge in the north to Como, near Fairplay, in the south. This is a great road to travel in the spring and summer for wildflowers, and in the fall for spectacular aspen colors.

The pass was known as Breckenridge Pass in the 1860’s when it served as an early route for prospectors during the Colorado gold rush. In 1866 it was widened for wagons and stagecoaches. In 1882 Union Pacific began laying narrow gauge tracks up the spur. A roundhouse, still in existence, was constructed at Como. The rail line over the pass was a major engineering feat because of winter snows at the high peak altitude of 11,500′. A town of Boreas, now a ghost town, was constructed at the summit, primarily to house workers to clear the line in winter.

The road is 19.8 miles long, and features beautiful wildflowers in season. There is an old water tank partway up from Breckenridge which was used by the steam engines crossing the pass. The rise up is populated by a mass of aspen trees, while the area near the end at Como also has massive forests of aspens in the adjacent hills.

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