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Rollins Pass (aka Corona Pass)

Intermediate
 3.5 (20)

The old railroad grade over Rollins pass from Rollinsville to Winter Park.


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Map Key

35.7

Miles

57.5

KM

Doubletrack

11,671' 3,557 m

High

8,457' 2,578 m

Low

3,233' 985 m

Up

2,674' 815 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

Needle Eye Tunnel is closed and barricaded, but a detour path over the tunnel is available.

Need to Know

After passing over Needle Eye Tunnel, veer to the right at the end of the dirt parking area to put yourself on the path that crosses the Trestle Bridges (you'll ride past a gate). You'll bypass the bridges if you stay on the main road, which veers left and up.

Description

Head up the smooth dirt East Portal road from Rollinsville. This part of the road is suitable for all cars and crowded, so many people drive this section and park at the Moffat Tunnel. Check out the Moffat tunnel, which made the original narrow gauge railroad obsolete, before heading up the switchbacks leading up to the continental divide. There is also a bore parallel to the Moffat Tunnel which pipes water from the west side of the divide to the east side, confusing the traditional definition of a continental divide as the division between 2 drainage basins.

As you near treeline, you'll encounter the lovely Yankee Doodle Lake and Jenny Lake. On the east side of Yankee Doodle lake is the Boulder Wagon Trail, which is how 4WD vehicles avoid the Needle Eye tunnel (which is closed and barricaded). But on a bike, there is a clear detour trail over the tunnel.

At the summit, there are a few ways to go, but they all merge back together again before heading down the west side of the continental divide. If you stick to the railroad grade, near the summit is the trestle bridge, which is quite a thrilling crossing. You'll also notice a large number of timbers next to the grade near the summit, which are the remnants of a near continuous snow shed.

Enjoy the pleasant downhill on the West side of the continental divide, while stopping occasionally to enjoy the view and to inspect relics of the railroad. Pop out onto Highway 40, and either cross the highway or ride the shoulder west a bit to access the Fraser River Trail which leads to either the town of Winter Park (West) or the ski resort (East) for food and drink.

Shared By:

Alan Doak with improvements by Christopher McCarthy

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 20 votes

#2

in Rollinsville

#4262

Overall
  3.5 from 20 votes
5 Star
15%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
15%
1 Star
5%
Trail Rankings

#2

in Rollinsville

#341

in Colorado

#4,262

Overall
1,426 Views Last Month
49,797 Since Jun 26, 2013
Intermediate

19%
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75%
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0%
6%

Photos

Leaving the East Portal of Needle's Eye Tunnel.
Jul 27, 2013 near Fraser, CO
Crossing one of the Trestles coming down Rollins Pass towards Rollinsville
Jul 11, 2017 near Fraser, CO
Back to the rail grade as the usual thunderstorm builds.
Jul 27, 2013 near Fraser, CO
The Continental Divide
Jul 27, 2013 near Fraser, CO
Final stretch to the divide.
Jul 27, 2013 near Fraser, CO
Hiking over the barricaded tunnel.
Jul 27, 2013 near Fraser, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 7 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 27, 2020
Todd Creek
Sep 3, 2019
Jeff Weathers
Jul 31, 2019
Christopher McCarthy
Path is clear of snow. 43mi — 4h 30m
Jul 14, 2019
Carin Aichele
And
Jan 8, 2019
Scott Glancy
Too much snow on Eastern Rollins Pass Road, so I abandoned my bike and hiked a while. 21mi — 3h 39m
Nov 23, 2018
Michael Jasch
Great day for fat biking with fresh snow falling and no one around 7mi
Oct 27, 2018
Kristi Lahusen
Snow on road to Rollins Pass. 4WD only with high clearance.
Sep 29, 2018
Barry Greene