Another old tin can at the Ironton Townsite, right off of Red Mountain Pass.
My Grandfather was actually the Highway Engineer for the construction of the pass. Being able to drive on what was definitely one of his many great achievements is an incredible feeling. He was also the engineer for several other large highway projects across Colorado and the Four Corners area. Fun facts.
The pass straddles a divide that separates Ouray and San Juan counties. The pass is named for the nearby Red Mountain 1, 2 and, 3 on the northeast side of the pass. The name is derived from the iron oxide laden rock that forms their slopes.
The pass separates the Uncompahgre and Las Animas River watersheds, and also serves as a dividing point between theUncompahgre and San Juan National Forests. The pass is traversed by the Million Dollar Highway, U.S. Highway 550between Ouray and Silverton, which is part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway.
The pass is known for being treacherous in the wintertime due to the steep 8% grade and switchbacks on the north side facing Ouray, though the entire road is paved. In addition, there are very few guardrails on this side and passing is difficult, if not impossible.
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