Skip to main content

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 29; US Route 6 over Loveland Pass

Upon leaving Leadville I took a turn on Colorado State Route 91 towards Fremont Pass and the Climax Mine.  From the terminus of CO 91 I took Interstate 70/US Route 6 east to Dillon to spend the night.  The next morning my planned route back to Denver included crossing Loveland Pass via US 6.


This article serves as the 29th entry in the 2016 Summer Mountain Part Trip.  Part 28 covers the history of US Route 24 through the Town of Leadville.

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 28; US Route 24 through Leadville

Loveland Pass crests the Continental Divide of the Colorado Rockies Front Range at an elevation of 11,990 feet above sea level.  Loveland Pass is one of the oldest transportation corridors through the Rockies.  Loveland Pass traces it's origins back to a wagon road constructed through Clear Creek Canyon by William A.H. Loveland in 1863-1864.  The Loveland wagon road up Clear Creek Canyon to Loveland Pass was built to take advantage of the numerous mining stamp mills that popped up during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush.

During the Auto Trail era in Colorado the road over Loveland Pass appeared not to be a major corridor of travel.  No signed highways appear over Loveland Pass on the 1924 Rand McNally Regional Highway Map.  The Midland-Roosevlt Midland Trail is shown to climb out of Clear Creek Canyon via Berthoud Pass (future US 40) via Empire.


Loveland Pass appears on the route of CO 91 on the 1927 Rand McNally Highway Map of Colorado.  CO 91 in it's original form began at US 40S in Leadville.  CO 91 from Leadville headed northeast via Fremont Pass and Loveland Pass to US 40/CO 2 in Empire. 


During 1936 the Loveland Ski Area opened operations and brought additional tourism to Loveland Pass.  By 1937 US 6 was extended from Greeley, CO to Long Beach, CA according to USends.  US 6 absorbed the entire route of CO 91 over Loveland Pass and Fremont Pass which can be seen on the 1939 State Farm Insurance Map of Colorado.  By 1940 US 6 would be rerouted from Fremont Pass to Vail Pass but Loveland Pass would remain as part of the highway.


During March 1973 Loveland Pass was bypassed by I-70 by way of the Eisenhower Tunnel.  Notably hazardous cargo and trucks over 13 feet, 11 inches cannot enter the Eisenhower Tunnel.  Given the heavy truck restrictions through the Eisenhower Tunnel US 6 over Loveland Pass has remained an important trucking corridor despite it's heavy 6.7% grades.

Upon my arrival to Loveland Pass on eastbound US 6 I was greeted with a Department of Agriculture sign announcing the height of the pass along the Continental Divide.  Notably US 6 over Loveland Pass is the second highest US Route only behind US 34 on the Trail Ridge Road.


A look southwest from Loveland Pass towards the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.


A progressive look northeast from Loveland Pass into Clear Creek Canyon.  The heavy road grades of US 6 become immediately apparent.





A panoramic view of Loveland Pass.


Upon reaching I-70 I stayed eastbound through Clear Creek Canyon towards Denver.  I would make several additional stops in Clear Canyon on my way to the Denver Area.

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 30; former US Route 6 and Colorado State 91 in Silver Plume


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Breezewood - The Rise and Decline of a Highway Rest Stop

It's the Pennsylvania Turnpike Interchange most people hate - and with a passion.  The Breezewood Interchange - a junction of two Interstates (70 & 76) that became complicated due to archaic rules, rural politics and power, and an unwillingness to change.  At its romanticized best, this small unincorporated community of under 100 residents is a reminder of travel days of the 1950s-1970s; at its worst, it is a gradually dying relic of old motels and services that drivers are forced to slow down and drive through on their way to bigger and more modern destinations.

The Breezewood Interchange is an exception to the rule in the Interstate Highway System.  Depending on your direction, Interstate 70 joins or leaves the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) here.  However, unlike nearly every Interstate junction in the United States - Interstate 70 must traverse on a roughly 1/4 mile stretch of US 30.  A four lane highway complete with traffic lights, center turn lanes to cross traffi…

Just a good old fashioned roadgeeking trip

2020 as we all know has been a year unlike any other.   A number of planned trips for my family and for work have obviously been shelved.   So what can cure that itch to get out and explore.  For me, it was a simple four and a half hour loop north of my home.  
This was for me a good old fashioned roadgeek trip - an explore trip on some roads I hadn't checked out before.  In addition to checking out a few towns along some roads I have been on.  No expectations but the hope of discovering some new things and learn about them.
Route: Local Roads to NC 3 , NC 801, US 601, US 64, NC 901, NC 115, local roads home.
Part of the goal for the trip was to hopefully get additional towns and communities for the Carolina Crossroads project.  Fortunately, the trip didn't disappoint.  For the entire set on flickr - head here.

Bear Poplar was one of the more interesting community names.  Just down the road from here was a nice surprise.  The Mount Ulla community barn quilt is posted on the side o…

California State Route 283; former US Route 101 over the Rio Dell Bridge

This week we examine one of California's shortest State Highways; California State Route 283.  California State Route 283 includes the 1941 Rio Dell Bridge and is a former segment of US Route 101.  The photo below is the Rio Dell Bridge after the 1964 Christmas Floods which wiped out the northern approach span. 


California State Route 283 ("CA 283") is a 0.36 Mile State Highway between modern US Route 101/Redwood Highway and the community of Rio Dell in Humboldt County.  The key feature of CA 283 is the 1941 Rio Dell Bridge which was the second alignment of US Route 101.  The Rio Dell Bridge connected Scotia north over the Eel River via Wildwood Avenue to Rio Dell.  The Rio Dell Bridge is a steel truss design which 1,643.1 feet in length.  The Rio Dell Bridge is also known as; North Scotia Bridge, Eel River Bridge, Scotia-Rio Dell Bridge, Albert Stanwood Murphy Memorial Bridge, and the Eagle Prairie Bridge.  CA 283 is unsigned presently ranks as the second shortest State…