Skip to main content

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 19; Colorado State Route 139 over Douglas Pass and the Book Cliffs

After descending Harper's Corner Drive through Dinosaur National Monument to US Route 40 I began a southward course towards Grand Junction.  My route south took me over Colorado State Route 64 where I connected to Colorado State Route 139.  CO 139 south was my route over the Book Cliffs via Douglas Pass.


This blog serves as Part 19 of the 2016 Summer Mountain Trip Series, Part 18 can be found below:

2016 Summter Mountain Trip Part 18; Harper's Corner Drive to Dinosaur National Monument

CO 139 is an approximately 72 mile north/south state highway connecting from CO 64 in Rangely to I-70 near Loma.  CO 139 through its course travels through rural regions of Rio Blanco County, Garfield County and Mesa County.  CO 139 south of Rangely follows Douglas Creek and the surrounding canyons on a somewhat rugged trek towards Douglas Pass in Garfield County.  Douglas Pass is relatively low by Colorado standards at 8,268 feet above sea level but is one of the few good roads over the Book Cliffs. The Book Cliffs are a long series of desert mountains mostly made of sandstone which lie in western Colorado and eastern Utah.  The actual "cliff" part of the Book Cliffs largely lie at the edge of the Tavaputs Plateau.

The entirety of CO 139 was built during the 1920s and it can be seen on this 1938 Colorado State Highway Map.

1938 Colorado State Highway Map

CO 139 was apparently deleted as a State Highway in 1954.  CO 139 was partially reactivated in 1964 from Loma to Douglas Pass.  By 1975 the remainder of CO 139 to CO 64 was reactivated.

The view below is from side of CO 139 from the top of Douglas Pass looking southward over the Book Cliffs.  The southward descent on CO 139 from Douglas Pass follows a relatively steep 7% grade.


Comments

KC said…
Apologies if I'm mistaken, but you indicate that the Book Cliffs are in "eastern Colorado and western Utah," but these are two non-contiguous areas. Do you mean western Colorado and eastern Utah?
Challenger 66 said…
I did, that was just a typo.

Popular posts from this blog

Ghost Town Tuesday; Ben Hur Road/Road 613 to Raymond

While returning from the Mariposa Area this month I decided that I wanted to visit the quasi-ghost town of Raymond and take a "off the beaten path" roadway to get there.  I found just what I was looking for in Ben Hur Road in Mariposa County which reaches Raymond as Road 613 in Madera County.


Ben Hur Road begins on the outskirts of Mariposa near Mormon Bar at CA 49.  From CA 49 the route to Raymond is signed as being 23 miles to the south.


Interestingly Ben Hur Road isn't named after the famous 1959 movie but rather a ghost town along the roadway.  The community of Ben Hur has records showing it had a Post Office by said name in 1890 which obviously implies the community was named after the 1880 novel.  Unlike most roads of this kind the story of Ben Hur Road has been told previously by several newspapers in the 20th Century.

Oakland Tribune (September 1950) Trip to Mariposa via Ben Hur Road

Rock Fence is label of history on Quick Rance (Fresno Bee 1954)

The Oakland Tribu…

"Governor Hunt Cuts Ribbon on Doomsday" - The drawnout legal battle to build the I-95 Fayetteville Bypass

It is Monday, December 15, 1980.  North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt and many other dignitaries take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony opening a new 17 mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Cumberland County.  The new road bypasses Fayetteville to the east and completes Interstate 95 in North Carolina - closing a significant gap in what many consider the backbone highway of the East Coast.  The new road moved Interstate traffic from an at-grade, four lane US 301 lined with numerous motels and restaurants onto a fully controlled and traffic light-free limited access freeway. 

Meanwhile at a Quality Inn along US 301 in Fayetteville, a billboard read "Governor Hunt Cuts Ribbon on Doomsday."(1)

The ribbon cutting put an end to over a decade long heated battle over the routing of Interstate 95 around Fayetteville.  One that made it all the way to the steps of the United States Supreme Court.



Interstate 95 in North Carolina History:

The 181 mile Interstate 95 has a unique story in Nort…

California State Route 1 from Interstate 10 in Santa Monica to San Luis Obispo

A recent trip to California State Route 1 in Malibu spurred my interest in revisiting a trip I did in 2014 which included following the highway from Interstate 10 in Santa Monica northward to California State Route 68 in Monterey.  Since I have covered the segment of CA 1 through Big Sur northward to Monterey County so many times I thought it was time to tell the tale of the rest of the highway southward.


This article specifically will cover two segments of CA 1:

-  What was formerly the first CA 3 and later US 101A from San Juan Capistrano north to Oxnard.
-  CA 1 between Oxnard northward to San Luis Obispo.

As stated above the route of CA 1 has been extensively covered on Gribblenation previously.  The previous articles pertaining to CA 1 can be found below.  Suffice to say that CA 1 is highly intertwined with the history of US 101 and has a ton of roadside lore.

California State Route 1/Big Sur Slide Special Part 3; Ragged Point Closure south to US 101 in San Luis Obispo

California …