Colorado Mountain Land and Property - Helpful Information about Wolf Creek Pass and Ski Area
Wolf Creek Pass (el. 10,823 ft.) is a high mountain pass on the Continental Divide, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. It is the route through which U.S. Highway 160 passes from the San Luis Valley into southwest Colorado on its way to New Mexico and Arizona. The pass is notable as inspiration of a C.W. McCall song.
Wolf Creek Pass, once a two-lane road winding through the San Juan Mountains between South Fork, Colorado and Pagosa Springs, has recently been expanded into a multi-lane highway, greatly increasing the traffic capacity of the pass and making it more navigable in bad weather. It will also become the easiest access to southwest Colorado from the rest of the state, as all remaining overland routes require a lengthy detour through New Mexico, or the intimidating Red Mountain Pass: a two-lane road winding along sheer cliffs from Ouray to Silverton.
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A 900-foot tunnel on the eastern portion was opened November 5, 2005. Construction was completed in the Summer of 2006, with the highway fully widened and drainage projects along the route completed.
At present, a major resort project headed by Texan billionaire Red McCombs is causing controversy in the area. The proposed resort would be situated near the summit of the pass.
The pass is also home to Wolf Creek ski area, frequented by locals and famous for large annual snowfall. It is located on the eastern side of the Continental Divide on Highway 160. Also on the eastern side is one of the largest RV parks in the United States, located just a few miles west of South Fork, Colorado.
Wolf Creek Pass is also an attraction for tourists, as it is known for the natural beauty of the wilderness the highway passes through.
It was made famous in 1975 by Country music artist C.W. McCall's humorous spoken word song of the same name, in which the pass is fondly described as "37 miles o' hell -- which is up on the Great Divide." In the song, two truckers drive an out-of-control 18-wheeler down U.S. Highway 160 to Pagosa Springs -- a 5,000-foot drop in elevation.
I looked at Earl and his eyes was wide His lip was curled, and his leg was fried. And his hand was froze to the wheel like a tongue to a sled in the middle of a blizzard.
I says, "Earl, I'm not the type to complain But the time has come for me to explain That if you don't apply some brake real soon, they're gonna have to pick us up with a stick and a spoon..."
("Wolf Creek Pass" written by Bill Fries and Chip Davis, sung by C.W. McCall)
The song describes the truck careening down through a "tunnel" (during which process several crates of chickens stacked on the back of the truck are inadvertently lost) and eventually into a feed store in Pagosa Springs. This tunnel is actually a snow shed: the song predates the only true tunnel on the pass by 30 years. However, the snow shed is on the east side of the pass while Pagosa Springs is on the west side, making this sequence of events impossible.
It should be noted, however, that going through the snowshed prior to crashing in Pagosa Springs is possible. The trip, as noted in early verses, starts in eastern Colorado from the town of Wiggins. Thus, the truck is headed westbound into Pagosa Springs, not eastbound FROM Pagosa Springs.
Wolf Creek Ski Area
Wolf Creek's seven lifts service incredibly beautiful terrain, over 1,600 acres. The Magic Carpet is a moving conveyor lift for the Wolf Pup Program. The Nova Lift services beginner terrain for children and new skiers. The new Raven Chairlift services primarily beginner and intermediate terrain. The Bonanza and Treasure Triple Chairlift service intermediate and expert slopes. The Alberta Chairlift serves the Water Fall Area. This unique area is beautiful and adventuresome; full of incredible glades and changing terrain. Predominately tree skiing and boarding, these 1,000 acres have a few groomed trails for intermediates' interests and enjoyment.
Official Website: Wolf Creek Ski Area
Wolf Creek Skiing, Rio Grande Golf Club, Fishing, Hiking - The Perfect Vacation Property or Dream Home.
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