View Full Version : whats the deal with rollins pass?

Nemesis Gnat
10-10-2007, 01:12 AM
so ive heard so much about jenny creek and yankee doodle lake and all, and being that they are so close to me, i figured id check it out... first of all, stunnning place... like holy smokes i love colorado more and more every day (for all 2 months that ive been here) anyhoo, so im cruisin up the road hopin to get as high as i can, and maybe even find out why my map and google earth say i can get over the winter park even though some people i asked at sol vista one day said that i cant.

it turned out the sol vista people were right, you cant... ill assume cause im the newb here that its only news to me, but why cant i get over? whats the deal with the concrete barrier and open, but blocked with boulders, gate? it kinda cut my journey short:rant:...

on a high note though, i got to see the new kiosk, and that crazily named lake, and one helluva view:thumb::cheers:, and what i guessed what jenny creek trail. only a guess though, cause although i headed down from what was marked as jenny creek trail, and saw the debated snow pack go around line and fence, it got dark as i was cruisin about, and i decided to turn back for fear of getting lost in the ever darkening and unfamiliar forest... with only my housemate for company:eek:...

but so why the shut off pass? does the road (that looked like it got pretty sketch) get pretty sketch?

10-10-2007, 10:13 AM
Well... one reason it's closed is there is an exposed natural gas line in the road. Another reason is there aren't enough resources to keep it maintained. Another reason is it was closed because there used to be another way over, that being Needle's Eye tunnel. But then the tunnel collapsed, so now both routes are closed.

Why it hasn't been opened is again there aren't the resources to keep it maintianed, no funding to do the work to get it open in the first place, and a lot of the locals up there object to any route over to Winter Park being opened, ever again. In their opinion there are already too many idiots & too much traffic w/o the through route, and they see this as even more of that... they have a point.

But that's cool you have taken a liking to such a pretty area, that's easy to do and a big reason why so many of us in the club have been so active up there, and one of the reasons we adopted Jenny Creek. We'll have to take you through Jenny Creek some time so you learn the way... in the mean time here's a great reason to learn more about the whole area and get a little more involved in the land use issues we all face. Our official land use guy Red Chili personally loves this area, so say you're into old railroad history and you guys will be instant buds.. :cheers:

10-10-2007, 10:48 AM
The gas line crosses Boulder Wagon Road or thereabouts, but does not interfere with Rollins Pass per se. The only real reason the pass is closed at Needle's Eye Tunnel is that in 1991 (or so?) a rock flaked off the inside and left a Denver firefighter a paraplegic. Even he is a fan of reopening the tunnel however.

The other reason it remains closed is that Christine, the Boulder Ranger, is close to the Boulder County Commissioners and is really good at bringing up objections mirroring theirs. The flaking rock (it is called a tunnel collapse but was far from it) seems to have presented a political opportunity to close the route - sorry if I sound cynical, but that is often how it works. The line seems to be that they do not want so many people in the forest - kind of like no more housing in Boulder, so everyone builds on the outskirts. It is not a front-range-wide consideration, but NIMBYism IMHO. There are two Wilderness areas north and south of the route, and lots of wilderness advocates who are very close to Christine who are against reopening the route; oddly enough, the Colorado head of the Sierra Club has no issue with reopening it. The people are already there, and frustrated (like you are) with having to turn around instead of proceed on an historic route. I would wager reopening the tunnel would relieve some of the recreation pressure on what is the terminus of Rollins Pass today.

All of the objections may be overcome with no more than average effort, and Gilpin and Grand County Commissioners are keen to see the tunnel reopened. Both those counties are tourist-friendly and see reopening the tunnel as a revenue generator from recreation, and as an enhancement of the quality of life for local visitors. I tend to agree.

Contact the Boulder Ranger District with your wishes and ask to speak with Christine. You will likely have to leave a message.

10-10-2007, 11:23 AM
Im not tryiny to start anything, But how wil opening the pass improve my quality of life? and for revenue from recreation? Sorry to be a negative nate but I don't see much positive about it.

10-10-2007, 12:17 PM
Im not tryiny to start anything, But how wil opening the pass improve my quality of life? and for revenue from recreation? Sorry to be a negative nate but I don't see much positive about it.
I didn't say YOUR life would be improved... it would be designed to decrease your quality of living. :lmao:

Thanks for your sacrifice!:thumb:;)

But seriously, traffic might increase *perhaps* measurably, but there is already tons of traffic going up and back already. With reopening the tunnel, traffic would go up, and *some* would come back, but not all. That is why Grand County is so supportive. Gilpin County is supportive due to increased revenue and recreation opportunities drawing people. They have already done or are planning significant improvements such as parking at various trailheads throughout the county.

I look forward to Jenny Creek in the morning, Rollins for lunch, and Cajun food in Winter Park for dinner with a nice return path over Berthoud - or nice camping on the western side of Rollins. Today, the only option is the crowd near the end of Jenny Creek.

10-10-2007, 08:31 PM
I have taken on trip over there...Up Rollins, over Boulder Wagon Road, and into Grand Lake (years ago before it had closed), had lunch, and back through RMNP. Wonderful day that I would love to be able to do again:)

Nemesis Gnat
10-11-2007, 01:08 PM
whoa i didnt mean to bring up some controversy... i just like 'splorin...

cool place anyways, and id love to be shown the way through jenny creek.

on a side note, can you still hike your way over the pass? or ride a bike maybe?

also as for making the life of rollinsville people worse... most 4 wheelers are hardly the worst people to have around... much better than like, annoying people or something

10-11-2007, 01:21 PM
You can hike or ride a human powered bike over the pass. Some motorcyclists defy the closure which doesn't help our cause any.