Near South Fork in Mineral County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
History of a Road
Squatter-trapper Bill Wolf probably wasn't the first man across the pass, though it bears his name. Until the early 1900's, Cumbres and Elwood Passes opened the way to fertile Pagosa Country, first used by migrating bands of hunter-gatherers (4000 BC - 200 AD), later by Spanish and French explorers seeking gold in the 1700's, and finally by settlers int he mid-1800's.
The increasing wealth of lumber, not gold, inspired the building of a faster north-south route. Working with horses and wagons, men completed narrow, steep Wolf Creek Pass in 1916.
Chugging over the pass in a Model-T Ford took two days, often resulting in burning brakes and boiling radiators. Large patches of last winter’s snow meant stopping and shoveling out a path. Meeting another vehicle from the opposite direction was an exercise in diplomacy - occasionally a test of boxing skill.
Old Bill Wolf’s pass is now very different. Smooth pavement, double-lanes, snowslide sheds and runaway-truck ramps provide a safe, comfortable one-hour trip over the pass. Even with these improvements, Wolf Creek Pass remains a legend in many songs and poems as the “bearcat” of mountain passes.
Location. 37° 28.975′ Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: South Fork CO 81154, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Great Divide (here, next to this marker); Continental Divide Trail (here, next to this marker).
Categories. • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 349 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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