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Berthoud Pass

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U.S. 40, southeast of Hot Sulphur Springs

Edward L. Berthoud, an engineer and surveyor in Golden, blazed an 1861 toll road with mountain man Jim Bridger over this 11,307-foot pass. Their dirt road to Hot Sulphur Springs became a stage road in 1874 and the first paved road over the Continental Divide when U.S. 40 was completed in 1938. The current two-lane highway offers beautiful views plus the excitement of hairpin curves and occasional avalanches and rock slides. The Berthoud Pass Inn (1950), U.S. 40 atop Berthoud Pass, is a homely complex that replaced earlier structures of more appealing design, beginning with the first Berthoud Pass Inn, which L. D. C. Gaskill opened in 1876 as a stage stop. Berthoud Pass Ski Area, atop the pass, boasted Colorado's first rope tow in 1937, followed by the first double-seat chair lift. During the 1940s Berthoud attracted a third of Colorado's skiers but has since been dwarfed by nearby Winter Park and other newer, much larger areas.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Berthoud Pass", [Parshall, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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