Colorado U.S. Route – Highway 285
Highway 285 is a north-south route, running 846 miles through Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. The endpoint in Colorado has always been Denver.
Railroad Route – Highway 285
Between Bailey and Nathrop, south of Buena Vista, Colorado, this highway follows the old Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad (D&SPRR) route. Back in the day, this route passed through the historic community of Como, which was the hub for the D&SPRR, and the junction point of three main lines: from Denver to Como across Kenosha Pass; from Como to Leadville via Boreas and Fremont Passes; and from Como to Gunnison and beyond via Trout Creek Pass. This junction was invaluable for transferring ore and people during the Colorado mining era.
All these passes are high mountain pass routes with most elevations above 10,000 feet.
- Kenosha Pass – 10,001’
- Boreas Pass – 11,481’
- Fremont Pass – 11,318’
- Trout Creek Pass – 9,346’
Pioneer Route – Highway 285
Previous to the railroad era, the 285 route out of Denver to South Park, was a stagecoach route. It was popular with early pioneers looking to stake their claim in the gold and silver mines of that region.
Today, 285 out of Denver is still the major thoroughfare into South Park and continues on to Salida and south into New Mexico. It’s also a very scenic drive with several byways along the way.
South Park, Colorado
Perched high in the Colorado Rockies, South Park Colorado is a microcosm of Western history. From deep canyons to vast grasslands to snowy peaks and alpine meadows, this compelling basin is home to the nation’s highest incorporated town, gold mines, cattle ranches, and mountain passes. As one of only 49 National Heritage Areas in the United States, South Park offers a rare glimpse of pioneer life at high altitudes during the settlement of the American West.
South Park Colorado is a landscape rich with heritage and attracts individuals who value western authenticity. Some ranches have been operated for five generations by the same family. As they have for centuries, residents still depend on the land for their livelihood, recreation, and quality of life. As other places lose their inherent charm, South Park becomes a more engaging destination.
More About South Park Colorado
Perhaps you’re curious about the more modern attraction, the cartoon South Park. What does South Park Colorado have to do with the cartoon anyway? One can really only speculate on the subject. Perhaps these two places (one real, the other fictional) have nothing to do with one another. It’s just mere coincidence that they bear similar naming. However, it’s also possible that there’s more to it than mere coincidence. One similarity that stands out is that the historical South Park was outlandish, full of ironies, and scandal. This is also true about the cartoon. Learn more about South Park, Fairplay and Conifer Colorado. There are some interesting connections between them that might just satisfy your curiosity.