A beautiful landmark accessible by car or on foot, Rollins Pass—also known as Corona Pass—showcases dramatic views of the Continental Divide from what was once a historic railroad route. Find out more about why Rollins Pass should make your list of “must-see” Winter Park destinations below!
Take a Scenic Trip Along the Continental Divide
Rollins Pass is located about five miles east of Winter Park, between Winter Park and Rollinsville, with Winter Park being the easiest access point. Previously used as a precarious high-altitude train route nicknamed the “Top of the World,” Rollins Pass has been abandoned since 1927. Since then, it has largely functioned as a scenic route for 4×4 off-roading, mountain biking, and hiking during the summer months. Rollins Pass is inhospitable and inaccessible during the winter season; the best time to visit the railway is during August or September. Rollins Pass Colorado has something for everyone!
Brochures are available at a variety of local businesses in Winter Park that give pointers on embarking on self-guided tours of Rollins Pass by vehicle, though if you’re an avid hiker, you can easily have an incredible experience by traversing switchback routes that showcase old sections of the railroad, such as trestles, bridges, tunnels, water towers, and more. These pieces put together the puzzle of how locals once traversed the Continental Divide under perilous but necessary circumstances, as Rollins Pass was once the only way to cross.
The Needle’s Eye is one of the most famous tunnels along Rollins Pass. While the tunnel itself isn’t much to write home about—especially since it was officially closed in 1990 after caving in twice over the course of eleven years—this spot has some of the most fantastic views in the area. Along the way, you can spot the discarded remains of train wrecks from long ago. Other notable locales worth hiking to include Rifle Sight Notch and the Devil’s Slide Trestles.
Vehicles can only go so far along Rollins Pass, since the caving of the Needle’s Eye closed off the old route permanently. Hiking is legal all the way through the pass, however.
Rollins Pass Trail
While unspeakably beautiful, Rollins Pass is just one of the many breathtaking locales you can enjoy during your time in Winter Park. Contact our team of reservation specialists to ask about booking your lodgings through us and you’ll learn more about Rollins Pass and other spectacular Winter Park-area sights!