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Ridgway
Dallas Divide
Placerville
Vance Jct.
Telluride
Ophir
Trout Lake
Lizard Head
Rico
Dolores
Mancos


 

 

Location Map...

 

lizard head pass otr137.jpg (74908 bytes)
Pass View c1890

 

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Related Information

Lizard Head Pass, CO
Elevation 10,250  ft.
RGS Mile Post 52.6

A 400 feet tall rock pinnacle gave rise to the name Lizard Head. In the 1890's the peak apparently resembled a lizard. The RGS even chose this formation for its logo.

One story goes that one night a loud rumble filled the area and local residents thought there had been an earthquake. However the next day it became apparent that there had been a large rock fall at the peak and it may have lost its lizard like appearance.

Located along the divide between the Dolores and San Miguel watersheds, the area at Lizard Head Pass is a large gently sloping meadow. It was heavily logged in the early days and became a favorite summer grazing spot for sheep ranchers. The open nature of the land led to cold winters and significant snow drifts.

lizard head pass view to east P5240058.jpg (51210 bytes)
View to east from Lizard Head Pass

There was a 1549' long snow shed built at the site to help keep the tracks clear in those winters. A log Section House also doubled as the Depot. There was a log Bunk House and Tool Shed to support the section crews. This was a busy shipping point in spring and fall for sheep that had grazed over the summer and there was a stock yard to facilitate loading and unloading on the train. 


Lizard Head Pass rail yard c1920

 

South of the pass the railroad crosses the west fork of the Dolores River using two large wooden trestles at Gallagher. The site was also called Murphy at one time.

 

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