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Lizard Head Pass, Colorado - Mile Post 52.6 - Elev. 10,250ft
Contributed by Jerry Clark - Modern Photos by Thomas A. Cruse
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Lizard Head Pass was the highest point on the Rio Grande Southern. All traces of the railroad have vanished at this point, although the wye can be traced. Facilities at the summit once included a 28 car passing siding, wye, stockpens, a crude depot/section house, bunkhouse, section car shed and the ever necessary privy.

s0040.jpg - 9949 BytesLizard Head Pass is located in an open meadow southeast of Lizard Head Peak. This open location made the area very susceptible to drifting snow and necessitated the construction of a snowshed immediately after the tracks were laid in 1891. When originally constructed, the shed covered the entire passing siding and wye. The snowshed configuration changed considerably over the years due to fires and collapse of various sections due to the weight of snow. The stockpens were located on the tail of the wye, beyond the end of the snowshed. This section of track had a capacity of approximately 8 cars, and during the spring and fall stock rushes Lizard Head was an active shipping point for sheep.

The section house, originally the depot, was constructed out of heavy timbers which may have been bridge ties. This building was occupied continuously during the life of the railroad, first as the agent/telegraphers quarters and then as the home of the section boss. Today, the only remaining piece of the structures at Lizard Head is the depot/section house station sign which can be viewed at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado.

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Lizard Head Pass Photo Gallery
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