The closed road to Devil’s Slide Trestles in Colorado

Devil’s Slide Trestles is a narrow-gauge unstable railroad located in Boulder County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. It was built to allow the defunct Denver & Salt Lake Railroad to cross the Continental Divide via Rollins Pass.

Devil’s Slide Trestles

What are Devil’s Slide Trestles?

Devil’s Slide consists of two trestles with a vertical drop of 960 ft. They were constructed on the edge of the cliff and appear to be clinging to the wall over open air. Situated high in the Rocky Mountains of north-central Colorado, much of the right-of-way is still intact, although some of the trestles have collapsed in recent years. There are no side or guard rails, and the drop-off on both sides is precipitous. Some of the boards also have enough space between them to see below. Built in 1904 on the edge of South Boulder Canyon, several of these trestles were constructed to allow full-gauge trains to cross the Continental Divide - a feat that would make modern-day engineers cringe.

Can I drive through Devil’s Slide Trestles?

The twin train trestles were integral components of a perilous and treacherous railway route that traversed the Colorado Front Range, linking Denver to Winter Park and Salt Lake City. Originally constructed for trains, the route was repurposed for automobile traffic in 1955 after the train tracks were removed in 1938. For 44 years, from 1955 to 1979, Rollins Pass served as a thoroughfare for vehicles, providing passage over the mountain until a rockfall in Needle's Eye tunnel in 1979 obstructed the route. Following extensive repairs and assessments, the road reopened in 1988, only to be permanently closed in 1990.
Pic: John Carter