We’ve been talking about the first roads into Pagosa Springs used by the first settlers. We’ve described Elwood Pass, the first route across the San Juan Mountains east of Pagosa Springs.
For a time after Elwood Pass was suitable for teams and wagons, circa 1878, the Army considered it as the route for freighting supplies from Fort Garland to the new Fort Lewis under construction in Pagosa Springs. The plan shows that the Army had no inkling of how much snow could accumulate on the peaks of the San Juan Mountains. They wised up pretty suddenly that first winter, which was a bad one.