Surveying Wolf Creek Pass


Surveys for the new road over the San Juan Mountains which was to become Wolf Creek Pass started in 1913. The first surveyor was a man from Alamosa who was unfortunately killed while surveying the East Fork of the San Juan River.

In March of 1913, the State Highway Advisory Board organized a Construction Committee consisting of Messrs. Fred Catchpole, county commissioner of Archuleta County, and commissioners from Alamosa and Rio Grande Counties. This committee was in charge of the work, getting surveys completed, etc., on the Elwood Pass Road.

These men were assisted by W.W. Reilly, civil engineer of Monte Vista, and his assistant. “In company with the Construction Committee and their engineers, we made trips over all the proposed routes from Alamosa to Elwood Pass, down to Timber Hill, and skirting around Silver Creek to get distance enough to build a grade down the East Fork of the San Juan River; also along the crest of the Divide from Elwood Pass to Bonita Pass to the base of Silver Pass, around Treasure Mountain to the top of Windy Gap, thence on to the base of Windy Gap Hill to the road along the West Fork of the San Juan River; and from the top of the Divide east, down the fork of the Rio Grande River to South Fork, connecting with the Alamosa-Creede road at that point.”

At a meeting on April 15, 1914, the State Highway Advisory Board had under discussion the Elwood Pass road, and took the following action:

“In the matter of the Elwood Pass road, we have taken this matter up with the present Board of Construction and with the county commissioners of Rio Grande and Mineral Counties. The present Board of Construction desires to continue in office, and finish the road. A. State Senator West and Mr. Reilly, and the matter of the construction of the road was discussed, but no definite arrangements made. We will take this matter up further with Mr. Herr and the present Construction Board, and arrive at some definite conclusion.”