Rollins Pass (East side)
Aliases: Moffat Tunnel, Karel Park Lake
While no longer a through-road to the western side of the divide, the Rollins Pass Road still provides 4WD access to alpine tundra, as well as spruce-fir forest and willow thickets. These can hold Fox and Lincoln’s Sparrows, MacGillivray’s and Wilson’s Warblers, Dusky Flycatcher, and Green-tailed Towhee. In the spruce-fir, keep a careful eye out for American Three-toed Woodpecker, and on the tundra, there’s the off chance for White-tailed Ptarmigan and Brown-capped Rosy-finch, in addition to the more common American Pipit and Horned Lark. Bighorn Sheep, Elk, and American Pika are all also found here. Be aware, the condition of the road can be rocky; a sturdy, high-clearance vehicle with 4-wheel drive is recommended. To explore a similar habitat not too far from here, look into touring nearby Rogers Pass.
Directions: From Rollinsville on CO 119: head west on CR 16/E Portal Rd. for 7.5 miles to CR 117/Rollins Pass Rd. Go north on CR 117 for approximately 12 miles, to the end of the road.
Dates of Access: Summer months
Hours: Daylight hours
Restrictions: Remain on the road when driving through private property.
Parking: Roadside and gravel parking areas
Lodging: Hotels in Nederland, primitive camping locations in Gilpin County
Handicapped Access: Limited