Loveland Pass, Colorado – Top of The Continental Divide

As I stated last week, my wife and I were in Colorado for the first week of July. We were there to support our daughter by taking care of our granddaughter during the day for mom. Our daughter is in charge of shooting a multi episode show with her production company filming crew. Most of the filming was in and around an old historic mining town and it entailed long days for them. She and her husband had just gotten back from Europe and she didn’t want another week of missing her daughter. We gladly said we’d be more than happy to help out and it gave us the opportunity to show our granddaughter our old stomping grounds. We moved from the Denver area 30 years ago this fall to San Diego, so we welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in an area we love.

This weeks post is number 2 of 3 from Colorado. Last week was focused on the Lake Dillon area just west of the continental divide, with this week being Loveland Pass which goes over the continental divide. Heading west from Denver when we arrived, we followed Interstate 70 winding through the front range going to the Eisenhower Tunnel (under the continental divide) coming out to the valley with Lake Dillon as featured last week. This week finds us heading back to the Denver area, but going over Loveland Pass which is the pass above the Eisenhower Tunnel. We thought it would be something our granddaughter would enjoy as it is so different than anything she has experienced (our granddaughter is still talking about the mountain she went to the top of when she was in Colorado).

Loveland Pass 1

The highway winds its way up the western slope of the Continental Divide, climbing in altitude and bringing you above tree-line as you approach the pass. Tree-line in this part of the Rockies is approximately 11,500ft /3,500m.

Loveland Pass 2

As we wind our way near the pass, we have just climbed above the tree-line when i stopped to take this picture…please note the blue sky and puffy white clouds as I look west back towards the area we came from.  I point this out as you will see dark storm clouds as my shots rotate to the east towards Denver (again typical afternoon thunderstorms for this time of year).

Loveland Pass 3

We arrive at Loveland Pass elevation 11,990ft / 3,655m to a crowd of folks enjoying the serenity and beauty of the 360 degree panorama. This capture is looking generally north. Please note the hiking trail as both sides of the highway have them leading to trails accessing the summits of nearby mountain peaks.

Loveland Pass 4

Looking slightly northwest as you see one of the trails wind its way across the top of the peaks.

Loveland Pass 5

This shot shows the parking lot and the hiking trail from the last picture. I added it because (and I get it’s hard to see) if you look at the ridge-line of the peak to the left of the obvious group of people going up the trail, you will see a few heads of hikers that are traversing this summit heading to the very top point.

Loveland Pass 6

This is the part of the Continental Divide that the Eisenhower Tunnel goes through………

Loveland Pass 7

This is the trail on the other side of the highway where I was taking pictures from. See the difference in the sky? This is looking southwest towards Colorado Springs along the base of the Rockies south of Denver….looks like they are getting some rain.

Loveland Pass 8

This is a capture of the west side of the pass and the highway we will be taking down to rejoin Interstate 70 heading into Denver. This is looking towards Denver and it looks like they are getting some rain also.

Loveland pass 9

As we wind our way back towards tree line, I took this shot of the Loveland Ski area. It starts down by the Eisenhower tunnel and has ski slopes carved into the thick forest at lower elevations and also has runs above tree-line. Since it’s quick and easy to access from Denver, we spent many a day off skiing here.

Next week I’m going to post a blog highlighting downtown Denver. For most of the week we were staying in the mountains just west of Denver proper, but we did spend the last two days in downtown proper. Denver has a very dynamic downtown and has done an incredible job creating a true living/working core to this great city (ok, I’m biased…but it really is cool).

Thoughts?

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45 thoughts on “Loveland Pass, Colorado – Top of The Continental Divide

  1. Darlene

    What a great experience for your granddaughter. I recall the look of amazement the first time I took my kids through the Rocky Mountains.

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      The drama is the same whether it be Alberta into British Columbia or Colorado westward. Stunning mountain range and I had forgotten just how dramatic the peaks are especially with so much snow still on them!

      Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Loved our time there Brad and really enjoyed our time downtown….mountains are stunning and so dramatic…I had forgotten just how much. Thanks for stopping by Brad!!

      Reply
  2. Dan Antion

    Thanks for sharing the lovely photos and information, Kirt. I bypassed Denver many years ago on our way out west, opting to head to Salt Lake City. I’ve flown in and out, but I’ve never stayed there.

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Wait til you see next weeks post of downtown…I hope my shots do it justice! Flying in and out of DIA does create the right picture…..we had moved when it was opened, but planning had started and all of us in Denver referred to the DIA location as “Kansas”. The daughter we were with was 4 when we moved and it had been many years since any of us had been back. Without prompting when we landed, her first comment was “are we in Kansas?”. LOL But that is part of the “drama” of the front range of the Rockies….rising from the plains!! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

      Reply
  3. Felipe Adan Lerma

    It’s been a long time since I was out west where I could actually see the continental divide in the distance, late 70’s in fact! But your pics, Kirt, esp the top one, instantly brought back the magic and power of that sight, especially that first time! I’d just graduated from college via GI benefits and took my kids and my sister and her girl in my little blue Chevette and headed west! I drove from Houston to Amarillo into the night to New Mexico. We woke the next morning to a moon-scape mesa stuccoed red sunrise landscape. And in the distance, 200 miles away it turned out, was a line of crinkly white – the continental divide! Your pics brought it all back to me! I of course didn’t even think of taking a picture – besides, everybody was hungry and needed to go to the bathroom, lol! 😊

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      It is truly breathtaking country in the mountains. The eastern part of Colorado is wide open Prairie, which makes the Rockies so dramatic coming from the east.

      Reply
  4. lorriebowden

    Wow…Kirt! These are stunning pics of an incredibly beautiful place 🙂 I have been lucky enough to visit Colorado twice…both times on a cross country drive.
    Hope all is super wonderful in your world…sure looks like it!

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      It was a great week Lorrie and for my wife and I a wonderful week with our granddaughter and our daughter. We loved the years we lived there and for our granddaughter to now say she was at the top of a mountain with grandma and grandpa means so much to us!! Come back next week with downtown Denver where my wife and I worked in Corp America (banking) during the oil boom of the 80’s! It became an incredible downtown to us then…fast forward 30 years…

      Reply
      1. lorriebowden

        Can’t wait, Kirt😁 It sounds like you two have been on an amazing journey together! Those moments with your grandaughter are ones she will never forget…so important to make them.
        Sweet Blessings, my friend.

  5. Diane Henders

    Wow, beautiful! Those above-the-treeline shots remind me of the Icefields Parkway in Alberta. It’s a spectacular drive, too – now you’re making me homesick! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      It’s the same thing Diane…those highways that take us up over tree line there or Colorado..stunning country…Rockies look so similar there as in Colorado. Being there that week kind of did the same thing to us…..

      Reply
  6. Sue Slaght

    Wow to that elevation! I think I feel a headache coming in or at least some shortness of breath. No wonder there is so much snow. Beautiful captures Kirt and I’ll look forward to your post upcoming on Denver.

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      They were shooting in Silver Plume and the back country above that. The whole trip brought back so many memories for my wife and me. No denying it’s nature at its finest!!

      Reply
  7. Gillian Morris

    Kirt, your photos are stunning. I love the clouds
    what a beautiful region to visit. I would be in my element

    Reply

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