Continue the Peak to Peak out of the Black Hawk/Central City District (our first stop - http://www.examiner.com/x-35850-Denver-Getaways-Examiner~y2010m1d18-Colorado-Peak-to-Peak-Highway ) by heading north on 119. The first part of the drive out of Black Hawk follows the Clear Creek
Canyon. The steep slopes hovering above on both side of the route are speckled with
tailings from long ago abandoned mines. Shortly the route climbs from the canyon and
evolves into a wooded high ridge road. Mt. Evans, one of the 14ers, looms behind in the
The route intersects shortly with CO 46 that will take you to Golden Gate Canyon that offers
wonderful hours of hiking opportunities with over 60 miles of trails that wind through back
country. There is a trail for any level of hiker so take advantage.
CO119 passes through a valley and then slopes further down into Gamble Gulch that houses a
little town called Rollinsville founded in 1873. The town's founder John Rollins allowed no
gamblng or saloons. Rollins built a toll road over the 11,671 foot pass now known as
Rollins Pass. The toll road was later acquired by a couple of railroad companies and
through a combined effort established the highest altitude railroad line utilizing 33
tunnels. Now abandoned, the railbed has been converted into a jeep trail and has become a
popular 4 wheel drive excursion.
CO 119 twists and turns after leaving Rollinsville descending into Nederland, a cozy mountain village which also had its birth as a mining town during the gold rush and sets just above Barker Reservoir. After gold mining was no longer fruitful, the town became little more than a ghost town until its rebirth due to the discovery of tungsten. Nederland has now become a sports destination with Eldora Mountain Resort, just a short jaunt up the hill, offering downhill skiing and snowboarding cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the back country, as well as a draw for those seeking a leisurely venture into the backcountry to take in a little wildlife and magnificent scenery at any time of the year. Two big draws
for the town are the Frozen Dead Guy Days and NedFest (http://www.nedfest.com/). If you
misses the Frozen Dead Guy Days, don’t worry, you can still stop in and say hello to Grandpa
Bredo – he's been frozen for several years in a storage shed and a short film documentary is
available to see his story.
Nederland is home to a number of restaurants and cafes offering a variety of dining
experiences, including Black Forest Restaurant for German cuisine. The Nederland area
chamber of commerce (http://www.nederlandchamber.org/) lists the following lodges and hotels
as a sampling of Nederland's overnight hospitality: Sundance Lodge, Goldminer Hotel, and
Arapaho Ranch Cabins.
Next stop and the end of the Route-- Estes Park – stayed tuned.