“The railroads seemed to be tailor made for the huge American landmass and for the indomitable spirit of its people.”
Started as a foot trail in 1859, Boreas Pass, was a vital connection between Breakenridge and Como. As mining camps along the pass grew in prominence, the trail was widened allow travel by stage and ore wagons. Regular travel continued for more than a decade.
In the early 1880s, the Union Pacific Railroad saw the need for a route into Leadville and, wanting to beat its competition, pulled their man James Evans from the Alpine Tunnel to do the job. By 1882, track was laid from Como all the way to the summit of the pass and was pushed on into Breakenridge later that same year. The first train of the Denver, South Park, and Pacific railroad reached Leadville in May of 1883.
Boreas Station was constructed at the summit of the pass and served as a station stop along the line. There was a stone engine house, a turntable, a telegraph office, and other commercial ventures which serviced both the train crews and passengers.
After the trains stopped running in 1951, the Army Corp of Engineers repurposed the right-of-way as an automobile road. To this very day, the pass is just as heavily traversed as ever, but today it carries tourists along this high mountain pass.
Built in 1882, the section house still stands tall and proud at the site today. Next to it, stands a log cabin built during the 1860s when the road was still a foot path. Both buildings were masterfully restored between 1992 and 1997. They are now managed by the Summit Huts Association and can be rented by cross country skiers during the winter months.