NAME: Corona
CLIMATE: Snow in Winter, Cool Summer
COMMENTS: Nice Summer trip.
REMAINS: Unknown
The town was a settlement that came into being by necessity for the Denver an Salt Lake Railroad. It was located at the apex of Rollins Pass, el. 11660 feet, and established in 1904. The town served as a shelter for the many engine crews that were required to aid trains in the ascent of the pass. Telegraph offices, a cafe , small hotel, and some small shops as well as water and coal for the locomotives. There was also a "Y" track for turning the locomotives. What really makes Corona unique, is that the entire settlement was located under snow sheds, even the Y track, due to the bitter storms that raked the summit in the winter. You can imagine the quality of the air inside those snow sheds when there were 3 or 4 smokey locomotives parked in there. Later a small brick one story hotel was erected for the benifit of tourists that travelled to the summitt in the summer months. The excusion trains that the Railroad ran from Denver were quite popular in the summer and fall months. The winds at the summit were so strong at times that it was necessary to cable down the brick hotel to keep it from being blown away. The view from the top was expectional. as you can see all the way to the eastern colorado plains, over 50 miles away. In 1928 a tunnell was completed beneath the pass, and the rails over it were no longer used, and the town of Corona was abandoned. The rails over the pass were left in place as an emergency route in case of a cave in in the tunnel until 1936, when they were finally picked up. What was left of the town was dismanted and burned by the U.S.forestery sevice, as were the snow sheds, and the brick hotel. The road is maintained by the forestry service as a fire road, and is easily driven from the west side, with only one short steep grade where a tunnell has caved in and its necessay to short cut to the nrxt upper level. This road can be accessed near Winter Park colorado. The road up from the east side is the most senic, however about the last mile or 2 were 4X4 country, as the tunnel near the top has caved in and its necessary to by pass the tunnel as well as 2 side trestles, as the forestry people have blocked these trestles with a pile of rocks. You can get to the top from the east side but its a struggle. This road can be accessed at East Portal, near Tolland. There was a second ghost town on this pass, called Arrow, and it was half way up the west side of the pass. Arrow was larger than Corona, and had a Jail , post office, several saloons, hotels,a stock yards, and a regular population that stayed year round, and was thought to have been the first town built in Grand county. As with Corona, nothing is left except the railroad grade, and some foundations.It too died when the rails no longer passed by. Years back some boy scouts placed markers to indicate were various buildings stood, but these have vanished now. The trip up from the west side is about 15 miles, and about the same from the eastern side, but both are beautiful rides, but do it in the summer or fall. - Dale Rohrback