Rollins Pass: Images of America (2018)

Rollins Pass: Images of America (available in paperback and hardcover) by B. Travis Wright, MPS and Kate Wright, MBA with a foreword by professional archaeologist Jason M. LaBelle, PhD

Rollins Pass Cover 2018
Rollins Pass: Images of America (2018)

Rollins Pass: Images of America by B. Travis Wright, MPS and Kate Wright, MBA with a foreword by professional archaeologist Jason M. LaBelle, PhD

 This book received a 2018 Archaeology and Historic Preservation Award by the Boulder Heritage Roundtable and Historic Boulder.

128 Pages | 218 Images | Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.31 x 9.25 inches | Publisher: Arcadia Publishing | Publication Date: May 14, 2018 | Series: Images of America | Paperback List Price: $21.99 | Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1467127714 | Hardcover List Price: $31.99 | Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1540233325

Due to exceptionally popular demand, this award-winning title entered its third printing within a year of publication!

What’s the difference between your first book, Rollins Pass: Images of America (2018) and your second book, Rollins Pass: Past & Present (2022)?

While our two books cover the same core topics of Rollins Pass and the Moffat Tunnel, the 2022 book is not a republication of our 2018 work—in fact, there’s very little that’s duplicated between the two books. Our 2022 book discusses completely new details and information about Rollins Pass that transpired in the four years between publications. The 2022 work has never-before-published and extraordinarily rare imagery meticulously restored from the originals: all historic photographs are printed in black and white with modern counterparts in full color. While our first book involved two dozen people, our second book involved the efforts of more than six dozen experts to help tell this area’s vast story.



The ribbon of dusty road on Rollins Pass has a timeless and beloved history. First known as Boulder Pass, this comparatively low saddle on the Continental Divide in Colorado has been in continuous use for millennia. First utilized as an expansive Native American game drive complex, the pass subsequently functioned as a toll wagon road in the 1860s. At the turn of the 20th century, Rollins Pass became the highest standard-gauge adhesion railroad grade in North America—an achievement still standing today. However, this overmountain route, known as Corona Pass, was inefficient and dangerous: resolute men tasked with the impossible faced high elevations with even higher risks of injury or death. A safer, permanent route came in 1928 by way of the Moffat Tunnel. The rails of Rollins Pass were then removed, freeing the automobile to tour the historic road. No matter the epoch, the legacy of Rollins Pass abides: a preeminently scenic route to the top of the world.


B. Travis Wright, MPS, and Kate Wright, MBA, volunteer on Rollins Pass as apprentice archaeologists for Colorado State University and for the US Forest Service. Their collaboration with multidisciplinary experts helps bring to life a mountain of pictorial treasures, many of which are published within for the first time.


It is the hope of the authors that “Rollins Pass” will deliver a lasting impact to help preserve the more than 10,000 years of our shared cultural history on this remarkable mountain pass; lest it become trodden upon or disappear before the next generation can visit and appreciate this resplendent place.

To achieve this goal, unlike other published works on Rollins Pass, this is the only book to mention and dedicate a full-chapter to the 10,000 years of Native American history on the pass. The book includes a foreword written by professional archaeologist Jason M. LaBelle, PhD, who studies the Native American presence on the pass and who has concluded that it holds one of the greatest concentrations of ancient hunting structures documented in North America.”

“Rollins Pass” contains many rare images—in pristine quality. Incredibly, this is the only book on Rollins Pass to feature an image of John Quincy Adams Rollins, after whom Rollins Pass was named. Also included are several 19th-century stereocard images documenting landscapes as they were before the railroad. The work includes dozens of incredible photographs from the personal collection of a railroad engineer, John T. Trezise, who worked on Rollins Pass.

Throughout the pages of this book, the authors thoughtfully detail the many heroes and legends of Rollins Pass—from worker John Trezise, to David Moffat and his respect for his men, to how Rollins himself wrote about his initial journeys on what would become known as Rollins Pass. To take the reader back in time, the authors incorporate the text of many historical newspaper articles, giving an added dimension to the zeitgeist and arc of the Rollins Pass story.

Intrigued by the consistent inconsistencies regarding the elevation of Rollins Pass, the authors conducted primary research to get to the bottom of this mystery. As such, this is the only publication to date that explains, using the help of both the National Geodetic Survey and the US Geological Survey, what the exact elevation of Rollins Pass is and how older elevation values were derived.

Finally, this is the only book on Rollins Pass to document discoveries made on the pass within the last decade—including modern-day discoveries of settlements, a derailed railcar, and more. Through their organization, Preserve Rollins Pass, the authors provide modern-day hikers and visitors with the means to directly contact interested archaeologists about artifacts found on the pass—enabling more complete historical records to be created.


Each of our books, presentations, and documentaries about Rollins Pass involve tens of thousands of hours of work in consultation with experts across the country. We would be honored to read your review.


Rollins Pass: Images of America—2018 (signed)

Rollins Pass: Images of America—2018 (signed)


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If you are looking for our most recent publication, Rollins Pass: Past & Present (2022)—tap here.

The primary purpose of our work is to inform the public.

Preserve Rollins Pass background image
Rollins Pass East: Fire restrictions are in effect for USFS lands and Gilpin and Boulder Counties, including Yankee Doodle & Jenny Lakes. No campfires allowed.