Beginning near Parkdale near the Royal Gorge of the Arkansas River, Colorado 9 follows a north-south route through several valleys and plains between the ranges of the Rocky Mountains. The highway generally remains rural in nature, choosing to pass through smaller towns and avoid most larger communities. Upon reaching U.S. 285 and Fairplay, Colorado 9 heads up Hoosier Pass, descending into Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne before following the Blue River Valley en route to its northern terminus at U.S. 40 at Kremmling.
Colorado 9 - North
Northbound Colorado 9 entering the town of Fairplay just north of U.S. 285. Fairplay is considered to be the model town for the hit comedy "Southpark" seen on Comedy Central. The mileage sign provides the distance to the next two destinations, Alma and Breckenridge. Photo taken 11/10/03.
This Colorado 9 shield is posted immediately after the Grand County Route 1 intersection south of Kremmling. County Route 1 travels west, following the railroad and Colorado River toward State Bridge and Junction Colorado 131. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Here, northbound Colorado 9 approaches a junction with Grand County Route 33, which parallels the Colorado River east of Colorado 9. The bridge over the Colorado River is visible in the distance. Note that the old bridge (on the left) was not dismantled at the time this picture was taken, even though it is located alongside the new bridge. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Colorado 9 - South
Colorado 9 travels south through Silverthorne in Summit County. As the state highway approaches Interstate 70 and U.S. 6, motels and restaurants appear on either side of the road. Here, Colorado 9 passes by Milepost 102 just north of the Interstate 70 interchange. Photo taken 10/18/04.
Southbound Colorado 9 approaches Interstate 70 and unsigned U.S. 6. Continue straight ahead through the intersection to connect to U.S. 6 east to Dillon and Loveland Pass. Follow Interstate 70 east to Eisenhower Tunnel and Denver. To the west, Interstate 70 (and U.S. 6 west and Colorado 9 south) travels toward Frisco. At Frisco, Colorado 9 resumes its southbound journey toward Breckenridge, while Interstate 70/U.S. 6 continue west toward Vail and Grand Junction. Photo taken 10/18/04.
Now south of Frisco, Colorado 9 connects with the ski resort town of Breckenridge and Hoosier Pass, then descends into the town of Fairplay. A snow squall blows snow around Colorado 9 in the vicinity of Breckenridge. This kind of cold weather event is common in the autumn, winter, and spring in the mountains. Photo taken 11/10/03.
Breckenridge is a major ski resort that is considered to be on the same tier as Vail and Winter Park. Colorado 9 passes through downtown Breckenridge, then passes the massive ski resort. Photo taken 11/10/03.
Now ascending to Hoosier Pass, Colorado 9 uses switchbacks to ascend the mountain. Note the slow cautionary speed limit for the highway. Photo taken 11/10/03.
Even though it was November, winter weather has already taken hold on the high passes of the Rocky Mountains. Although Hoosier Pass along Colorado 9 is open year-round, it can be affected by major storms and blowing winds. Photo taken 11/10/03.
The top of Hoosier Pass marks the county line between Summit County and Park County. Hoosier Pass, elevation 11,541 feet, is situated in the shadow of two fourteener peaks, Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Bross. This pass is part of the Continental Divide, which separates the flow of water to the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Snow that lands on this pass will either head west into the Colorado River watershed or east into the South Platte River watershed. Photos taken 11/10/03.
View of southbound Colorado 9 as it descends from Hoosier Pass into Park County. Photo taken 11/10/03.
The first signed county route found along southbound Colorado 9 in Park County is Park County Route 4. Photo taken 11/10/03.
Southbound Colorado 9 reaches an intersection with Park County Route 6. Photo taken 11/10/03.
In this scene, southbound Colorado 9 approaches Park County Route 12. Photo taken 11/10/03.
Southbound Colorado 9 enters Alma a few miles north of Fairplay. Even after descending from Hoosier Pass, Alma is at a very high elevation (10,578 feet). It is said that Alma is the highest incorporated city in Colorado. Photo taken 11/10/03.
This mileage sign is found along southbound Colorado 9 after the highway leaves Alma. The next town is Fairplay (Junction U.S. 285), followed by Hartsel. Photo taken 11/10/03.
After leaving Alma and descending a couple hundred feet, Colorado 9 enters Fairplay, perhaps best known as the Colorado town that was the model for the Comedy Central TV show, South Park. A museum for the show is located in town. Photo taken 11/10/03.
Now entering Fairplay, the environs may look familiar in cartoon form, as seen in the TV show, South Park. Photos taken 11/10/03.
Colorado 9 reaches U.S. 285 after passing through the town of Fairplay. Photo taken 11/10/03.
U.S. 285 north heads to Kenosha Pass and Denver, while U.S. 285 south heads to Salida and Hartsel. Note the bike route 76 shield; apparently we were on a bike route, and it now turns to follow U.S. 285 south. From Frisco south to Fairplay, this is the only shield for the bike route. Photo taken 11/10/03.
These shields indicate that south Colorado 9 merges with south U.S. 285; they remain together for a few miles, then split thereafter. Colorado 9 goes to Hartsel, and U.S. 285 goes to Salida, Monte Vista, and Alamosa. Photo taken 11/10/03.