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Lizard Head Pass
Lizard Head Pass sign.JPG
The sign at the top of the pass
Elevation 10,246 ft (3,123 m)
Traversed by State Highway 145
Location Dolores / San Miguel counties, Colorado, United States
Range San Juan Mountains
Coordinates 37°48.7′N 107°54.5′W / 37.8117°N 107.9083°W / 37.8117; -107.9083
Topo map Ophir

Lizard Head Pass, elevation 10,246 feet (3,123 m), is a mountain pass in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, on the border between Dolores and San Miguel counties.

It is also on the divide between the watersheds of the Dolores River and San Miguel River.


The pass is named for a prominent nearby peak that is said to look like the head of a lizard, the 12,995 ft (3,961 m) spire of Lizard Head. The pass is currently traversed by State Highway 145, about 12 miles south of the Telluride turnoff.

It was also used by the historic Rio Grande Southern Railroad until 1952. Although the grades on both sides of the pass are mild for automobile traffic, this was a significant obstacle for the railroad, and this was a factor leading to the use of the Galloping Goose railcars.

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