In the 1880's, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway was building at a torrid pace throughout Colorado. One of the most beautiful areas was on the headwaters of the Rio Grande River at a mountain pass known as Wagon Wheel Gap. Hot springs in this area, as well as the cool summers at its 8,500 foot elevation, made it a perfect resort area for the friends and guests of General William Jackson Palmer, then President of the D&RGRR. A rail line was extended to this spot from the end of the line in Del Norte. With mining demands high, the line was extended to the mountain mining town of Creede a few years later. This line was active through 1985 when the last few cars of ore were carried out. The line that carried hundreds of thousands of passengers and millions of dollars worth of silver ore fell quiet. Until the spring of 2000 when the Denver & Rio Grande Historical Foundation purchased this 21.6 mile line of scenic mountain meadows, rivers and 1,000 foot cliffs. This area is well known for its scenic vistas, historic towns and mines, fishing, hunting and just a wonderful get-away-from-it-all place. Reservations to ride on this historic line during the 2009 season may be placed through the Denver & Rio Grande Railway Historical Foundation at the number listed above!
The depot from Hooper was moved to South Fork and has been restored to service for the line after spending nearly 50 years near Center, CO.