The 429-acre settlement of Uptop sits at 9,382 feet on the crest of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the southern Rockies – accessible year round. Recognized as a National Historic District, Uptop is rich in a history that offers the comfort of permanence, the romance and charm of imagining the days of yesterday.

Uptop made history in 1877 when the Denver & Rio Grand Railroad crossed the Rocky Mountains for the first time over Veta Pass. The stone depot at Uptop housed the station master. The railway was dubbed, "Railroad Above the Clouds" and tourists flocked from around the world to ride the world's highest railroad. In 1878, Chief Ouray and his wife, Chipeta, came over the Pass by train, on their way to Washington, D.C. to negotiate a treaty. That same year a team of botanists, led by Harvard's Asa Gray, camped on the Pass to collect plants for Charles Darwin.

In 1899 the narrow-gauge tracks were torn up and moved further south. Visitors were encouraged to take one last ride on β€œThe Prettiest Trip in America.” A few years later, a fire destroyed all the railroad buildings except the stone depot - bringing the narrow-gauge era to a close, but opening a new chapter in Uptop's history.

Soon after train tracks were removed, logging entrepreneurs arrived on the pass. The loggers' main customers were the local mines that needed "pit props" for their endless underground tunnels. Eventually two horse-drawn sawmills were erected. Lumbering the pass continued until the 1940's when local coal mines closed. Remnants of the sawmills are scattered throughout the land, but as logging ended, a new era came to Uptop -- this time with the automobile.

Motoring tourism at Uptop gained increased popularity when the State of Colorado paved the old railroad bed turning it into Highway 160. Uptop's famous "S-Curved Bar" tavern became a favorite tourist stop, with folks flocking to the watering hole for good cheer, polkas and the hottest poker games in the county. Live music kept the dance hall hopping until 1962 when a new and safer highway pass was completed.

After World War II, returning servicemen wanted a place for their families to ski. The land's original homesteader from 1917, Juan Antonio Trujillo gave permission to start a small ski resort complete with a warming hut, privey and ticket booth. A Chevy truck was donated to run a rope tow up the hill. Local children and adults had great fun learning the basics of skiing. Today the Chevy truck is all that remains of the once booming ski area.

In 2001, the Lathrop sisters from Massachusetts bought and restored the abandoned property and buildings and named it Uptop. After years of hard work and patience, the Depot was opened as a museum for the public in 2005. In 2011, Uptop was recognized as a National Historic District by Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior (and friends β€” Senators Udall and Bennett; Governor Hickenlooper; and Agriculture Commissioner Salazar.)

Uptop has nine historic buildings, as well as numerous outbuildings and archeological sites. These include the orignal stone depot, chapel, famous tavern & dancehall, school, barn, plus residential and non-residential cabins.