I conjured a trip to Crested Butte as cover to visit railroad sites in the area. In spite of being from Colorado I have rarely visited the area and never been to Ohio Pass before.
We set out over Kubler Pass and overshot the turnoff. We were rewarded with a moose sighting. I didn't realize that the Floresta branch topped Kubler Pass and dropped to the west to the breaker: this must have been some line to run.
We circled back to the top of Kubler Pass where the turnoff to Ohio Pass is. The turnoff is a busy area with the road to Lake Irwin diverging to the north.
The junction is a boggy meadow with Irwin and Riby to the northwest.
Ohio Pass is to the south. The plan was to drive about three miles to the hairpin turn where the DSP&P grade diverges to the east upgrade to the unfinished Palisades. Except there was a steep rutted section that caused us to park the car and walk.
So we walked downgrade almost three Miles before we called it. I didn't get to see the Palisades, but the views southwest were fantastic!
The bottom section of the county road is steep, but it shallows out about halfway up to what seems like 4% or so.
I am guessing that either the wagon road was planned to be used for the railroad, or the railroad grade was used for the county road.
The top is a nice meadow with a big, about perfect for a stone engine house.
In the middle of the meadow a roadbed that is suspiciously narrow gauge in profile extends to the creek.
You could have seen more if you had started at Gunnison,drove (Colorado)135 to(county road)730-the Ohio pass road which will take you on up to the Kebler Pass-Crested Butte road.From your description you just barely missed seeing the Rock Wall.The grade from the Wall to End of Grade is above the level of the road-there are some grade scars you can see.If you look real carefully you can see a waterfall coming down the mountains to the west.Looking at one of your pictures you folks walked far enough down the road to have seen it.
According to Larry Green(or was it Todd Hackett?) there was some grading done adjacent to and slightly above the D&RG at Floresta sometime about 1893 during a brief "railroad war".This was mentioned at the 2014 Convention and they showed a photograph of Floresta indicating where the unfinished grade was.Evidently there was some work done to the unfinished portions near the rock wall or further south during this incident because powder cans have been found near the"balloon loop" with dates stamped in the 90s.DSP&P survey crews made it to Grand Junction in the 80s before .construction was suspended