At the road's highest point, 12,960 feet according to the sign, Pam hikes up the foot path to the very top of California Mountain. There are only six higher passes in Colorado. By walking to the summit, Pam has "climbed" over 13,000 feet. Only 636 mountains to go to have reached the summit of all Colorado "thirteeners" (mountains exceeding 13,000 feet).
Many of the residents retreated into nearby Silverton to spend their winters. At "only" 9300 feet elevation, Silverton was much warmer. In one 23 day blizzard, some 25 feet of snow was deposited in Animas Forks, forcing those few people there to tunnel between buildings.