"Next day we reached the top just about sunrise, and the finest view perhaps I ever saw met the eye. It is very difficult to contrast these pure American landscapes with any other; everything is on so grand a scale. There may be finer single mountains, like Vesuvius, lonlier valleys, like some in Switzerland, but there is nowhere such vastness and grandeur. The most striking feature of the scene was the contrast in tone and color between the view to the north and that to the south. To the north the outline was cut clear and distinct, and the picture cold and majestic; to the south there was warmth and richness of color, a light velvetty purple haze seemed draped over the stretch of mountain and plain; the one awed, the other attracted" ~ Joseph Pratt Allyn, 1863View of the Colorado mountains from the pass.
"Worse and worse the road! They are even taking the mules from the carriages this PM and a half dozen men by bodily exertions are pulling them down the hills. And it takes a dozen men to steady a wagon with all its breaks locked - and for one who is some distance off to hear the crash it makes over the stones, is truly alarming. Till I rode ahead and understood the business, I supposed that every wagon had fallen over a precipice." ~ Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846.Another sketch of Raton Pass.