The Silver Thread Scenic Byway is a road worth traveling. Drive it soon, if you can, while there is still some colorful fall foliage to admire and not much in the way of snow. It’s a great drive for guests of our Colorado Vacation Dude Ranch in the summer – a wonderful way to get an overall feel for southwestern Colorado.
Silver Thread Scenic Byway travels Route 149 between Gunnison, on Route 50 and South Fork on Route 160. If you start at South Fork, one of the youngest towns in the state, you’ll follow the Rio Grande River to its headwaters in the San Juan Mountains. Along the way you’ll travel past the Pallisades, an enormous stone monolith, and through Creede and Wagon Wheel Gap. Our Colorado Dude Ranch is between South Fork and Creede.
If you drive the entire Silver Thread Scenic Byway, you’ll want to pull over to admire the view of Lake San Cristobel and stop by Lake City, home of the Lake City Hot Air Balloon Festival in February. Gunnison, at the end of the Scenic Byway, is also worth a stop. The Gunnison Pioneer Museum houses an impressive collection of early pioneer artifacts in 16 buildings, as well as the Andy Mallett Antique Car Museum, home to 63 antique cars. Stay the night here and visit the Gunnison Observatory – on a clear night, the stars will knock you down.
Avid cyclists may enjoy traveling the Silver Thread Scenic Byway on two wheels. Be warned that Route 149 sees some elevation: Spring Creek Pass is 10,901 feet and Slumgullion Pass is 11,361 feet. We hear the fresh air and views make it all worth while.