Did you know that Creed, the closest town to our luxury dude ranch, is located on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway? The byway is a 117-mile stretch linking the mountain towns of South Fork, Creede, Lake City and Gunnison. Within this region is the Rio Grande National Forest and the San Luis Valley. This area of stunning natural beauty is known for hiking, jeeping, fishing, ATV riding and white water rafting.

At the height of Colorado’s mineral rush, this byway was the main thoroughfare for prospectors and entrepreneurs. Towns along this route where home to thousands of people and thriving businesses. Now, with the mining industry all but abandoned in this region, the stretch of highway still attracts visitors with alluring vistas, wildreness adventures, diverse recreation options and fascinating historical sites.

The Silver Thread Byway: A Historic Route through Colorado

Driving the Silver Thread Scenic Byway

Driving part or some of the Silver Thread is a great way to see more of this lovely part of the U.S. The old mining camps located along the Silver Thread offer an authentic retelling of the area’s history. The peaks and hills around Creede and Lake City remain strewn with abandoned mining structures, many of them accessible via rugged back-country roads. We also have our own set of abandoned mines right here on the guest ranch.

Between Creede and Lake City, Highway 149 follows the upper reaches of the Rio Grande, where you can observe natural wonders – sparkling North Clear Creek Falls, the Slumgullion earth slide, and the shark-like fin of Uncompahgre Peak. Although beautiful, these mountains can be unforgiving: In 1848 explorer John C. Fremont lost a third of his men – and a quarter of a century later the infamous Alfred Packer cannibalized his companions – in two ill-fated winter expeditions.