Mine tipple just west of Creede

When the highway leaves Creede, it goes south for a mile, then turns west into the Rio Grande Valley. There are several campgrounds along the river providing good fishing access. No Colorado vacation would be complete without a drive and a few stops along this beautiful and historic Scenic Byway, especially to check out the stories in regards to our Gold Medal Waters and the incredible fishing they offer..

At mile thirty-five, the Rio Grande and the scenic byway swing northwest up a beautiful valley flanked by rounded mountains. The river goes west from here, uncoiling in long, lazy loops across the valley floor toward its headwaters on Stony Pass atop the Continental Divide to the west. At this point you are simultaneously north, east and south of the Continental Divide and there are fourteeners in all directions.

At the scenic overlook at the crest of the hill, stop and get out and look around. The view west looks up the glaciated valley of South Clear Creek. Hermit and Brown Lakes glimmer on the valley floor, the 13,821-foot Rio Grande Pyramid dominates the horizon on the Continental Divide.

The Scenic Byway leaves the Rio Grande valley by heading north beside Spring Creek. Several Rio Grande National Forest campgrounds lie along or just off the highway through here.

Rio Grande Valley
Looking southwest across the Rio Grande Valley
Rio Grande Valley
More of the Rio Grande Valley
Silver Thread Scenic Byway
The Rio Grande Valley in winter
Bristol Head
Bristol Head, from FR 510
Silver Thread Scenic Byway
Bristol Head in winter
beaver pond
A beaver pond along FR 510
North Clear Creek Falls
North Clear Creek Falls

The highway crosses a low divide and enters the North Clear Creek watershed. Forestry Road 510 heads east from here for a half-mile to North Clear Creek Falls, a spectacular 100 foot waterfall. The view to the south and east alone is worth the stop, never mind the view of the falls and the box canyon below. (For some of these photos I cheated and took FR 510 in from the south end and came out at the falls.)