Silver Thread

Designated a Colorado Electric Byway
Silver Thread

Length: 117 miles
Driving time: 3 hours

The colorful old mining camps of the Silver Thread byway offers history, scenic beauty, and a heavy dose of authenticity. The heights around Creede and Lake City remain strewn with abandoned mining structures, most of them accessible via rugged backcountry roads. Between the two towns, CO 149 shadows the upper reaches of the Rio Grande, serving up a bounty of natural wonders - sparkling North Clear Creek Falls, the Slumgullion earth slide, and the shark-like fin of Uncompahgre Peak. 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 Alferd Packer cannibalized his companions - in two ill-fated winter expeditions.

The byway was recently extended on the north end from Lake City to Blue Mesa Reservoir, at the intersection of US 50 and CO 149. This new section provides access to a diversity of scenic wonders, historical landmarks, and extensive recreational opportunities for hiking, camping and fishing.

The Silver Thread byway was designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as a National Scenic Byway in 2021. It is one of 13 America’s Byways® designated in Colorado.

Silver Thread won the National Scenic Byway Foundation's 2022 Viewshed Improvement Award for visitor enhancements at Lake San Cristobal, in Lake City. Read about the 2022 Viewshed Improvement Award in the May Newsletter at



Local Chamber(s) of Commerce

Byways Corridor Management Plan

  • Silver Thread Corridor Master Plan
  • A Framework for Wayshowing: Silver Thread Scenic Byway Oct 2015
Clear Creek Falls