- The Silver Thread Scenic Byway begins its tour through the south-central mining region of the state in Lake City. Follow Highway 149 south toward Slumgullion Pass (11,361 feet). Before reaching the pass summit you'll come to the Packer Victim Memorial Plaque, which is a story in itself. (It's a fascinating, but gruesome, story in Colorado's colorful history, that shouldn't be missed.) A few miles passed the plaque you'll see the Slumgullion Earth Flow, on the north side of the road, that caused the creation of Lake San Cristobal. Immediately after the slide the road enters the lands of the Gunnison National Forest.
Highway 149 continues toward Spring Creek Pass (10,901 feet), crosses the Colorado Trail and then enters the Rio Grande National Forest. At this point the La Garita Wilderness lies to the east of the scenic byway. From here the byway descends into the Rio Grande drainage, traveling southward. It leads around the southern flanks of Antelope Mountain remaining in the Rio Grand Valley.
In Antelope Park the highway turns north toward Creede. This is a good place to gain access to the Weminuche Wilderness. It lies directly south of Antelope Park. Creede is a good place to recoup after a hard trek in the wilderness. (See the community area of Creede for more details.) After passing through Creede Highway 149 leads southward to Water Wheel Gap and the Rio Grande Palisades. (This steep canyon contains the Collier State Wildlife Area.) South Fork lies at the end of the canyon.
Recreation - This stretch of highway through the Rio Grande National Forest provides 75 miles of scenic driving in Colorados southern mountains. Because most of the land the route travels through is public is also provides access to hiking, backpacking, camping, horseback riding, mountain biking and four-wheel driving opportunities.
Climate - Climate conditions in Colorado should be taken seriously throughout the state. Snow and ice are common on roads and trails from mid-October through late April. In the summer months snow is still possible but less common. Varying conditions throughout a given day can be expected throughout the year. Remember that summer days can typically have beautiful sunny mornings and short sudden thunderstorms in the afternoon. Please prepare appropriately for your outdoor experience.
This scenic byway is located in the south central region of the state. It begins in Lake City and leads south in to the Rio Grande drainage. Most of the land surrounding this scenic byway is administered by the Rio Grande National Forest.