Two more stretches of Colorado roads added to the National Scenic Byways system

Silver Thread Map
Silver Thread Map(Colorado Department of Transportation)
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 1:30 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Colorful Colorado. The state already has the most National Scenic Byways in the country, and it was announced on Thursday that two additional Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways have been added to the national list.

The Colorado Department of Transportation says that CO.12/U.S. 160 (Scenic Highway of Legends) in southeastern Colorado and CO 149/U.S. 50 (Silver Thread) in south-central Colorado are now part of the National Scenic Byway System.

The Scenic Highway of Legends features the Spanish Peaks where gold-seeking conquistadors and Comanche, Pueblo, and Tarahumara Indians once traveled. The route links Trinidad, La Veta, Walsenburg, and Aguilar.

Closer to our neck of the woods is Silver Thread. This route takes travelers through isolated swatches of the San Juan Mountains and includes the historic main streets of Lake City and Creede. It stretches from South Fork, Creede, Lake City, and Blue Mesa Reservoir.

These add-ons bring Colorado’s total of National Byways to 13, more than any other state.

Aside from providing exploration opportunities, CDOT says the state’s byways are an important asset for economic development. The most recent analysis shows a cumulative statewide economic impact of nearly $4.8 billion over a six-year period, with Scenic Highway of Legends providing nearly $180 million in economic benefit and the Silver Thread more than $67 million.

“What a remarkable nod to our State’s timeless beauty and a well-deserved recognition for the efforts of Colorado citizens to share it with everyone,” said Nathan Boyless, chair of Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways Commission. “The open road beckons, scenic travels!”

The Scenic and Historic Byways program was established by CDOT in 1989.

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