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Colorado adds two new Scenic and Historic Byways

Silver Thread byway
Posted at 6:30 AM, Feb 24, 2021

Colorado has two new Scenic and Historic Byways to explore the state's beautiful landscapes on the road.

The state has 26 byways in total and 13 are designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as America's Byways, which gives Colorado more national designations than any other state.

The two new byways are both in south Colorado.

The Scenic Highway of Legends runs along Colorado Highway 12 and US 160 and features the Spanish Peaks, where Comanche, Pueblo and Tarahumara Indians, as well as gold-seeking conquistadors, once traveled. The route, which is 82 miles in total, links Trinidad, La Veta, Walsenburg and Aguilar.

The Silver Thread includes CO 149 and US 50 and brings travelers through isolated areas of the San Juan Mountains on both historic main streets and scenic overlooks. This 117-mile route includes South Fork, Creede, Lake City, and Blue Mesa Reservoir near Gunnison.

Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana Lew said these two new designations are a tribute to the great state and its landscapes, history and culture.

“In addition to providing new and exciting adventures for travelers, our Scenic and Historic Byways help protect these much-valued areas of Colorado," Lew said.

The byways also help with economic development. A recent analysis showed a cumulative statewide economic impact of nearly $4.8 billion over a six-year period. The Scenic Highway of Legends provides nearly $180 million in economic benefit and the Silver Thread more than $67 million.

Colorado's Scenic and Historic Byways program was established in 1989 by CDOT.

Click here to learn more about the state's scenic byways.