Highway 149 starts just west of Gunnison and links the towns of Creede, Lake City, and South Fork. The name for the byway comes from the old days when silver ore was mined here. Highway 149 runs through the Rio Grande and Gunnison National Forests in the San Juan Mountains. At one of the scenic overlooks you can see the headwaters of the third longest river in the US, the Rio Grande River.
Highway 149 sweepers
Highway 149 near Slumgullion Pass at 11,530 feet in elevation
Highway 149 climbs to 11,530 feet in elevation over Slumgullion Pass. The road north of the pass is much steeper than the south. There is lots of scenery here but not a lot of traffic. When I first rode highway 149 in 2004, the pavement wasn’t as beat up as it is now. This road is definitely in need of some new pavement. Some sections of this road were not very fun to ride since there were so many potholes to navigate through and so much bumpy broken pavement.
The north and south sections of highway 149 had some nice pavement still, although south west of Gunnison and north of Creede, the curves are mostly sweepers. The tight and steep curves are near the pass and that’s where the pavement is the worst. It’s still a great road and I had lots of fun riding the Silver Thread Scenic Byway.
The VFR with the headwaters of the Rio Grande River in the distance
The Duc and the headwaters of the Rio Grande
Zoomed in on the headwaters of the Rio Grande River
Scenery along highway 149
Neat looking rock formations
The two pictures above were taken just northwest of Creede
On this ride we only got as far as Creede, highway 149 continues south until it reaches highway 160 near South Fork