Wednesday, August 3, 2011

North Clear Creek Falls & the Silver Thread Byway


My plans to drive the Alpine Loop from Lake City were a wash—literally!   It rained every afternoon like clockwork in the San Juans.  So I decided to finish driving the Silver Thread loop and go back to Hwy 550 where there’d be more 4WD trails I could potentially do each morning before the rains started.

I left Lake City and headed south towards Creede.  I had read about a spectacular waterfall along the way—North Clear Creek Falls. Storms were brewing overhead, which thankfully, kept the harsh shadows and light away so I could photograph the falls better!

Some pretty lupine and clouds drifting across Slumgullion Pass as well.

Such an interesting contrast between this road (wide open green valleys) compared to Highway 550 (narrow deep canyons and super-tall peaks).  They run parallel to each other and are only about 35-70 miles apart, yet so different!

As we got down to Creede, the sun was back out again.

I got my first look at the Rio Grande river too!  It’s starts out pretty small up here in Colorado before it gets to be the very wide river between Texas and Mexico!


Creede is a cute little town of various tourist shops and old miner’s cabins.


Even their elementary school follows the log cabin motif!


The rest of our drive down through South Fork, across Wolf Creek Pass, through Pagosa Springs and Durango, and then back up to Silverton was long, hot, and uneventful.  We got stuck at a long 30 minute wait near Pagosa Springs for a big road construction project, so I decided that Route 160 would now NOT be my preferred route back east when I left Colorado!

I arrived into Silverton without a plan or campsite reservation.  After boondocking at Lake San Cristobel, I was ready for some amenities, so I decided to try out Silverton Lakes Camper Park for a few nights.  When I arrived, the gal at the desk said if I stayed 6 nights the 7th would be free.  Ok then, sounds like a plan! 

We had a great site surrounded by large mountains on all sides, and the view of an old mine in the distance across a couple of small ponds.  I also had great satellite TV reception, and excellent ATT & Verizon for work the following week.  Best of all, the location was central to a number of great 4WD trails in the area—couldn’t wait to get back on the trails!



  1. I just finished reading your posts since you got your Toad. Since you didn't talk about any problems with it I'm thinking your View is doing an OK job towing a vehicle.

    I think it was the July 31 post where you had a picture of Millie in your kayak and she appeared to have a worried expression on her face as she looked back at you. I love that picture.


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