Frontier Pathways Scenic & Historic Byway

The wishbone-shaped Frontier Pathways Scenic & Historic Byway starts in Pueblo, travels west into Westcliffe/Silver Cliff, and then south into Colorado City. The two-lane highway is 103 miles long and showcases pastoral landscapes, the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, sharp mesas, Hardscrabble Canyon, and the Arkansas River. Once in the San Isabel National Forest, views of the Wet Mountains and Greenhorn Valley appear.

Frontier Pathways Scenic & Historic Byway was designated a National Scenic Byway is 1998 and is one of 11 in Colorado. Popular stops between Pueblo and Westcliffe include Jackson Hill, an old stage stop where travelers exchanged tired horses for well-rested horses, and Lake Pueblo State Park, a year-round recreation destination.

Once in Westcliffe/Silver Cliff, be sure to check out All Aboard Westcliffe, The Silver Cliff Museum, and Chaffee County’s one-room schoolhouse.

From Westcliffe to Colorado City, visitors may exit the highway to visit Bishop Castle, a large, quirky structure built entirely by one man, and Lake Isabel, a beautiful and secluded lake that’s a favorite among campers.

Frontier Pathways Scenic & Historic Byway is not only rich in beauty, it’s steeped with history, too. During the winter of 1806, for example, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike nearly froze to death in the Wet Mountain Valley within sight of the peak bearing his name. Nevertheless, the valley through which the byway passes and the mountains shadowing it became beacons to 19th-century settlers who came to take advantage of the good soil and climate.

Today, the Frontier Pathways Scenic & Historic Byway boasts one of Colorado’s finest collections of historic ranches and farmsteads, trading posts, and stagecoach stops.