Old Lime Creek Road
Paralleling US Highway 550 for 10 miles, this amazingly scenic mountain road was once the original highway between Silverton and Durango. Rough and narrow, it is best traveled in a high-clearance vehicle. It provides access to an excellent variety of habitats. Along the northern portions of the road you pass through some nice high-elevation riparian willows with Lazuli Bunting, Western Wood-Pewee, Cordilleran Flycatcher, and Black-headed Grosbeak possible. Further on you’ll cross some truly impressive aspen groves, and Red-naped Sapsucker, Warbling Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, and more could be seen. Some spruce-fir forest and a couple of lily-fringed ponds round out the habitat selections. Butterfly diversity along the road is also excellent, and this is one of the best places in the state to see the rare red columbine.
County: San Juan
Habitat: Stream, Cliff Face, Streamside Willow, Mixed Conifer Forest, Spruce-Fir Forest
Directions: On US 550 about three miles past Durango Mountain Resort and just after the first sweeping switchback is the southern end of Old Lime Creek Road. This road is rough in spots and a high clearance vehicle is recommended. The road continues for about 10 miles and rejoins US 550 about 7 or 8 miles north.
Delorme: 76 C3
Roads of Colorado: 130 C2, 131 D2
Dates of Access: Summer months
Ownership: US Forest Service
Restrictions: Rough road; open only in summer
Lodging: Primitive camping
Handicapped Access: Some viewing from car