Beginning right at the edge of the Keystone ski resort, this road leads up through the historic town of Montezuma, which has enough historic abandoned buildings to be listed as a ‘ghost town’ in some publications, even though a few dozen people still live here year-round. Between Keystone and Montezuma, the road is paved, and plowed in winter, making this one of the best places in Summit County to access high-elevation forests all year. However, the birding is best in the early summer, when you may find woodpeckers in beetle-killed pines near the start of the road, Pine Grosbeaks and Golden-crowned Kinglets in the spruce-fir farther up, and MacGillivray’s and Wilson’s Warblers nesting in the extensive streamside willows. The Snake River, which runs along the road, can be excellent for American Dipper, even in winter, if there are some open patches in the water. This road is very popular with outdoor recreationists at all times of year, especially on weekends, so wildlife viewing is generally best on weekday mornings. Due to the high volume of visitors, parking restrictions on the road are strictly enforced; there is no visitor parking in the town of Montezuma.
Directions: From the Silverthorne exit on I-70 (exit 205), head south/east on US 6, following signs to Keystone. Eight miles from I-70, take the exit for Montezuma Road on the right.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Ownership: US Forest Service/Private
Restrictions: Restrictions strictly enforced; park only at designated trailheads.
Parking: Gravel parking lots
Lodging: In Keystone or Silverthorne; also primitive camping in some sites along the road
Handicapped Access: Viewing from car