Old Lime Creek Road

· Black Swift

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 Purgatory 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
Hours: Any
Ownership: US Forest Service
Admission: Free

Restrictions: Rough road; open only in summer

Parking: Roadside
Lodging: Primitive camping

Handicapped: No
Handicapped Access: Some viewing from car

Latitude: 37.674074
Longitude: -107.751763

» Explore eBird Hotspot for this site


Drinking FountainNo
Gravel TrailsNo
Paved TrailsNo
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo

Share This Watchable Wildlife Site!