Heading south out of McKenzie Junction takes you straight into glorious aspen, pine, fir, and spruce forest. The views are large, the air is clear and you can see why these are called the Wet Mountains: there's water running everywhere. There's also some large rock formations and lots of old homesteads. No Colorado vacation would be complete without a drive and a few stops along this beautiful and historic Scenic Byway.

old and new
The old, the new and the older...
A sodhouse in the meadow
A sodhouse in the meadow
looks like paradise
Looks like paradise to me...
Ophir, a ghost town in the Wet Mountains
Just north of Ophir Creek

At Ophir Creek there's a hairpin turn in the paved road. In the middle of the turn there is a dirt road leading westward to Ophir Creek Campground, Deer Mountain and the Greenhorn Mountain Road.

Ophir Creek Campground
The entrance to Ophir Creek Campground

Just south of Ophir Creek is Bishop's Castle. Shortly after Bishop's Castle the road passes by Lake Isabel and then leads out onto the flatter grassy slopes of Rye and then down the Greenhorn Canyon to Colorado City and the I-25. The road is excellent and, if anything, is too short.

Sun Valle
In the Sun Valle area, just above Rye
coming into Rye
Coming into Rye, Colorado City is below, on the edge of the flatland