The present highway may follow the Saguache & San Juan Toll Road, which originated at Cochetopa and Beaver Creek (via the Los Pinos Indian Agency). One of main stage stops for the Barlowe and Sanderson Stage Company was at this interpretive site, which came close on the heels of road builders with regular stagecoach service from 1876–1885.
There are two BLM campgrounds and the area’s best stretch of raftable river down this road. This road also leads to the Blue Mesa Estates housing area and offers a short cut to Hwy 50 which will drop you out near the western end of the Blue Mesa Reservoir and Black Canyon Park entrance. It is not advisable to take this short-cut in winter season and can sometimes be the longer route when open range cattle are about.
Animas Ore Wagon, courtesy Hinsdale County Museum