A few miles up the road, once you’re almost out of site of the huge copper mine, you’ll find Chase Creek Scenic Vista. The viewpoint adds a great perspective to the road you just traveled.
Chase Creek Vista has several picnic tables, and given its mountaintop perch, would make a great place to stop for a picnic.
Drive a little further and you’ll reach HL Saddle, another wide spot in the road where you can pull off and take a few pictures.
As you continue north, just a few miles (but a good 20 minutes of curvy driving) past the viewpoints, you come upon an unexpected but welcome break from the twists and turns. For just a mile or two, the landscape opens up over a rolling plain.
Along this stretch of road, piñon and juniper trees are scattered amongst the rolling hillsides. During my visit (in April) the grass was nearly white, with a bluish-green tint. I’m quite certain it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
There’s a great place to stop as you cross through this area. Watch for a dirt road, or more accurately, a set of wheel ruts, off to the right side of the road. Unless it has recently rained, even a discount rental car should be able to pass over it without becoming stuck. Drive just a short distance down the path to reach an old, abandoned cattle stockade.
The stockade is surrounded by an old wood fence that’s slowly giving way to time and the forces of nature. For now though, this fragment of the old west is still in good condition.
This is the closest you’ll come to finding facilities for the next hour or two.
Before you get back on the road, take a few minutes to walk around in this very special place. Enjoy the silence — almost no cars, no jets, no noise of any kind. Perhaps just a gentle breeze whistling through the grass. A peaceful sky. True solitude.
Note: This trip was first published in 2005.