The Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway winds into the San Isabel National Forest and passes through landscapes ranging from meadows to mountains. Rye is one of several historic communities dotting the important route once traveled by American Indians, Spanish and American explorers, traders, fur trappers, homesteaders, ranchers and gold prospectors.
Established around 1870, Rye's original named was Table Top Mountain, which might better describe its landscape. Apparently, the name was shortened to Rye after the post office complained that Table Top Mountain was too long. Historically, the Rye area was noted for its dairies and sawmills. However a significant discovery in the 1960s proved even more memorable. A small stream near Rye was found to contain the last surviving population of Arkansas River Colorado greenback cutthroat trout. Thanks to this important discovery, the cutthroat has been reintroduced into 19 creeks in Colorado and is now Colorado's official state fish.
Other area watering holes include Lake Isabel and Beckwith Reservoir. Camping and hiking are available in the national forest along Colorado 165. Visitors can rent rooms at one log cabin in Rye, but other lodging options are available in Colorado City, just seven miles to the east. While Rye does have its share of interesting older homes, Colorado City also offers the area's only selection of restaurants and other amenities for travelers.