The area’s outstanding landscape qualities make the lands along the road in fact, if not by formal designation, a scenic byway. Views within the district provide vistas of distant mountain peaks and ranges; forested hillsides of pine, spruce, and aspen; prominent rock outcroppings; the lively waters of Michigan, Jefferson, and Tarryall creeks and the South Platte River; widely separated clusters of ranch headquarters buildings; bottomlands with lush, level hay meadows; herds of grazing beef cattle and bison; and occasional sightings of a resident band of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and other wildlife. The valley alternately narrows and opens within the district. A trip through the valley offers a constantly changing juxtaposition of the natural setting and the legacy of historic human activities as the road descends from 9,350’ elevation on the north to 7,940’ at the south end.
The district contains still-active historic ranches with more than a dozen buildings and hundreds of acres of land, as well as vacant and weathered buildings reflecting historic habitation of long ago. The district embraces the full range of historic activities along the Tarryall, including twenty-five historic livestock ranch headquarters and several individual buildings associated with the area’s ranching history. Other resources representing the area’s historic development and community life include two one-room schools, three old road segments, three cemeteries, two timber bridges, and buildings associated with the community of Tarryall/Puma City. Marilyn Martorano of Martorano Consultants LLC contributed to the nomination.