Shelf Road, Phantom Canyon

Ride through history on this network of trails through historic towns.

Total Miles

60

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Elevation
9,734'
Duration
4 to 5 Hours
Technical Rating
3 / 10
Best Time
Summer - Fall

As we continue to improve our trail coverage, we'd love to hear what you think and which areas to add next.

Trail Overview
Shelf Road, Phantom Canyon
This is a popular, heavily used network of trails that starts just south of Cripple Creek and takes you on a ride through history. See old mines and historic towns. A number of 4X4 roads leave from Shelf Road west of Sand Gulch Campground, and near The Banks Campground, a well-known climbing area. Make sure to visit Red Canyon Park for the unique red rocks. Unlicensed vehicles may ride on the side roads, but are not allowed on the main loop.
History
Phantom Canyon follows an old train route that once connected Cripple Creek and Florence. At its peak in the late 1890s, the train transported over 230,000 passengers. The curved bridge you cross was originally a wooden railroad trestle, which was destroyed by fire in 1896. It was hastily rebuilt as a steel trestle and later converted to automotive use. The modern bridge pictured above was completely rebuilt in recent years. Kiosks along the route explain much of the history.
Getting There
From Highway 24 in Divide, head south on Highway 67 to Cripple Creek. Pass through center of town on Bennett Avenue to bottom of the hill. Turn left on Second Street. Go 0.2 mile and turn right on C.R. 88. If you prefer to drive Phantom Canyon first, continue following Hwy. 67 (2nd St.) through Victor, then follow signs south to Phantom Canyon.
Contact for Current Conditions
BLM Royal Gorge Field Office
Canon City, CO
(719) 269-8500