Oh-My-God Road, Russell Gulch

A narrow gravel road winding along very steep cliffs.

Total Miles
13.6
Plan with onX Offroad

Elevation
2851.21

Duration
1 to 2

Technical Rating
2/10

Best Time
Summer/Fall

Trail Overview

Travel through old mining country to a popular gambling town in the mountains. You can also get there through Russell Gulch if you're looking for more of a backcountry road experience. Idaho Springs offers unique shops and restaurants. No unlicensed vehicles.

Difficulty

Easy. Oh-My-God Road can be done in a 2-wheel-drive car when road is dry. For Russell Gulch, you'll want 4-wheel drive with moderate clearance.

History

Prior to the construction of Central City Parkway in 2004, the only way to reach Central City from Idaho Springs was via Virginia Canyon Road, which came to be known as Oh-My- God Road. When you drive it, you'll understand why. William Russell, namesake of Russell Gulch, discovered placer gold deposits in the area in 1859. Today, maps show virtually hundreds of mines densely covering the area. Much is now being reclaimed for residential development; fortunately, many historic structures have been preserved.

Access Description

Take I-70 west from Denver to Exit 240. Head north on 13th Avenue two blocks and turn right on Colorado Boulevard. Head east on Colorado Boulevard 1 1/4 mile. Continue straight on Placer St. when Colorado Blvd. swings right. Virginia Canyon Road is on left just ahead. (New road construction was in progress in Idaho Springs at time of this writing.)

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