Phantom Canyon Road is a scenic drive in Colorado

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Phantom Canyon Road, Colorado

Phantom Canyon Road – Penrose-Victor

Dotted with historical ghost towns, striking red rock formations and canyon walls, and iconic mountain scenery, Colorado’s Phantom Canyon Road is worth driving out of your way to check out. This alpine route from Penrose to Victor is packed with memorable sites, such as old tunnels carved out of the rock by hand.

Along its route, it features the Adelaide Bridge , which has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Phantom Canyon Road is located in south central Colorado and spans from north of Florence to the historic mining town of Victor. It’s an easy detour off of and part of the state’s popular Gold Belt Tour Scenic & Historic Byway and is easily one of Colorado’s most interesting routes.

Phantom Canyon Road, Colorado

According to some, this road is named after an eerie incident that is rumored to have occurred in the 1890s when a man dressed in a prison uniform was spotted in the area walking along some train tracks. The man, witnesses claimed, matched the description of someone who was executed at the Colorado State Penitentiary just a few days before.

Today, Phantom Canyon Road is used primarily for tourism, but it was once an essential transportation route relied on by the local mining industry. The ghost towns of Wilbur, Adelaide, and Glenbrook that are found along the road were once important mining communities. But they eventually succumbed to flash flooding or the waning local economy.

Accessibility

Phantom Canyon Road Victor Colorado

This road is narrow and unpaved and has earned its own feature on the Dangerous Roads blog, but it’s not nearly as dangerous as other Colorado high-elevation roads. Phantom Canyon Road is regularly maintained and is typically safe for 2WD, high-clearance vehicles during the late spring, summer, and early fall seasons when the weather permits.

However, vehicles are limited to 25 feet or less on Phantom Canyon Road. There are areas of the road with perilously steep drop-offs, so it’s best to take this one very slow, especially during the weekends when the road is heavily trafficked.

It passes through the San Isabel National Forest , so there are some chances for recreation and plenty of sightseeing.

Phantom Canyon Road sits at just under 30 miles long and can be accessed from the intersection of Highway 50 and CO-67 north of Florence, or from just east of Victor. The drive takes around two hours to complete and is widely thought of as one of the prettiest routes in the state.

Activities near Phantom Canyon Road

Phantom Canyon Bike, Colorado

Phantom Canyon Road boasts a stellar blend of mountain beauty and fascinating Colorado history , so simply just driving this road is an impressive activity unto itself with countless opportunities for photos. The Adelaide Bridge spans the nearby Eightmile Creek and is a can’t-miss site if you’re a fan of historical engineering projects.

The road passes under multiple mountains, including Cooper, Brind, and Nipple (yes, you read that right: Nipple . If you can’t visit the area, reading the Google reviews of this mountain is the next best thing).

The popular Grey Wolf Resort offers rustic and comfortable accommodations if you’re planning on stretching your trip to the area overnight. The Indian Springs Ranch Campground provides local camping as well. Other camping options include near Cañon City and Victor:

  • Read about the  camping near Cañon City and the Royal Gorge .
  • Read about the  camping near Divide, Cripple Creek and Victor .

The Beaver Creek State Wildlife Area is not located along Phantom Canyon Road, but it’s in the area and features hiking, fishing, and hunting in a gorgeous mountain setting.

Address: Phantom Canyon Road, between Penrose and Victor , CO

County: Fremont County and Teller County

Season: Late spring to early fall, weather pending

Type: 2WD, high-clearance recommended (4WD would be best)

Restrictions – Only vehicles 25 feet or less

Length: ~30 miles / 2 hours

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Updated: November 1, 2023

Phantom Canyon Road

While you’re driving on Phantom Canyon Road you’ll see old town sites, cattle herds, rolling hills, rock formations and much more.

Phantom Canyon Road is part of the Gold Belt Scenic Byway that’s about 30 miles long.

This scenic byway is enjoyable and offers plenty of photo ops – the road increases in elevation from 5,500 to 9,500 feet, has two tunnels and three elevated bridges. Phantom Canyon Road also goes through Phantom Canyon.

This unpaved road follows the former path of the Florence and Cripple Creek railroad which connected the mining towns of Victor and Cripple Creek in 1894. During the fall you’re in for a treat; the Aspen trees’ leaves are starting to change color to a beautiful golden hue and make for great photos.

Rest stops and picnic areas are available along the route as well.

If you’re looking for scenic views and an adventurous ride, Phantom Canyon Road in Colorado is for you!

Posted: March 9, 2022

The road remains unpaved and the cliffs in the area offer some of the best sport climbing in the state.

Posted: March 8, 2022

The Gold Belt Scenic Byway is a national scenic byway running through Colorado’s gold country.

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Phantom Canyon Road

“ a scenic dirt road trail along the historic path of the florence and cripple creek railroads. ”.

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9,723' 2,964  m, 5,465' 1,666  m, 94' 29  m, 4,339' 1,322  m, know this trail, dogs unknown, family friendly while the whole trail is much too far for youngsters, ample places to pull off and a gentle grade can make shorter sections of this trail work for a great family outing., description, trail ratings, comment type:, current trail conditions, conditions history, add check-in, nearby recommended routes.

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7.2 mi 11.6 km • 1,861' Up 567.25 m Up • 1,861' Down 567.33 m Down

The barns and coral at the fork of Black Bear and Werley Ranch Trail

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4.1 mi 6.6 km • 618' Up 188.44 m Up • 618' Down 188.23 m Down

Bridge #7 in early October

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Overlooking Colorado Springs about half way up the Mt. Muscoco trail.

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2.0 mi 3.3 km • 1,248' Up 380.47 m Up • 17' Down 5.13 m Down

Near Manitou on Intemann Trail

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View of Pikes Peak from Heizer Trail.

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Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway

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Slow Scenic Drive

Phantom Canyon Road

This road is one of the most scenic and historic drives in Colorado. The route increases in elevation from 5,500 to 9,500 feet and offers the chance to see a wide range of plants and wildlife in their natural setting. The gravel road follows the route of the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad built in 1894 as a connection from Florence to the goldfields of Cripple Creek and Victor. 

View Gold Belt Byway Attractions

Mining Past and Present

Between Cripple  Creek and Victor are the remnants of hundreds of historic mines and an operating modern gold  mine. Over 500 mines once operated in the district, each with its own colorful past. At the Cresson Mine on November 24, 1914, miners uncovered a large chamber with walls completely covered in gold crystals as large as thumbnails. The owners installed vault doors, and armed guards escorted the ore to the mills. 

Today's gold mining operation focuses on removing and concentrating gold from low grade ore that was not able to be processed efficiently with historic mining methods. Large amounts of rock are crushed and treated with a dilute cyanide solution to remove any remaining gold. This process is known as heap leaching. The Mining District is primarily on private land. For your safety, please stay on public roads.

*All services are available only at either end of the route.

Historical photo courtesy of Cañon City Municipal Museum

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Find the best roads, phantom canyon road, an amazing road in colorado.

Phantom Canyon Road

You may have the heart-pounding adventure you were looking for on the treacherous Phantom Canyon Road. It is a gravel road in Colorado, United States. It curves around two enormous, 300 meters (980 ft) mountain faces. Two rock-blasted tunnels were constructed to construct this route.

Where is Phantom Canyon road located?

Phantom Canyon Road is located in Colorado, USA. It is a scenic drive that starts near Canon City and passes through the Wet Mountain Valley and the Wet Mountain Range, leading to the top of Phantom Canyon. The road offers stunning views of the mountains and is a popular destination for tourists and adventure seekers.

You can locate this road on the map below:

Information about the Phantom Canyon road :

A popular destination for thrill seekers and those seeking a distinctive driving experience, the road is about 56 kilometers (35 miles) long and features steep grades, sharp turns, and narrow sections. With its breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, meadows, and streams, the road winds through the mountains.

In order to connect the nearby mining towns, the route was initially constructed as a toll road in the late 1800s. Today, it is a well-liked tourist destination and a wonderful way to take in the splendor of the Colorado mountains. All vehicles can travel on the road, but it is only advised for experienced drivers and those who are accustomed to driving on sloping, narrow roads.

Preview of the route:

Phantom Canyon Road, a scenic route through the Wet Mountain Valley and the Wet Mountain Range in Colorado, United States, provides breathtaking mountain views. Visitors can enjoy an exciting and difficult drive along the route that begins close to Canon City and ascends to the top of Phantom Canyon.

You can obviously have a preview of that drive. Here is a YouTube video that shows a part of the road:

How to get to Phantom Canyon road?

If you are coming from the north, for example from Denver, take road 67 to Victor. If you are coming from the south, drive to Penrose or Canyon City, then turn on the road.

This lovely picturesque byway provides several photo opportunities. One of Colorado’s most beautiful and interesting drives is this one.

Not so far from this road, you can also drive the Monarch Pass or the Loveland Pass .

You can visualize how to get there on this approximative map of the drive:

Is Phantom Canyon road open?

Since it may be impacted by a variety of factors, including weather conditions, maintenance, and other unforeseen events, the route is generally not open all year long. In general, snow and ice during the winter months make it more likely for roads in mountainous regions to close. Before attempting to drive on this route, it is best to check with local authorities or conduct online research on the most recent weather conditions.

This road is fantastic for those that love a little adventure. You will experience the exhilaration and the chance to explore the breathtaking surroundings as you go down the winding narrow dirt road that passes through the lovely canyon. That the Phantom Canyon Road is a part of the Gold Belt Scenic Byway is not surprising.

Picture credit: Scott Sanford on flickr.com / Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19208991

Discover other roads around the world: click here

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phantom canyon road co

Phantom Canyon Road: Cañon City to Cripple Creek

phantom canyon road, canon city to cripple creek colorado

The road climbs gently the entire way, starting off in this small canyon.

tunnel, phantom canyon road, canon city to cripple creek colorado

The route passes through two tunnels, blasted through solid rock…

steel bridge, phantom canyon road

…and over three bridges.  The only original railroad bridge that remains is the Steel Bridge, which is roughly at the halfway point.

steel bridge, phantom canyon road

The bridge has recently been restored.  You’ll find interpretive signs and a parking area at the south side.

townsite of glenbrook, phantom canyon road

As you slowly climb through Phantom Canyon into Cripple Creek, road signs mark the locations of old town sites, that sprung up along the route.  Almost nothing remains at any of these town sites, except of course, the occasional herd of cattle.

cow

As you approach Victor, the road flattens out and widens, passing through rolling farmland.

ghost shack, phantom canyon road

Here you will find a few old barns and ghost-shacks, all on private property.

 US Hwy. 24 Outside Manitou Springs

tunnel, us 24 near manitou springs

I didn’t find much of interest along CO Rte. 67 (north of Cripple Creek) or US Hwy. 24 (between Florissant and Manitou Springs), just another mountain pass to climb and descend.  I only stopped to check out one interesting sight at the side of the road: this old tunnel.

inside the tunnel

I read the vandalized sign at the entrance to the tunnel, that explained something about how the road used to run through here before a bypass was constructed around the hillside.  I wasn’t terribly impressed, so I moved on.

Royal Gorge Park, Near Cañon City, Colorado

Gold camp road: victor to colorado springs.

Note: This trip was first published in 2005.

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Recommended Routes: Phantom Canyon, Colorado

In the latest episode in our recommended routes series we join michelle and matthew beaudin for a gravel ride on the slopes of pikes peak, colorado..

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! >","name":"in-content-cta","type":"link"}}'>Download the app .

This article is brought to you in partnership with Continental . Follow the link to learn more about our sponsored content policy .

The world of gravel cycling is exploding. More and more people are venturing beyond the tarmac in search of quieter, safer roads, exploring the world around them in the process. But if you’ve never ridden gravel before, it can be hard to find the perfect trails and roads to explore this burgeoning discipline of the sport.

Enter our Recommended Routes series . In partnership with Continental, we’ve pulled together a bunch of the best gravel cycling routes around the USA. Stay posted for future episodes in the weeks and months to come. And head to Trailforks to see the routes themselves.

Words by Michelle Beaudin | Photos by Matthew Beaudin

“You know you’re on private property?”

Ah, the chorus of the American West. Rusted signs and barbed wire fencing, huge valleys and the Colorado blue sky. I was at the lower gates of Phantom Canyon, looking up at two huge rock towers hugging the dirt road. 

“No, not really,” I said. “I’m on the side of the road?” 

The old man looked at me from under a sun-bleached hat. His work truck had a death rattle as it limped to a stop. “Well, up the road about 75 feet, it’s back to public lands. And the owner, well, he’s a little persnickety.” 

I contemplated what that could mean, exactly. We never met the owner of the shoulder of the road. I am still unconvinced anyone owned the side of the road. 

phantom canyon road co

Recently, I’ve been turning on broadcasts of the Tour de France from years past. It’s had me thinking of those cols in the Alps, those classically European days on the bike. Narrow paved climbs, a small beer and a sandwich at the summit, a smooth descent down the other side to a small town specializing in a fine cheese or a tree-based alpine liqueur. 

And then I headed up Phantom Canyon, on the empty southwestern flanks of the immense mass of Pikes Peak. The emptiness of the American West rose above me, in sharp contrast to the riding I’d been imagining while watching the Tour. 

This ride, a rugged 67-mile (107 km), mostly unpaved loop climbing 5,500 feet (1,675 m) through Colorado mining country, was just what I needed to re-embrace the riding we call our own. It’s big, it’s empty, and it’s an exploration of boom-and-bust towns along an empty dirt road. 

phantom canyon road co

The Phantom Canyon-Shelf Road route is remote, dusty, and challenging. There are no local liqueurs or cortados to be had at the top of the climb in the old mining town of Cripple Creek. There’s cheeseburgers and Budweiser. And that’s good with me. You can keep your little sandwiches and espressos. The descent is not smooth, and you’ll likely encounter more diesel trucks than fellow cyclists. 

What this ride does have to offer is liberty. It exemplifies the American spirit of adventure. It is lonely, huge, and sweeping. It’s some of the best fun I’ve had in a long time.

The base of Phantom Canyon Road, where our ride begins, is near Cañon City, about an hour southwest of Colorado Springs via Highway 115. If you’re not local, drive to Main Street and visit The Bean Pedaler, a coffee shop that shares a space with Red Canyon Cycles, and The Handlebar Bar & Eatery. It’s a welcoming place for a pre-ride coffee, and a great spot to begin your ride. 

phantom canyon road co

You’ll have some unavoidable miles on the busy Highway 50 getting out of town to the base of Phantom Canyon Road, but it’s a short stretch and there’s a wide shoulder.

We got off the main highway as soon as possible, taking a gentle left onto County Road 123. A few quiet miles later and you’ll reach a four-way intersection where you’ll see a small corral, horses kicking up dust and flicking their tails. Take a left here onto Phantom Canyon Road, which turns from a small two-lane paved road to dirt three or four miles later. And that’s where the real fun begins.

The gravel road starts climbing and doesn’t stop for a good 20 miles (32 km) up the canyon, rising from around 5,300 to 9,700 feet (1,615 – 2,960 m). The grade is very mild, however, never getting over about 2-4%, winding through the rocky canyon flanked by Eightmile Creek. The road follows the route of the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad (F&CC), which was built in the late 1800s as a connection from the town of Florence to the lucrative goldfields of Cripple Creek and Victor. 

As you climb, you’ll pass through two narrow tunnels originally carved into the mountainside by railroad crews well over 100 years ago. At that time, 12 stations were also built along the F&CC Railroad line to service the trains on their trips up and down the canyon. Look out for signs designating some of these ghost towns, like Adelaide, that were washed away in flash floods. Adelaide Bridge, however, still stands and is the only remaining bridge from the original railway. 

phantom canyon road co

On weekends you’ll encounter car traffic up Phantom Canyon, but between the road surface and narrow tunnels and bridges, drivers are usually moving at a friendly pace. 

At the top of the canyon the landscape opens up to grassy rolling hills. Private property signs and barbed wire line the road, and the Cresson Open Pit Gold Mine appears on the mountainside ahead. It’s a breathtaking scar on the landscape and it signals our arrival in the picturesque old mining town of Victor.

Stop into Phantom Canyon Coffee Limited if you’re still in need of caffeine or Gold Camp Bakery Cafe & Deli if it’s a slice of German chocolate cake you’re after. We opted for the latter, then headed along CO-67 for about 5 miles (8 km) to the town of Cripple Creek. 

Just as you arrive on the outskirts of Cripple Creek you’ll come upon a dirt road on your left, simply marked CR-88. This is the historic Shelf Road, and unless you need to stop for water or a Snickers bar, take the sharp left. From here you’ll essentially be descending all the way back to Cañon City.

phantom canyon road co

The washboard is more pronounced and the grade is steeper than Phantom Canyon, so stay alert and enjoy the views on this winding dirt road before it turns to pavement for the remainder of the descent. Note that there’s a fun detour option to get just a bit more gravel in before the day is through if you take a right at the turnoff to Red Canyon Park, which will add about 10 miles (16 km) to your day.

Whichever direction you choose, it won’t be long before you’re rolling back onto Main Street in Cañon City. If you’re heading back north to Colorado Springs or Denver at this point, I’d suggest stopping for dinner at Juniper Valley Ranch. About a 25-minute drive from Cañon City, it’s a family-run operation that’s open only during the summer and serves a menu of skillet fried chicken, baked ham, and “all the fixins.”

After that climb and descent it feels great to get all the fixins. 

phantom canyon road co

What you need to know

Cañon City enjoys a sunny, mild climate, while Cripple Creek sees cooler temperatures and more precipitation, so make sure to check the weather in both places before setting out. There are often afternoon thunderstorms to contend with in the summer months, and certainly the possibility of snow in the higher elevations in late fall, winter, and early spring. 

Layers are key in the Colorado mountains. You’ll be out for most of the day, gaining over 5,000 feet (1,525 m) of elevation, so plan accordingly. And no matter what the time of year, pack a good jacket. Storms can roll in strong and fast especially at higher elevations.

Red Canyon Cycles is a full-service bike shop right on Main Street in Cañon City. It shares a space with a coffee shop (The Bean Pedaler) and bar (The Handlebar). Check their website before stopping in, however, as they have somewhat limited opening hours.

I’ve seen road bikes with slicks, gravel bikes with knobby tires, and hardtail mountain bikes on Phantom Canyon Road. Any of these will do, but to get the most out of the day both climbing and descending, opt for a stout gravel or cyclocross bike with fast-rolling gravel tires with good puncture resistance like the Continental Terra Speed 700 x 40c.

As always, be sure to have all the tools, plugs, etc. you’ll need to take care of any mechanical issues yourself. You will likely not have cell service in the canyon and, depending on the time of year, may not encounter many other people. You are very much on your own. 

The Trailforks app will be your friend, especially if you find you don’t have cell service for portions of the route. Make sure you’ve downloaded Colorado Trails in the app and you’ll always have the answer when your ride buddies ask along the way, “Hey where does that trail go?”

phantom canyon road co

On a cool autumn day you might get away with two bottles for the climb, and a refill in Victor or Cripple Creek. It would be better, however, to start with two or more bottles, and pack a small water purifier, like the SteriPEN Ultralight UV Purifier. You can refill and purify bottles at several points along Eightmile Creek on the climb.

Food and drink

If you opt out of the skillet fried chicken dinner at the Juniper Valley Ranch , there are other options nearby. The Owl Cigar Store is the place for a good ol’ fashioned cheeseburger and fries. A pool hall with booths and bar seating, plus milkshakes and malts for dessert, it’s as American as it gets. 

Penrose Pizzeria and Pub is another option with a decidedly different feel. A family-run spot with vegetarian and gluten-free options and a long list of beer, wines and cocktails, it’s worth the 15-minute drive from Cañon City.

And if you’re just looking for a good beer, there’s the Florence Brewing Company with hand-crafted local brews on tap and reliably great service.

A short drive from Cañon City is the recently expanded and renovated Desert Reef Hot Spring . In their words, Desert Reef is a “safe, welcoming refuge for curious and creative folks who are looking to relax, recharge, and find some inspiration and joy.” And soon they’ll have renovated vintage Airstream trailers available for lodging. Check their website for hours and info. 

Longer trips

For an even more adventurous take on this route, consider a bikepacking trip that includes Phantom Canyon Road. There are a number of undeveloped campsites along the road, some with beautiful views and water access most of the year at Eightmile Creek. You could easily link up Gold Camp , another of the routes in this series, for a big, quiet tour of the more unknown Pikes Peak area drainages. Check in with the local BLM (Bureau of Land Management) office before planning to camp.

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Phantom Canyon

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Carving its way through the rugged landscapes of Colorado, Phantom Canyon Road delivers an unforgettable experience. The road meanders between towering weathered cliff faces that shimmer in hues of rust, ochre, and slate. The rocky, unpaved terrain is a journey back in time, winding through evidence of the region's gold rush history. Remnants of wooden trestle bridges and abandoned mining structures are interspersed along the route as poignant reminders of a bygone era. The drive is a symphony of geological wonder and historical intrigue, surrounded by views of the rocky canyon blanketed in vibrant, local vegetation patches. From the soft crunch of gravel under your tires to the awe-inspiring view of boulders stacked haphazardly by nature's hand, Phantom Canyon Road presents a rich sensory and historical experience, making it a gem in Colorado's off-roading scene.

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Take US-50 E-/Royal Gorge Blvd east for 6.4 miles to Phantom Canyon Road (Paved), turn left. Take the paved portion of Phantom Canyon for 5 miles to the trailhead.

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Ultimate Unexplained

Take a Drive Through the Haunted Phantom Canyon in Colorado

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Colorado 's P hantom Canyon Road is considered to be one of the most scenic drives in the state, but the 30-mile route also has another reputation - it's known for being haunted by ghosts of the past.

History as a Railroad

Constructed in 1894, the 30-mile-long canyon route first started out as the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad. Prospectors used the narrow-gauge railroad line to haul ore from the goldfields in the Cripple Creek/Victor Mining District to the reduction mines in Florence. Narrow-gauge railways were designed to handle the curves of the mountain. However, just one day after it was officially put into use, a train derailed on the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad, resulting in an unfortunate death.

A few years later, the railway began to offer a public passenger service that provided breathtaking sights of the canyon via train. It was during this time that a story began to circulate where train passengers had reported seeing a man walking along the tracks. The strange thing about this sighting was that the man had been executed at the state prison a few days earlier.

On July 21, 1912, a major flood washed out five miles of the railroad tracks, as well as 12 bridges and a few surrounding towns. Despite the damage, the railway was repaired and began operating once again.

Goodbye Railway, Hello Highway

The rugged terrain ultimately led to the railroad's demise and the tracks were eventually removed. In 1918, the former railway was converted into a public road that connected Cripple Creek, Cañon City, and Florence.

Unfortunately, during the summer of 1921, severe floods once again heavily damaged a stretch of the south-central Colorado route.

According to the Cañon City Daily Record , following the flood in 1921, the Florence Chamber of Commerce recruited about 500 local residents and businessmen from Fremont and Teller counties to volunteer their time and manpower to repair the canyon highway.  To document the finished project, an iconic photo was taken at Liberty Rock where dozens of volunteers are surrounding a sign that says, “Florence Phantom Canyon Put ‘Er Thru.”

RELATED: Brave Enough To Hike Colorado's Thrilling Devil's Causeway?

As years have passed, the gravel roadway has endured more floods and even fires, but after every disaster, it always gets fixed.

A few structures from the ghost towns of Wilbur, Adelaide, and Glenbrook remain standing along the side of the roadway.

Phantom Canyon Highway Today

Phantom Canyon Highway climbs in elevation from 5,500 to 9,500 feet from Florence to the old mining town of Victor. Motorists taking this route pass through dark tunnels and over narrow bridges to reveal some of the most secluded natural views. The trek also offers the chance to see a wide range of plants and wildlife in their natural setting.

Like the historic route, all these years later the ghostly legends from the 1890s have also stuck around. Besides the spirit of a prisoner walking along the tracks, tourists have reported hearing eerie sounds throughout the canyon and witnessing other paranormal phenomena.

Standard vehicles without trailers are welcome to drive along Phantom Canyon Road, which is now considered to be a part of Colorado's “Gold Belt Tour.” If you go, take it slow around the mountain's sharp twists and turns, and keep your eyes peeled not only for stunning scenery but also signs of the past.

Historic Railroad Sites in Colorado

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The Haunted Phantom Canyon Road In Colorado Both History Buffs And Ghost Hunters Will Love

phantom canyon road co

Annie is a freelance writer, content editor, and marketing whiz with a background in broadcasting and a passion for chicken nachos.

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If you love history, you already know that there are plenty of areas located within Colorado that are chock-full of historic and fascinating places. From haunted houses to creepy hikes, there’s certainly no shortage of spots to visit when you’re in search of some spine-tingling adventure. Today’s feature is no exception! However, this Colorado spot boasts more than just history, as it is also considered to be one of the most haunted places in the Centennial State. Is Phantom Canyon Road one of the most chilling places you can visit? You be the judge!

phantom canyon road co

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phantom canyon road co

Have you driven down Phantom Canyon Rd? If you have and if you’ve experienced anything creepy, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know in the comments!

Phantom Canyon Road in Colorado isn’t the only way to give your spine a tingle. Another great place to visit is the iconic Stanley Hotel . With roots in film, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this place without even knowing it. If you choose to stay, you might want to balance the ghostly elements with some adventure. For that, be sure to check out the local tours that are bookable through Viator !

Do you have a favorite place that you would like to see featured here on Only in Colorado? Nominate it here !

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Phantom canyon road.

What are the most haunted places in Colorado?

The most haunted places in Colorado offer some of the most spine-tingling adventures in the state. You can start your spooky explorations at these spots:

  • Trails at Carter Lake, Loveland : Each of the hikes in this area is said to be haunted in one way or another. If you love adventure but prefer a bit of a scare along the way, this is a place you'll need to explore.
  • St. Elmo, Chaffee County : This small town is said to be big on spooky feelings. Once a mining town, it's reported to be haunted by quite a few ghosts that moved here for the rush.
  • Miramont Castle, Manitou Springs : This historic 14,000-square-foot mansion has more than 40 rooms. The home is said to be haunted by quite a few different ghosts, including a little girl who enjoys her time in the doll room.

Where can I go apple picking in Colorado?

You can go apple picking at quite a few beautiful places in Colorado. First, head to Happy Apple Farm in Penrose . In addition to picking your very own apples, they also offer varieties in the country store. You can also plan on leaving with apple cider donuts, apple butter, fresh-pressed apple cider, and apple jelly. Another great place to visit for apple picking in Colorado is Adam's Apple in Ault . Home to at least 150 varieties of apples, this is an autumn-lover's paradise. But, be sure to arrive early as this is one of the most popular spots in the state.

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Phantom Canyon Road

Penrose, Colorado

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Gut wrenching & terrifying - Phantom Canyon Road

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  • Phantom Canyon Road

We did this drive from Victor in a Jeep Wrangler, my wife hiding her eyes from the sheer drop-offs... read more

phantom canyon road co

Beautiful views and tunnels through the mountains. Go slow and take your time. We were driving a... read more

phantom canyon road co

Gut wrenching & terrifying

We actually drove this road in May 1978 - I had no idea how treacherous it was. Once you get on it there is no turning back. Thank God there wasn’t a rock slide or oncoming traffic. I would NEVER drive it again or recommend it. I wonder home many people have died trying to use it? Do yourself a favor - stay off of it.

We did this drive from Victor in a Jeep Wrangler, my wife hiding her eyes from the sheer drop-offs and hair pin turns. The canyons towards the south end of the route are towering and amazing. On the down side, some people were driving too fast on what in places is a dangerous road. (BTW, a Jeep isn't necessary. A two-wheel drive SUV in good shape could handle this road.)

Beautiful views and tunnels through the mountains. Go slow and take your time. We were driving a Toyota Camry and did fine as long as we went slow and picked out path. There are other roads that are recommended for 4WD only so we stayed off those. There are steep drop offs on the sides of the roads. No cell service there so make sure you take a picture of the route so you know where you are and where you are going or save the pic from this review. There are places you can pull off with creek access but they all had people camping there when we went. You will go in and out of public lands so just make sure you are on public land if you decide to venture from the road. These areas are marked with road signs.

phantom canyon road co

Takes some time, but so worth it. Views are spectacular. We drove south, from Victor. We were on a one lane gravel road for 2 hours. Parts of the road are very narrow and we weren’t familiar with steep drop offs and no guardrails. So glad we made the trip. Unbelievable scenery and views. Didn’t realize until on the road this is a retired rail line built to serve the gold mines in Victor & Cripple Creek over 125 years ago.

phantom canyon road co

This was a great day trip. Beautiful scenery but could be challenging for people not comfortable with arrow mountain roads.

Great road with little traffic on weekday. Road is pretty flat and smooth. One thing to check on. We went in winter and there were a few places with snow/slush on the road. I had 4wd and no problem. Some other FWD cars were having trouble or turned back. Great road to travel. Would like to see it in fall.

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Latitude 38.6702651

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  1. Colorado Gem: Phantom Canyon Road

    Phantom Canyon Road, a detour off the popular Gold Belt Tour scenic and historic byway in south-central Colorado, features green-spotted canyon walls and twisty turns lying on top of what was once a powerhouse railroad (the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad) connecting the lucrative 1800s mining districts of Cripple Creek, Cañon City and Flore...

  2. Phantom Canyon Road is a scenic drive in Colorado

    Phantom Canyon Road is one of the most scenic and historic drives in Colorado, in the Western United States. This unpaved scenic road connects Cañon City and Victor, going through Phantom Canyon and increases in elevation from 5,500 to 9,500 feet. How long is Phantom Canyon Road?

  3. Phantom Canyon Road

    Phantom Canyon Road 4.5 254 reviews #3 of 25 things to do in Cripple Creek Scenic Drives Write a review What people are saying " Beautiful drive. " May 2022 Beautiful drive. " Wonderful road that transports you back in history in a very wild and beautiful background " Aug 2022

  4. Phantom Canyon Road, Colorado

    Phantom Canyon Road Easy • 4.5 (259) Penrose, Colorado Photos (290) Directions Print/PDF map Length 29.5 miElevation gain 4,727 ftRoute type Point to point Get to know this 29.5-mile point-to-point trail near Penrose, Colorado. Generally considered an easy route.

  5. Phantom Canyon Road

    Phantom Canyon Road is located in south central Colorado and spans from north of Florence to the historic mining town of Victor. It's an easy detour off of and part of the state's popular Gold Belt Tour Scenic & Historic Byway and is easily one of Colorado's most interesting routes. History Phantom Canyon Road, Colorado. Photo: Kay Rhodes

  6. Phantom Canyon Road in Colorado

    Phantom Canyon Road in Colorado - Scenic Drives - Visit Colorado Springs PLAN YOUR TRIP Find information on Phantom Canyon Road including location, map and route details. Drive the Phantom Canyon Road in Colorado for great views & an adventurous time!

  7. Phantom Canyon Road Hiking Trail, Cripple Creek, Colorado

    Phantom Canyon Road is a 30-mile, scenic dirt road trail along the historic path of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroads and part of the Gold Belt Scenic Byway. The road may be accessed from either Highway 115 at the south or Highway 67 at the north. The road begins at 9,500 feet just outside of Victor and is relatively flat for the first ...

  8. Phantom Canyon Road

    Phantom Canyon Road Penrose, Colorado The narrow mountain road that carves a path between Florence and Victor is tied to ghost towns and ghost stories. Been Here? 119 Want to Visit? 284 Matt...

  9. Phantom Canyon Road, Colorado

    Get to know this 29.5-mile point-to-point trail near Penrose, Colorado. Generally considered an easy route. This trail is great for off-road driving and scenic driving, and it's unlikely you'll encounter many other people while exploring. The best times to visit this trail are March through November. Dogs are welcome and may be off-lead in some areas.

  10. Phantom Canyon Road

    Phantom Canyon Road This road is one of the most scenic and historic drives in Colorado. The route increases in elevation from 5,500 to 9,500 feet and offers the chance to see a wide range of plants and wildlife in their natural setting.

  11. Phantom Canyon Road, an amazing road in Colorado

    Phantom Canyon Road is located in Colorado, USA. It is a scenic drive that starts near Canon City and passes through the Wet Mountain Valley and the Wet Mountain Range, leading to the top of Phantom Canyon. The road offers stunning views of the mountains and is a popular destination for tourists and adventure seekers.

  12. Phantom Canyon Road

    Phantom Canyon Road is an old mining road on the back side of Pikes Peak. There is plenty of wildlife to see just off the road and the road itself has many wonderful views just around the next curve. Watch your brakes as the incline is a little steep. All in all a must when in Colorado. Read more. Written June 12, 2015.

  13. Phantom Canyon Road: Cañon City to Cripple Creek

    High Park, Shelf, and Phantom Canyon Roads are all part of the Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway. The easiest to drive is High Park Road, which begins as CO Rte. 9 west of Cañon City. Shelf Road (named for the "shelf" that carries the narrow, one-lane road along the mountainside) begins along CO Rte. 115 east of Cañon City.

  14. Recommended Routes: Phantom Canyon, Colorado

    Recommended Routes: Phantom Canyon, Colorado In the latest episode in our Recommended Routes series we join Michelle and Matthew Beaudin for a gravel ride on the slopes of Pikes Peak,...

  15. Phantom Canyon

    Start a 7-Day Free Trial. Carving its way through the rugged landscapes of Colorado, Phantom Canyon Road delivers an unforgettable experience. The road meanders between towering weathered cliff faces that shimmer in hues of rust, ochre, and slate. The rocky, unpaved terrain is a journey back in time, winding through evidence of the region's ...

  16. Take a Drive Through the Haunted Phantom Canyon in Colorado

    Colorado's P hantom Canyon Road is considered to be one of the most scenic drives in the state, but the 30-mile route also has another reputation - it's known for being haunted by ghosts of the past.. History as a Railroad. Constructed in 1894, the 30-mile-long canyon route first started out as the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad.

  17. Phantom Canyon (Pikes Peak Area)

    Phantom Canyon Road, a portion of the Gold Belt Byway that runs through the canyon, is an unpaved road connecting Cañon City and Victor. The road is popularly used for mountain biking and off-roading . Since 1996, Phantom Canyon has been designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

  18. The Phantom Canyon Road In Colorado Is Historic And Haunted

    Connecting Central City to Victor, Phantom Canyon Road is a 30-mile-long trek that is considered one of the most beautiful drives in all of Colorado. TripAdvisor/SylRickTraveler

  19. Phantom Canyon Road Reviews updated 2024

    BLM Write a Review Phantom Canyon Rd (CR-67) Penrose, CO 81240 719-269-8500 Official Website GPS: 38.5126, -105.1143 Add Photos View 66 Photos Overview Q&A Cell Service Reviews (10) Amenities Overview of Phantom Canyon Road Accessibility is not guaranteed, always scout ahead before driving down dirt roads. Learn more: Boondocking 101

  20. Phantom Canyon Road, Penrose, Colorado

    Phantom Canyon Road is a point-to-point trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Penrose, Colorado. ... Phantom Canyon Road. Penrose, Colorado. Save. View all 3 photos. All 3 photos. Save Review Directions Add Photo. Details. Distance. 29.51 miles. Elevation Gain. 4852 ft. Route Type.

  21. Gut wrenching & terrifying

    Woodland Park, Colorado. 86 15. Reviewed April 30, 2023 . Beautiful drive. This was a great day trip. Beautiful scenery but could be challenging for people not comfortable with arrow mountain roads. ... Ask Gert_Frobe_007 about Phantom Canyon Road. Thank Gert_Frobe_007 .

  22. OVERLANDING PHANTOM CANYON ROAD (Cripple Creek Colorado To ...

    16.7K subscribers 11K views 2 years ago CRIPPLE CREEK In this video, we are Overlanding Phantom Canyon Road. This road will take you from Cripple Creek Colorado to Canon City. RVing near...

  23. Phantom Canyon Road

    19 McR Points August 3, 2020 Gravel road with amazing scenery. Be careful,… Read More Written Directions From Canon City, CO head east on 50 approx. 7 miles. Turn left onto Phantom Canyon Rd. (67). Road is paved for several miles then becomes gravel/dirt. Scenery Road is a narrow gravel road with hairpin turns and blind corners.