“A scenic dirt road trail along the historic path of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroads.”
— Mikhaila Redovian
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 three miles. The remaining ~27 miles are a gentle grade down to 5,800 feet.
The road winds through the narrow canyon, passing through the ghost towns of Wilbur, Adelaide and Glenbrook which were abandoned after the railroad closed in 1912. It is rumored that the ghost of an executed prisoner from the 1890s wanders the canyon at night, giving the road its eponymous Phantom name.
Phantom Creek Road passes over the Adelaide Bridge, at mile 16.7, which passes over Eightmile Creek. The bridge is an official site of the National Register of Historic Places and is the only remaining bridge from the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad. It also passes through two tunnels, carved out by miners for the railroad at mile 19.5 and mile 23.
Multiple spots to pull off the road exist along the way. It can be taken either with a shuttle or as an out and back, but the mileage would be incredible to complete in one day.