Oh-My-God Road is a 8,46 miles very scenic trail located in Clear Creek County, Colorado (USA) at an elevation of 7,581 to 9,383 feet, linking Idaho Springs at I-70 to Central City near Highway 119. The road gets its name from being a two-way road that is only about a car and three quarters wide, graveled, with no guard rails and washed out shoulders. Not only are there no guard rails, a daring glance down reveals incredibly steep cliffs.
Some road sections may require a high clearance 4WD vehicle, in four-wheel-drive, driven by a driver experienced in 4WD drive techniques to drive the road without getting stuck. The trail can be divided in 2 parts. One is fairly easy for any vehicle, and the other is slightly more difficult. The route passes through historic mining country and ghost town of Russel Gulch on way to popular gambling towns, and isn’t for ATVs. It's steep and rocky but, when dry, is suitable for stock 4-wheel-drive SUVs. The road includes 12% grade sections.
This is a not maintained road in winters, where a 4WD vehicle is able to travel safely at low speeds. To bypass rougher sections, stay on paved route—although even this may be intimidating to flatlanders. There is a short paved section at the top, and the county is paving one mile of the road per year. Along the road, you will see many service roads branching off.
This track, also known as Virginia Canyon Road, can get very muddy and slippery after rain making it challenging to get through. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Oh-My-God road was once a major link between Idaho Springs and Central City. This road was critical for many miners bringing supplies to there camp by horse and wagon in 1865. Once the railway included stops in both cities the traffic along the road dwindled signifigantly. A long this road a great deal of mining activity took place, some ruins still remain to this day and add to the history you get to see while riding this trail.
Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime and can sometimes block some sections of this steep but maintained dirt road. The road and the scenery it offers are pretty much unremarkable, lots of hairpin turns as the road ascended, hugging the side of the mountain. There is little room for error on this road. Don’t stuff your belly too much. Eventually, you might feel vomiting temptations while climbing circuitous roads at higher altitudes.
The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. Oh my God Road offers visitors an exhilarating opportunity to escape into Colorado’s gold rush past. Spectacular vistas of both Central City and Idaho Springs conjure up visions of these rip snorting mining towns.
It’s a real challenging road and a true test of your vehicle and your stamina because the road abounds in twists and turns. This unpaved road has few curb barriers. Switchbacks are plentiful, as are steep drop offs. Oh my God Road accesses about a dozen (closed) gold mines and at least 2 ghost towns. One day the road can be smooth and easy to drive, the next, it can be full of washboards that will bounce you right over the edge if you aren't careful.