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.
The road encompasses miles of stunning views through turns, high elevations and steep grades. The road has a couple of hand-cut stone tunnels and three elevated old steel & wood bridges. The road climbs gently the entire way. The road is part of the Gold Belt Scenic Byway. The route contains many narrow roads and high wooden bridges. The road is popularly used for mountain biking and off-roading.
This is a maintained road where a high clearance 2WD vehicle is able to travel safely at low speeds on long dry straight-of-ways, without losing control due to wash boarding, ruts, or dips. 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.
The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities here. Don’t forget your camera! The road condition and narrow bridges encourage people to slow down and view the scenery. This scenic byway is enjoyable and offers plenty of photo ops. It offers the chance to see a wide range of plants and wildlife in their natural setting. It’s a well-maintained but narrow dirt road that winds like a dusty snake through a stunning and varied landscape. On the weekends the traffic can be heavy and being a dirt road, that means lots of dust. Even though traffic goes both ways, there are sections that are only one car wide. There are a couple of "hairy" spots where it seems like the road is a half lane wide with a 500' sheer drop on one side and a 500' highwall on the other. Expect steep drop offs to the left, roads that cut through boulders with great canyon views.