Phantom Canyon Road is a scenic drive in Colorado

Phantom Canyon Road is one of the most scenic and historic drives in the US state of Colorado. This unpaved scenic road connects Cañon City and Victor, running through Phantom Canyon and increasing in elevation from 5,500 to 9,500 feet.

Phantom Canyon Road

Where is Phantom Canyon Road?

The road spans Fremont and Teller counties, in the central part of Colorado. The 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.

How long is Phantom Canyon Road?

The road is 47.63 km (29.6 miles) long, running from Road US-50 to Victor city. The road has a couple of hand-cut stone tunnels and three elevated old steel and wooden bridges. The road climbs gently the entire way and is part of the Gold Belt Scenic Byway. It contains many narrow parts and high wooden bridges and is popularly used for mountain biking and off-roading.

Is Phantom Canyon Road paved?

The road is unpaved and narrow; vehicles over 25 feet are not permitted to travel. It winds through the scenic canyon, making use of rough-hewn, one-way tunnels, narrow gaps gouged through the mountainside, and a distinctive curved bridge.

Is Phantom Canyon Road challenging?

The unpaved road is pretty easy to drive on but can be scary to some drivers. 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' high wall on the other. Expect steep drop-offs to the left on a road that cuts through boulders with great canyon views. It tops out at 2,970 m (9,744 ft) above sea level, and maintenance in winters is limited. It’s a well-maintained but narrow dirt road that winds like a dusty snake through a stunning and varied landscape. Even though traffic goes both ways, there are sections that are only one car wide. Standard vehicles without trailers are welcome on the road as long as the driver gives ol’ lead foot a break. Watch out for rocks on the road.

How long does it take to drive Phantom Canyon Road?

The drive will take around 2 hours. This scenic byway is enjoyable and offers plenty of photo ops. It is one of the most scenic and historic drives in Colorado. On weekends, traffic can be heavy, and being a dirt road means lots of dust. 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 provides the chance to see a wide range of plants and wildlife in their natural setting.