Gold Belt Scenic Byway is a scenic drive through Colorado's gold country

Gold Belt Scenic Byway is a very exciting journey through Colorado’s former mining country. It offers breathtaking scenery that you won't find anywhere else.

Gold Belt Scenic Byway

How long is the Gold Belt Scenic Byway?

Located in southern Colorado, the National Scenic Byway connects roads through a variety of scenery ranging from canyons to mountains. This scenic loop is 210km (131-mile) long and consists of many routes featuring famous roads and byways. Some parts of the byway are unpaved and a 4x4 vehicle is required. Those with trailers and RVs are discouraged from driving the complete route.

How long does it take to drive the Gold Belt Scenic Byway?

Tucked away in the Rocky Mountains, plan 5–6 hours to complete the drive without stops, but the byway makes a beautiful weekend trip. The journey offers an exhilarating driving experience, with superb views. On the byway running through Colorado’s gold country you will see many abandoned mines, buildings, and towns that prospered during the Colorado Gold Rush. But watch out. Some segments on this scenic journey are particularly unforgiving and the roads are narrow and rugged in places. Archaeological sites can be found throughout the byway.

The byway features 5 roads:

Phantom Canyon Road: It connects Canyon City and Victor through Phantom Canyon. It features one-way tunnels, narrow gaps and a red curved bridge to master. The road has two tunnels and three elevated bridges. It is unpaved. Four-wheel-drive is required. No vehicles over 25 feet long.

Shelf Road: It goes through Fourmile Canyon. It is carved along the side of a cliff that is supposed to fit two lanes, but really only fits one. Four-wheel-drive is required.

High Park Road: It is entirely paved and connects gold mines with the Arkansas Valley.

Teller County Road 1: It is paved and offers diverse views of scenery.

Gold Camp Road: It follows the former railroad from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek. The road opened in 1920’s. It’s unpaved. The road is said to be severely haunted.