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Gold Belt Tour Scenic Byway

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General Information

Description - The Gold Belt Tour leads visitors passed many abandoned mining sites in and around the communities of Cripple Creek and Victor. It leads 131 miles south from Florissant to Florence. Several sight seeing adventures may be enjoyed in the region including the Molly Kathleen Mine tour and the Victor Cripple Creek Narrow Gauge Railroad. This route also passes Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, which shouldn't be missed. Mueller State Park lies very close to the Gold Belt route. It contains 80 miles of recreation trails in a beautifully scenic setting.

Recreation - Scenic driving is the primary draw for users of the Gold Belt Tour, but other recreation opportunities present themselves along the route. Sight seeing, hiking, walking, mountain biking and camping opportunities exist in the region. Geology and archaeology interests will be satiated at Florissant Fossil Beds. Those visitors interested in history will enjoy the relics on exhibit in Cripple Creeks Historical Society.

Climate - Extreme terrain in Colorado often supports extreme conditions. Snow and ice are common on roads and trails from mid-October through late April. In the summer months snow is still possible but less common. Varying conditions throughout a given day can be expected throughout the year. Remember that summer days can typically have beautiful sunny mornings and short sudden thunderstorms in the afternoon. Please prepare appropriately for your outdoor experience.

Location - This scenic byway is located in the south central region of the state. It is a favorite with four-wheel drivers. There are three travel routes to choose from once you pass Florissant Fossil Beds. The first fork in this tour lies south of the National Monument where State Road 11(High Park Road) splits from State Road 1. State Road 11 leads to Canon City via Highway 50. It is not necessary to have a four-wheel drive vehicle for High Park Road.

The second option is Shelf Road, which follows State Road 88 from Cripple Creek to Canon City. Four-wheel drive is not necessary for Shelf Road when it is dry. Although, you may feel more secure in a four-wheel drive, due to some rough and rocky spots.

The third route on the Gold Belt Tour is Phantom Canyon Road. To reach it follow Highway 67 through Victor to signs for State Road 86. Follow Phantom Canyon Road south from Victor to Canon City. This route is restricted to vehicles less than 25 feet long. It is an improved dirt road and easily traveled by passenger car when dry.

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More Information

Contact Information:
BLM-Royal Gorge Resource Area, 3170 East Main St. , Canon City, CO, 81212, Phone: 719-275-0631

Additional Information:
Colorado Scenic Byways - Driving through Colorado can be some of the most rewarding driving possible. The scenic byways deserve their name and are definitely worth the detour.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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