Phantom Canyon

4.7/5 (33 reviews)
Cañon City, Colorado (Fremont County)
Last Updated: 06/08/2022
Zoom in to see trails...

Trail Information

Highlights

Remember the feeling of getting of being a kid while into the log ride at the theme park slowly floating through the scenes of an old ghost town in the southwest? Recapture that feeling by taking this historic gold route through Phantom Canyon which is part of the Gold Belt Byway. The road was initially built in 1892 to connect the nearby town Florence to the gold mines. However, a little over a year later, the road was converted into a narrow-gauge railroad that carried a myriad of items from mining supplies and up to 1300 tons of gold ore every day. Phantom Canyon has its fair share of fatal history, and there are even claims of hauntings along the trail. In 1895, the town along Eighmile Creek, Adelaide, was wiped out during a flood and record books indicate that a train went careening off the tracks in 1901, killing the engineer and injuring another. Even modern drivers have been unable to avoid this curse as deaths have been recorded as late as 2018. Don't miss this storied road along the beautifully scenic part of the Gold Belt Byway.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (33 reviews)
Status: Open
Visited: 08/25/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Phantom Canyon is not a long drive. I started it at the end of the day with the intention to camp along the way. You can make this drive in just about any vehicle but having a 4 wheel drive will allow you to drop down any of the side roads to some hidden and incredible camping spots. I picked a camp spot that was higher,even to the road, to be away from the mosquitoes in the creek. My campsite had a nice trail down to eight mile creek where my dog and I hung out in the mid morning. The two tunnels, bridges and creek make this drive non stop something to look at in the canyon. I'm a history nerd so i enjoyed stopping and reading the signs along the way. I will recommend this drive to everyone. I was planning to come down the Shelf Road to the west but it was poring down rain on the 26th when I got to Cripple Creek so ill have to save that for next time.
Trail Review: Phantom Canyon - Ken Abney
Trail Review: Phantom Canyon - Ken Abney
View More Images
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/22/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Nice drive on a very scenic road. Easy railroad grade a car could do. Lots of nice camping along the way too.
Trail Review: Phantom Canyon - Paul Stone
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/12/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Took a day trip down Shelf rd then back up Phantom Creek. i think Either direction on this road would be great. We ended up getting some heavy rain and even saw snow near Cripple Creek. The history, great dispersed camping spots, and unique features along this road make it a wonderful drive.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/11/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

A very scenic non-technical drive that winds it’s way up the mountain to a little over 10,000 feet. There are some shaded campsites, but most are out in the open. Overall, a very nice drive and worth visiting,
Trail Review: Phantom Canyon - Tim N.
Trail Review: Phantom Canyon - Tim N.
View More Images
JD Marshall
Official Crew
108300
Status: Open
Visited: 06/08/2022

Trail reported open! Enjoy the summer!

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Start Free Trial