Phantom Canyon

Cañon City, Colorado (Fremont County)

Last Updated: 05/01/2022
4.8 / 5 ( 20 reviews )
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Partially Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 24.77 miles
Highest Elevation: 9743 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Cañon City
Nearest Town w/ Services: Cañon City
Official Road Name: 67, 86
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Royal Gorge Field Office


Highlight: Phantom Canyon
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.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Trailhead Where Pavement Ends (0 mi)
The trailhead starts 5 miles from US-50. This area has a small parking area where a few vehicles can stop before heading into the canyon.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Canon City, Colorado

Take US-50 E-/Royal Gorge Blvd east for 6.4 miles to Phantom Canyon Road (Paved), turn left. Take the paved portion of Phantom Canyon for 5 miles to the trailhead.



Trail Reviews (26)

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: This road is maintained by the Fremont County Road and Bridge Dept. Calling it IMPASSABLE is inaccurate. Consider a new status option of something like CHECK STATUS or UNKNOWN.
–Neal A. Tew (02/20/2021)
–JD Marshall (02/21/2021)
Q: Talked to the Fremont Sherif and he said it is a county road and was not be legal but you can cross the road. He suggested to ride Penrose Commons, Texas Creek or Sleepy Springs all had lots of trails
–Steven Landgraf (06/09/2019)
–Greg Stokes (06/25/2019)
Q: Is this road open to UTV and is there a area to dump out and leave the rig at the south end? Think Victor has a good place to eat lunch? Or would Shelf road be better?
–Steven Landgraf (06/06/2019)
–Ryan Boudreau (06/07/2019)

Writer Information

JD Marshall

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Jen & JD moved to Colorado from Chicago in May of 2015 for work and brought with them a 2001 stock Jeep Wrangler that had been garage bound for two years. Within a month of arrival, all rusty 170,000 miles of it was shaking on Colorado trails and they've never stopped. As time as gone on, their 2001 TJ had to be traded and a 2015 Jeep JK has been added to the family. JD works as a Systems Engineer for a cable company and Jen runs a business from their home during the week to pay the bills. When the weekend hits, they're almost always hitting the trail. When Sunday night rolls around, the question turns to, 'so what's next week?!'.
For individual use only, not to be shared.