Phantom Canyon

Cañon City, Colorado (Fremont County)

Last Updated: 09/09/2019
5 /5 ( 6 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: 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
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

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.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Phantom Canyon

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(EASY )

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead Where Pavement Ends (0.00 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

Trailhead Coordinates: 38.502063, -105.106268

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.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (7)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Jen and I went out to do a major overhaul on this trail guide and Jen LOVED it. She's a big fan of canyons and landscape features along the trail and this didn't disappoint. We stopped and had lunch at the Dunneville rest stop and waited for a large storm to move past us in the afternoon. The scenery is fun to see on this trail, but the cool stuff to look at is right in front of you here around the trail itself.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I drove Phantom Canyon Road on Friday, February 22nd. The road had been graded/snow plowed, so there was little snow on the road itself (most in spots shaded by mountains or trees). This is a beautiful drive, so take your time and stop frequently to view the panorama.

Author:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Between mile 7 and 8, (Heading North), the trial is closed until January 3rd, 2019 for tunnel upkeep

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is an amazing drive in the fall. The colors are fantastic, and it's 2wd the entire way. there is a nice rest stop area with bathrooms and the tunnels and bridges just add to the amazing views of the canyon.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun little road, did it in 2WD just dirt/gravel mix. Great camping spots pretty much anywhere you go though there's a few areas where you see "No Trespassing Signs" and then campgrounds as well. We did the trail from Canyon City to the HWY 67 (South to North.) Lots of campers in about the first 2 miles, pretty sparse after that. Creekbeds were dry with the exception of a few places (and those were loaded with trout I didn't have the heart to catch since they're trying to survive the drought) but overall excellent day to be alive and free in 'Merica. Where the red steel bridge is is your indicator that there is amazing photography opportunity (Waypoint 10-12) available with small rocks along the side you should scramble. Thanks for all the information on this little road, I love this site!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great Sunday drive for the family when you need to get out of the house and do something. The road was wide open and very accessible, but be aware of on-coming traffic when approaching corners and both of the tunnels. The rock formations are amazing and well worth the drive. Very easy and absolutely non-technical drive that any stock vehicle can do. Most of the vehicles we encountered were minivans from Missouri, good times.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
The fall colors were still out but not as vibrant as probably a week earlier. The trail itself is in good shape, lots of traffic with people out to see the fall colors. The trail can be done in just about any type of vehicle the main issues only being washboard sections along the trail. The group I was with, we ran the trail from Victor to Canyon City but it can be ran in either direction. Several narrow areas that you need to watch out for on coming traffic as only one vehicle can get through at a time, especially the two tunnels. Overall a nice trail to run especially in the fall to see the leaves.

Questions & Answers (2)

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

Jen & 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 has been upgraded 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?!'.
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