Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway

Details

  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2000)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
  • LocationCO
  • Length135 miles
Byway Visitor Information
Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway
Statewide Byway Partners
Downloadable Colorado Byways Guide
Colorado Tourism
Aspens decked in autumn's tawny hues line the Gold Belt Tour.
Sally Pearce Photo

Overview

The Gold Belt Tour follows historic railroad and stagecoach routes leading to North America's greatest gold camp, three world-class fossil sites, and numerous historic sites. The Shelf and Phantom Canyon Roads cut along unpaved routes through winding canyons. Five byway communities allow a glimpse into this area's rich heritage.


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Story of the Byway

The Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway is a 131-mile route that features an abundance of old mining towns and supply towns for the Gold Rush in the shadow of Pikes Peak. Among these towns are Cañon City, Cripple Creek, Florence, Florissant, and Victor. These towns were responsible for a renowned gold boom in the early 1890s. A journey through these narrow roads arrives to the reward of outstanding scenery, rolling hills, narrow canyons, historic tunnels and bridges and views Pikes Peak. Travel between High Dessert and above Timberline, to see various eco systems. Miles of high country reveal vistas to astound, roaring waters of the Arkansas River in the Royal Gorge, and two significant fossil areas—Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and the Garden Park Dinosaur Fossil Area.

Driving Directions

From Florissant (Hwy 24 West of Colorado Springs), take Teller County Road 1 to Cripple Creek & Florence or travel Teller one and Teller 11 to connect with Hwy 9 and Hwy 50 to Canon City. Two routes can be entered in the Cripple Creek & Victor area, out of Cripple Creek turn south onto Shelf Road which brings you out in Canon City. Or out of Victor connect with Phantom Canyon Road (Teller County Road 86, turns into Fremont County Road 67) which takes you to Florence.
To gain access to all routes from the Southerly edge, use Hwy 50 West out of Pueblo). Reserve the routes mentioned above.

Points of Interest

  • Royal Gorge Bridge

    The Royal Gorge Bridge is a tourist attraction near Cañon City, Colorado.

  • Muller State Park

    Mueller State Park is a park encompassing 5,112 acres of land outside Divide, Colorado, west of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

  • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

    The Florissant Formation is a sedimentary geologic formation outcropping around Forissant, Teller County, Colorado.

  • Garden Park Fossil Area

    Garden Park Fossil Area reveals dinosaur-fossil quarries with trails and scenic overlooks in a rugged setting.

Itinerary

  • Two Days on the Gold Belt

    Day 1
    Starting in Cañon City, enjoy an early breakfast before rafting down the scenic Arkansas River. Take a leap on a zipline before returning to town for lunch. Spend your afternoon with an ATV or helicopter tour of the area. Or for a more simple afternoon visit Florence, known as Antique Capital of Colorado Rest over a leisurely dinner and head to bed early in preparation for the next day.
    Day 2
    After breakfast in Cañon City, take a stroll along the Historic Main Street. All aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad to enjoy the Canyon of the Arkansas River. Return to town for lunch before traveling Phantom Canyon Road, which brings you to Victor, CO. Enjoy a leisurely walk around town with interpretive panes to tell the stories, Have a treat, before traveling over to Cripple Creek for a dinner and some gambling at the casinos there.
    You may choose to stay in Cripple Creek or drive back down to Canon.

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