Phantom Canyon Road

Near Canyon City     |     25 Miles     |     Easy     |     9,743 Feet

Phantom Canyon Road is an old railroad grade dating back to 1894. It once connected the gold-mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor (Teller County) to Florence (Fremont County). It is arguably the most scenic part of the Gold Belt Scenic Byway. Ghosts from the past reportedly still roam the canyon, making it a fine place for camping with a twist! The canyon got its name in the late 1800s when some train passengers claimed to have seen walking along the tracks the ghost of a prisoner, a man who had been executed in the Colorado State Penitentiary a few days earlier. The route is dotted with ghost towns like Adelaide, Wilbur, and Alta Vista, which were washed away in devastating floods or abandoned when the railroad closed in 1912. What little is left of the ghost towns is now mostly on private land, though some traces can be seen from the road. The road also boasts two iconic tunnels and one of the original railroad steel bridges. It is possible to access a less-traveled hiking trail to the Beaver Creek State Wildlife Area from this bridge.