Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway

National Scenic BywayColorado

All Photos (48)

  • Cripple Creek Scenic Overlook

    The site offers a sweeping panoramic view of Cripple Creek, Mt. Pisgah, and the Sawatch, Sangre de Cristo and Wet Mountain ranges.

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  • The Shelf

    This portion of the Shelf Road perched high above Fourmile Creek has changed little from when it was built in 1892.

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  • Tunnel on Phantom Canyon Road

    Phantom Canyon Road, a dirt-surfaced road, passes through a narrow tunnel carved through a pale red-rock slope on a sunny day in summer.

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  • The Historic City Hall in Victor

    The Victor City Hall is one of several historic buildings that have been restored in downtown Victor.

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  • Royal Gorge Bridge

    The Royal Gorge Bridge spans an impressive chasm carved by the Arkansas River. The suspension bridge is the world's highest - 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River.

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  • View of Florissant Valley and Teller 1

    Teller 1, the northernmost portion of the Gold Belt Tour, winds through the pastoral Florissant Valley. The valley is located in an ancient lakebed.

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  • Battle Mountain Pullout

    Funded by a grant, the Battle Mountain Pullout is located just off the Byway.

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  • Canon City West Kiosk

    This kiosk, located in west Canon City, sits in a beautiful garden.

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  • Canon City River Station Kiosk

    This helpful kiosk is located at the River Station in Canon City.

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  • Florissant Kiosk

    This kiosk, located in Florissant, is framed by a clear blue sky.

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  • A Group at the Florissant Kiosk

    This happy group poses in front of the Florissant Kiosk.

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  • Wilbur Loop Scenic Overlook

    The Wilbur Loop was the name given to the segment of tracks that climbed 400 feet up steep switchbacks out of Phantom Canyon. Today, an overlook at the top of the loop provides a birds-eye view of Phantom Canyon.

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  • "Window Rock" from Shelf Road

    This landmark rock, eroded by wind and water, is visible along the northern portion of the Shelf Road.

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  • Florissant Heritage Museum

    The Florissant Heritage Museum occupies the historic Florissant schoolhouse, a schoolhouse from 1887 to 1960. Today, the museum interprets the history of the area beginning with the Ute Indians. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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  • Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad Steel Bridge

    In 1897, Steel Bridge was built to replace the original wooden trestle that was destroyed by fire. It is the only remaining bridge from the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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  • A Clear Day at the Switzer Ranch

    The ranches along High Park Road represent over 150 years of ranching history in the region. Historic ranches, such as the Switzer Ranch, continue to be vital parts of the rural, agricultural lifestyle.

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  • "The Chief" Rock Formation in Phantom Canyon

    Phantom Canyon's rock formations including "The Chief" were documented by William Henry Jackson during the Hayden Survey. Today, the Byway's visitors enjoy these interesting landmarks.

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  • Historic Mine Along the Gold Belt Tour

    Over 500 underground mines were located within the Cripple Creek Mining District. These mines produced more gold than the Alaska and California gold rushes combined.

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  • Historic Smelter, Florence

    Today, a lone smelter stack testifies to Florence's history as an important industrial center of the Arkansas Valley. In the early 1900s, Florence was a center for gold ore processing and oil production and refining.

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  • Hornbek Homestead

    The historic Hornbek Homestead, settled in 1876, was the first homestead in the Florissant Valley. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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  • Location of Original Train Station near Adelaide

    The original train station was located near this cistern. After the flood of 1895, it was moved to higher ground.

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  • Inside the Victor-Lowell Thomas Museum

    The Victor-Lowell Thomas Museum celebrates Victor's most famous son and the town's rich mining history.

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  • Lower Tunnel Today

    The Phantom Canyon Road passes through this tunnel that was constructed in 1895 when a flood washed out the original railroad grade. This tunnel and the upper tunnel were built to raise the railroad tracks out of the Eightmile Creek floodplain.

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  • Bighorn Sheep along Shelf Road

    Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are often seen along the northern end of the Shelf Road.

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  • Petrified Tree Stumps

    Designated a National Monument in 1969, Florissant Fossil Beds preserves incredibly detailed insect and plant fossils dating to 34 million years ago. Interpretive trails lead through a petrified forest of massive redwood stumps.

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  • Cattle Drive

    Ranchers use portions of the byway to move cattle in late fall to winter at lower elevations. Ranching continues to be an important part of the rural lifestyle in this region.

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  • The Phantom Canyon "Narrows"

    One of the most interesting parts of Phantom Canyon is The Narrows. Here, the road winds high above Eightmile Creek through narrow road cuts, following the grade of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad.

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  • Cripple Creek District Museum

    From 1896 to 1949, this building served continuously as a railroad depot. In 1953, it was converted into a private, non-profit museum interpreting Cripple Creek's history.

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  • Aspens on the Gold Belt Tour

    Aspens decked in autumn's tawny hues line the Gold Belt Tour.

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  • Steel Bridge along Gold Belt Tour

    The rich red color of this steel bridge stands out amidst the snow that covers it and the surrounding evergreens.

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  • Royal Gorge From Afar

    Though the Royal Gorge Bridge is indeed massive, a distant view magnifies the depth and magnitude of the gorge itself.

  • Four Mile Kiosk

    This interpretive kiosk is located at Four Mile Park on Teller County Road 1.

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  • Garden Park Fossil Area Kiosk

    This interpretive kiosk helps visitors navigate the Garden Park Fossil Area.

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  • Skyline Drive

    A cloud-filled sky and rolling mountains grace the skyline on a peaceful drive.

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  • Hornbek Homestead

    Hornbek Homestead, located in the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, is still on a clear day.

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  • Upper Shelf Road Kiosk

    This kiosk, located on the upper side of Shelf Road, provides valuable information for travelers.

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  • Arkansas Riverwalk in Cañon City

    The Arkansas Riverwalk follows the Arkansas River in Cañon City. It is popular with walkers, bicyclists, birders, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

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  • Recent Excavation, Garden Park Fossil Area

    The rib of a Camarasaurus is exposed during a 1979 excavation at the Garden Park Fossil Area. Discoveries continue to be made.

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  • Rockclimber in Red Canyon Park

    The cliffs towering above Shelf Road are internationally known among rock climbers. The climbs are short but very difficult.

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  • Rockclimber in the Shelf Road Recreation Area of Colorado

    This five hundred acre park contains unusually eroded red rock formations with spires up to 100 feet high. It offers excellent opportunities for hiking, bicycling, picnicking and camping.

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  • The Dinosaur Depot Museum in Cañon City

    The Dinosaur Depot interprets the rich history of the Garden Park Fossil Area. It houses exhibits, specimens, and a fossil preparation laboratory. Educational programs are available.

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  • Downtown Cripple Creek

    Cripple Creek was the financial and social hub of the Cripple Creek Mining District. Today, many buildings in Cripple Creek's business district have been renovated or restored.

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  • St. Cloud Hotel in Cañon City's National Historic District

    Located in Cañon City's National Historic District, the St. Cloud Hotel has stood at the corner of 7th and Main since 1888. The hotel is undergoing restoration with the help of the State Historical Fund of the Colorado Historical Society.

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  • Garden Park Along Shelf Road

    Garden Park, located along the southern end of the Shelf Road, was named for its farms and ranches that supplied fresh produce and meat to surrounding communities. Today, Garden Park remains largely ranchland.

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  • High Park Road

    High Park Road traverses scenic mountain parklands that have been cattle ranching country for more than 150 years. High Park Road offers impressive views of the surrounding mountain ranges and Pikes Peak.

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  • The Historic Santa Fe Railroad Depot in Cañon City

    The Santa Fe Depot, built in 1913, has been beautifully restored by Cañon City in cooperation with the State Historical Fund of the Colorado Historical Society.

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  • View of Pikes Peak from the Byway

    Several areas of the Byway offer impressive views of 14,110-foot Pikes Peak, one of Colorado's most famous landmarks.

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  • Bicyclists Along the Gold Belt Tour Byway

    Many segments of the Gold Belt Tour attract bicyclists because of the outstanding scenery and low speed limits.

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