Skyline Drive is located on the west edge of Cañon City , across from the turn to the Royal Gorge.
This route winds its way along the top of an extremely narrow ridge overlooking the surrounding area.
Many areas are marked "No Stopping" but you can still get some terrific vistas of the road. Great overlook of Cañon City.
Connecting Florence and Victor, I start the route on US-50, north of Florence.
Phantom Canyon Road is unpaved and narrow; vehicles over 25 feet are not permitted.
This road is one of the most scenic and historic drives in Colorado. The route increases in elevation from 5,500 to 9,500 feet and follows the route of the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad built in 1894 as a connection from Florence to the goldfields of Cripple Creek and Victor.
This route offers the chance to see a wide range of plants and wildlife in their natural setting. Fantastic fall foliage. The unique bridges and tunnels offer photo ops with a connection to the area's historic past.
About 6 mile SE of the Phantom Canyon Road to Skaguay Reservoir. A trail below the dam leads into the SWA. This rugged, remote area offers opportunities for hiking, trout fishing, hunting, camping, and wildlife viewing.
Vindicator Valley Trail through 1890's mining structures, including the Theresa and Vindicator Mines - in winter open for cross country skiing.
Begins at Stratton's Independence Mine just outside of Victor on the Range View Road. This 1-mile trail takes you past the famous Independence Mine, a National Historic Register Site. Winding its way up a gentle grade, the trail traverses Battle Mountain below the Portland I and Ajax mines. Views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Victor are spectacular.
Travels between Cañon City and Cripple Creek.
Shelf Road is unpaved and in places very narrow and winding with steep drop offs. Four wheel drive is recommended and may be required for travel through this area when the road is wet.
Juniper and pinon covered plateaus give way to sheer limestone cliffs, over 100 feet high in places, which curve and wind throughout the area. The cliffs offer some of the finest expert sport climbing anywhere
Unusual terrain; reminds me of western Colorado. Offers a great range of photo ops. Watch for bighorn sheep along the switchbacks north of the climbing area.
This 500 acre park contains unusual eroded red rock formations with spires up to 100 feet high. Facilities include picnic sites, restrooms and hiking trails.
Climbers come from around the world to scale these limestone walls. The climbs are short but very difficult with few handholds and many overhangs. Several back roads near the climbing area provide opportunities for hiking and mountain biking.
Two lane paved road between Cañon City and Cripple Creek.
This is ranch country. Texas longhorns were brought here from more than 800 miles away on drives that lasted many months. A few historic cattle ranches remain in operation today.
Spectacular views of the Sangre de Cristo Range, the high peaks to the southwest.
The mountain grasslands sustain a variety of wildlife species as well as cattle.
On CR1 about 16 miles north of Cripple Creek, or 2 miles south of US24.
The Monument has two, self-guided nature trails that are located near the visitor center and interpret the fossil resources. Near the visitor center is also an outdoor exhibit area. There are 14 miles of other hiking trails which are best for scenery and possibly wildlife.
Unique opportunity to photograph fossilized tree stumps and other fossils. CR1 between US-24 and Cripple Creek has fantastic fall foliage.
The loop starts and ends at SH135/Whiterock Ave in Crested Butte. Up the Washington Gulch Rd and down Slate River Rd.
Washington Gulch road starts out smooth but gets progressively rougher as it approaches the junction with the Slate River Rd, which is generally much smoother on its way back to Crested Butte.
Abundant summer wildflowers and impressive fall colors provide plenty of photo ops. There are some fine vistas a short way down from the junction offering views into the lush Slate River valley.
Head north on SH135 which will become Co Rd 317/Gothic Rd. Follow the road through Gothic to Schofield Pass.
This road is passable by 2wd vehicle to the pass. Return the way you came.
The Copper Lakes trail to Judd Falls is a very plesant hike up through meadows that are often filled with wildflowers.
Just past the campground, the road to the right leads to Rustler Gulch, a higher basin that is quite good for wildflowers.
Near the top of the pass the road to the left leads to Paradise Basin where there are often fields of flowers.
From SH135 and Whiterock Ave in Crested Butte, head west on Whiterock Ave which will become CR12, the Kebler Pass Rd.
This generally smooth, wide gravel road connects Crested Butte with SH133 at Paonia SP and provides access to Lake Irwin/Robinson Basin and the Ohio Pass Rd.
Terrific vistas, abundant summer wildflowers and impressive fall colors all along the route.
The short side trip to Lost Lake CG leads to a pretty lake with the Beckwith mountains as a backdrop. The lake is also stocked with trout. Consider hiking Three Lakes trail to Lost Lake, Dollar Lake and a waterfall for good photo ops and perhaps a picnic lunch.
The road heads north from the Kebler Pass Rd 6.8 miles west of SH135 and ends in Robinson Basin north of Lake Irwin.
Moderately rough 4wd road. 2wd vehicles can access Lake Irwin and possibly beyond.
Follow the road over the lake's spillway and park on either other side of the road. The trail begins from the small lot on the south side. Follow the trail down along the river and within a few minutes, you'll see the first waterfall and just a short way beyond the second.
Drive up into the basin as far as you're comfortable, park and hike into Robinson Basin. Cascades with a gorgeous backdrop and abundant summer wildflowers, especially blue columbine.
Starts from the Kebler Pass Rd about 7 miles west of Crested Butte and connects with SH135 two miles north of Gunnison.
This road winds its way up to Ohio Pass at an elevation of 10,074' in two miles. This first section may not be passable to 2wd vehicles depending on conditions. As you drop down from the pass, it will travel through a large aspen forest before emerging into hay meadow bottoms and cattle ranches along Ohio Creek.
Terrific vistas! The scenery is spectacular. Rugged peaks, the Anthracite Range with the Castles; and in a good year, unrivalled fall colors.
Mile 4.8 - Watch for a Forest Service sign on the right marked "Beaver Ponds." A short walk puts you on a large, deep beaver pond full of trout. There are three or four more good sized ponds just west
Mile 14.4 - CR 727 Access the National Forest and the West Elk Wilderness. The views of the Castles and Baldy Mountains are inspiring. Mill Creek is a medium small creek that yields nice brook and rainbow trout.
Starting from Whiterock Ave in Crested Butte, drive 6.6 miles SE on SH135 to Cement Creek Rd on the left.
In good conditions, the road is passable to 2wd vehicles for the first 8 or 9 miles, and then deteriorates as it approaches timberline.
You can drive as far up the road as you are comfortable in search of wildflowers. There are nice patches of lupine along the road. Watch for a spot where Cement Creek is on your left and down in a small ravine. Find a spot to park and hike the creek for wildflower photo ops. Another spot to watch for is Waterfall Creek. You will pass over a small bridge, with a cascade (Waterfall Creek) coming down from your left, and Cement Creek on your right. Park in the small pullout and hike up alongside Waterfall Creek for waterfall photo ops.
Starts at the intersection of US-24/CR306 (Main St) in Buena Vista.
CR306 is paved all the way to Cottonwood Pass (elev 12126') then changes to CR209 and a gravel surface, often washboarded and rough. It winds its way down to its junction with CR740 at Taylor Park Reservoir.
The rugged scenery includes lakes, river meadows, alpine tundra, and impressive fall colors. Terrific vistas from the pass in all directions.
From Taylor Park CR740/CCR209 drive 1.2 miles north.
This route starts out relatively level and open and enters some lush meadows paralleling Texas Creek. The road "ends" in the vicinity of the Texas Lakes, passing numerous primitive camping sites along the way. Beyond this point it becomes a true 4wd with low range required.
This route was one of my first 4wd experiences and I still have fond memories! Years ago, we were able to proceed well beyond the lakes to a high mountain cirque with some incredible vistas of Taylor Park and the Reservoir. Watch for wildlife and wildflowers in the meadows near the creek.
From Taylor Park CR740/CCR209 drive 7 miles north.
This route,in good conditions, is easily travelled in all passenger vehicles. The last portion is paved and connects to CR740 near the southern end of the Taylor Canyon route.
The scenery along this route is quite varied and quite beautiful! Near the midpoint, Mosca CG is located on the banks of Spring Creek Reservoir. A boat ramp offers access to the lake. Early morning reflections in the lake can be phenomenal! Cascading streams, mountain vistas, side roads to explore, wildlife and wildflowers possible anywhere. I highly recommend combining this route with Taylor Canyon to form a fine photo ops scenic loop.
From Taylor Park CR740/CCR209 drive 9.5 miles north.
This route starts out relatively level and open in lush meadows paralleling Italian Creek, passing numerous primitive camping sites along the way. It is passable to 2wd vehicles for a number of miles, but will become a difficult 4wd road, with lo range and experience required. Drive as far as you are comfortable.
Another scenic route in a scenic area! Watch for wildflowers in a lush area around some private cabins; they can be fantastic.
Starts from Taylor Park CR740/CCR209 and heads south.
Taylor River runs from Taylor Reservoir through majestic Taylor Canyon which is considered one of the most scenic canyons in all of Colorado. The canyon winds through National Forest, past spectacular granite cliffs (great for rock climbing) and a dense forest. The area below the dam has been designated Gold Medal trout water.
In addition to the wonderful scenery, rafters and fishermen on the river, as well as climbers on the cliffs, would make good photo ops.
Starts from Taylor Park CR740/CCR209 and heads south.
Cumberland Pass is one of Colorado's most scenic and historic passes. The road is passable by most passenger vehicles and is open to ATV's.
town hall There are approximately 95 graves in the Tin Cup Cemetery. The first burial was T. L. Stormes on April 30, 1879. Tincup, which changed its name from Virginia City in 1882, is a small community featuring many summer residences and beautifully restored structures that hint at its colorful past.
Spectacular vistas of the Continental Divide. There is also a great deal of mining remnants in the area, such as the Bon Ton Mine.
This charming mountain town has around 80 full-time residents, and the population swells to 300 in the summer months. The city hall and the hotel are remnants of the past.
Located 17 miles east of Pitkin on FR839. The first tunnel ever constructed through the North American Continental Divide. Next to spectacular cliffs, the road crosses a narrow man- made terrace known as the "Palisades". The ledge is supported by a wall of hand cut native stones, two feet thick by 33 feet high and 425 feet long. The entire wall was dry laid without the use of mortar. A tribute to its talented builders, the wall remains today in the same relative condition as when first constructed in 1881.
When you reach the tunnel complex, you'll see remnants of the massive engine house and the section house; crumbling ruins located across from the restored telegraph office. The telegraph office, constructed in 1883, remains as the centerpiece of the tunnel complex restoration efforts. Ongoing volunteer help has reconstructed the station platform and relaid 120 feet of original Denver and South Park rails.