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Gold Camp Road

Gold Camp Road follows an old rail route between Colorado Springs and Victor.  Part of the road has been closed, due to a tunnel collapse (see the note below).  So, to access the road, take exit 138 off I-25.  Follow signs that lead to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Instead of turning at the entrance to the zoo, go straight--the road turns into Old Stage Road, which turns to dirt, and eventually intersects with Gold Camp Road. 

[tmt_info =""]I also followed this route in the opposite direction, from Victor to Colorado Springs, during my eastbound drive over Gold Camp Road in 2010.


Fog, gold camp road victor cripple creek colorado

Day 8 brought more of the same bad weather as the previous day.  Despite the fog, I decided to tackle a rugged, scenic road that would circle around the south side of Pike's Peak, and eventually lead back to Victor.  For the first few miles, the road was fogged in, and not very spectacular.  Then...

gold camp road victor cripple creek colorado

...the clouds started to lift, when I reached the west side of Pike's Peak.  Suddenly, I discovered I was passing through some incredible mountain scenery!

The wide, rough dirt road narrows down to one lane as it squeezes through tight passes, blasted out of rock.  As you drive, try to imagine it's the early 1900's, and you're slicing through these mountains aboard a steam engine.

tunnel, gold camp road victor cripple creek colorado

Here's one tunnel that hasn't collapsed, at least yet.  The tunnel is surprisingly long, and curves in the middle, so you can't see the end as you enter the tunnel.

inside the tunnel, gold camp road

At least this tunnel has been reinforced with wood beams.

You're in for quite a treat as you emerge from the other side of the tunnel...

Gold Camp Road, to Victor & Cripple Creek, Colo.

This is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.  You'll find this view just west of the final tunnel.

When President Theodore Roosevelt traveled this route, he described its beauty as "bankrupting the English language".

Gold Camp Road, to Victor & Cripple Creek, Colo.

The old railroad cut through the middle of this valley.  Both sides are on private property.

Gold Camp Road, to Victor & Cripple Creek, Colo.

The valley below.

Gold Camp Road ends at Lazy S Ranch Road.  Turn left, and Victor is just a couple of miles away.

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Kevin writes: "Hey awesome pictures. In 2001 my family and I took a trip to Colorado Springs (we love spending time in the mountains) and one of those days we took a day trip to the Royal Gorge and after we left we found this road called Gold Camp Road, and I just remember my mom saying hey lets go down this road it looks pretty this way. Oh wow were we in for a ride. An hour and half or maybe 45 minutes to go 25 miles lol! the road is terrible don't get me wrong it is some of the most beautiful scenery i've ever seen in my life (i'm 22 now) but being able to go only 20 mph and still have the road beat the crap out of the car was terrible lol. It was bad enough that we had to pass oncoming traffic not only once but twice and I'm sure you know that its nothing but a so many thousand feet drop straight down to the one side of the road. It was one heck of a rough ride (as my dad, driving, would most certainly tell you) but it was so spectacularly beautiful (at least for the first 45 minutes after that i was tired of sittin' in the car lol)."

Kevin, I think they've improved the road a bit since your trip, but it's still a rough and wild adventure. --Daniel

Stan Philbrick writes: "I have a book titled Ghost Towns of the West, by Lambert Florin, in which it is stated that at one time the area of Cripple Creek and Victor were served by five different railroads."

Chris Storer writes: Hi I like the pics of gold camp road my wife and I lived on gold camp road with my dad James Howard Storer for some time it was great but the winters were hard LOTS OF SNOW.  We lived real close to the tunnel, there was a train stop there and a town popped up they named it Clyde.  My dad is gone now but we have still look back with joy thinking of the time we lived in Clyde.

David sends this clarification on the portion of Gold Camp Road that is closed: Actually it's not the eastern part that is closed but the center part. If you go to Helen Hunt Falls and follow the road up to where High Drive starts, lower Gold Camp Road is the road on the right. It goes down and follows Bear Canyon down and comes out on eighth street.

QuarterSwede writes:

I just took this trip today with my wife, son and mother and it was absolutely gorgeous!

There are plenty of places to pull over to take in the views or even go hiking on some of the trails.  You can even fish at the Rosemont Reservoir which is beautifuly secluded or camp at the Pikes National Forest Campground just off of Old Stage Road.

All in all I can't wait to do this again when family come to visit.  This is by far my favorite attraction in Colorado which is saying a lot because I live in Colorado Springs and only 30 minutes from the start of Old Stage Road.

I would advise against taking this route without 4 wheel drive as the beginning (from pavement to dirt on the switchback) had my Jeep's tires spinning before I threw the transmission into 4 wheel part time.  Because we drove this road in a Jeep, it was quite pleasant (my 3 week old son slept through almost all of it).  In a car it would have rattled my teeth loose.

*Note, if you're planning on driving this in an automatic, make sure you turn Overdrive off to keep your transmission from overheating and throw it into 1st or 2nd gear (not drive) when you're descending a slope so that your brakes don't fail.

Absolutely brilliant drive.  5/5 stars


Mike writes: We rode this on my motorcycle, in 1986. It took five and one half hours to go 35 miles. The road was washboarded very badly, but the scenery was awesome. My wife did not enjoy the ride. We were both filthy and so was the motorcycle.  I would do it again if I got the chance.

An anonymous visitor writes: I need a map with the locations of the tunnels. I would like to know which are collapsed. Years ago, I was aware of an effort to open the road to bike traffic or ??. I wish to take the trail this summer and take pictures, a long trip. I remember a map at one end, I believe at the end where Stage Coach Road departs.  Thanks.  (From Daniel: If you have a good map of the area showing the tunnels, I'll post it here -- just use the form to email me!)

Kitty Rohr writes: Hello there. I heard there was some paranormal activities on this trail. can you tell me if you have experienced anything? or if it is true? (From Daniel: I haven't heard anything about ghosts on Gold Camp Road.  If you have, drop me a note!)

Gracie writes: Gold camp road is very haunted. When u are afraid of hikes u should never look down when ur at gold camp road. One night me and my friends and there mom went to gold camp road. We went at 1:00 a.m. It was scary because we took pics and when we were done and went home. When went home there were faces, blood, and cars that weren't there before. I got dizzy and was about to throw up after we went Threw tunnel 1 and 2. If I ever go to gold camp road I'm going with boyfriend. But I might not because he's cheating on me. I'm going to go to GOLD CAMP ROAD ALL WEEK MAYBE.

Ray Baker writes: In 1963 at age (barely) 17 I was assigned to Ft Carson, and a winter in Camp Hale. Was a wonderful adventure for a young teenager !
We drove around Gold Camp Rd and many of the high country trails sitting on the front fenders of a 49 Plymouth business coupe. My time in the Colorado mountains was by far the most memorable of my life.
Thank you so much for such wonderful pictures and narrative.
You've done w/ this site what I always dreamed of doing w/ a camera and pen.

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