Colorado's Gold Rush (1858-1859) led to the establishment of the Colorado territory in 1861. While some of the earliest riches were discovered in the Pikes Peak mining area, one of Colorado's most profitable mining districts has been the Cripple Creek/Victor Gold Mine which is still producing gold to this day.

Read More: The History of Colorado's Gold Rush |

The Cripple Creek/Victor mining district of Colorado is frequently visited by history buffs and thrill-seekers alike. Some come for a chance to walk in the miners' footsteps, and others come chasing the ghosts of these minors said to walk along Phantom Canyon Road through the mountains.

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Where is Phantom Canyon Road?

Phantom Canyon Road travels through Freemont and Teller Counties climbing from an elevation of around 5000 feet near Florence, Colorado, to 10,000 feet near Victor, Colorado. Phantom Canyon Road is part of Colorado's three-legged-loop Gold Belt National Scenic Byway which includes Shelf Road (narrow, unimproved), Phantom Canyon Road (narrow, gravel), and High Park Road (paved).

Follow the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad

Phantom Canyon Tunnel
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Phantom Canyon Road follows the exact route of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad. As you travel down the road, you can tell that it would be wide enough for a train but not wide enough to be a two-lane road. This road is a popular route for hikers and mountain bikers but can be driven during summer by most vehicles. Look for the remains of ghost towns such as  Wilbur, Adelaide, and Glenbrook as you travel the 29-mile route.

Read More: Easy Money: Check Out 7 Colorado Gold Mining Adventures

Know Before You Go

Phantom Canyon Road
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Phantom Canyon Road is a narrow dirt road with gravel in spots. You will pass through a couple of cool hand-cut stone tunnels, and over a few old steel and wooden bridges along the way. The trip from Florence, Colorado to Victor/Cripple Creek takes most drivers just over two hours. There are several campsites along Phantom Canyon Road so watch your speed, and watch for parked vehicles along the way.

LOOK: Explore All 26 of Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways

Colorado is home to 26 amazing and beautiful scenic byways. Scroll on for a glimpse of each of them as we navigate Colorado's most beautiful roadways. Summer means peak driving season for many of the byways so it's time to hit the road.

Gallery Credit: Wes Adams

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KEEP GOING: Victor, Colorado's Bowling Alley Dates Back Nearly 100 Years

Take a trip back in time to the historic Victor Bowl in Victor, Colorado, and see one of the oldest bowling alleys in the state. At nearly 100 years old, Victor Bowl was added to Colorado's list of most endangered places in February.

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