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The Shelf Road Drive and hikes

We're making a long all day loop drive with hikes from Denver to Canon City up to Cripple Creek via Shelf Road to Divide to Woodland Park to Colorado Springs then back to Denver on Sunday, June 23rd, 2013.

On part of the trip, we'll drive 40 miles on a gravel and dirt road between Canon City and Cripple Creek with ~15 miles on the hair raising Shelf Road - very famous tourist singe lane drive with spectacular high canyon views, switch backs and steep drop offs to the valley below. It's not for the faint-hearted. (Think of Oh My God Road above Idaho Springs, or Stage Coach Road west of Colorado Springs or Engineers Pass Road east of Lake City or the most dangerous highway in the world.) There are certain points on the narrow single lane dirt road where vehicles meeting from opposite directions must squeeze by one another with the wheels of one vehicle hugging the very edge of the road next to a very sharp drop off to the canyon valley. You just have to be careful navigating the road especially if the road is wet.

Shelf Road is a rough, dirt route that is designed for four-wheel-drive vehicles. Two wheel drive vehicle can be driven on the road, just be careful. The road got its name because part of it is essentially a road carved into a vertical rock wall, resembling a shelf.


Along the way, on the all day drive, we'll find a place to hike two miles (moderate hike) in the Shelf Road Recreation area and/or the Dome Rock State Wildlife Area. While in Cripple Creek, we'll have a meal and explore the mining/gambling town and see if there are any stage shows to view. There is an option to explore the town of Victor.

Bring all weather gear, lots of food, lots of time, water, good hiking shoes, sun shades and sun screen.

We will meet and leave Denver at 8:00AM from the Southmoor RTD park & ride.

Expect to return to Denver around 9:30PM

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  • Aona J.

    Incredible views. Incredible drive.

    June 26, 2013

  • Winston W.

    On Sunday, June 23rd, 2013, eight members of the Beckwourth Doers group went on an all-day excursion driving the cliff hugging Shelf Road, connecting Canon City to Victor, Colorado. While on the Shelf road drive, we took in spectacular canyon views, experiencing what it is like to driving a narrow one lane road. Along the drive we stopped at overlooks, streams and a high stone arch. Once leaving Shelf road at Cripple Creek, some of us branched off to the historic mining town of Victor to have a meal and sightsee the historic mining district. There was so much to see, that many of us will return again to shop and take in some of the mine tours in largest and richest gold mining district in Colorado and the USA.

    June 24, 2013

  • maya

    Hi, I really want to join the trip if someone can carpool for me.

    June 16, 2013

    • Winston W.

      Maya, we can have you riding with us in a car pool from the Southmoor RTD park & ride. Be ready for a very interesting all day adventure.

      June 16, 2013

    • Winston W.

      Maya, here is my cell phone number for the day of the Shelf Road adventure:[masked]

      June 16, 2013

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