9:00 - 8.7 miles / 17 minutes - 9:17
Lodging is available in Cañon City.
9:17 - 19.3 miles / 38 minutes - 9:56
In October of 1890, a man named Bob Womack discovered gold in what is now Cripple Creek, Colorado. The discovery set off a gold rush that continues even today. As the center of politics, finance, and entertainment for the Mining District, Cripple Creek grew quickly and soon had two opera houses, 75 saloons, eight newspapers, and a stock exchange.
Colorado's largest open-pit and heap-leach gold mine is found between Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado. Although the methods of mining have changed, Cripple Creek still has all the trappings and charm of an Old West gold town. Historic hotels line Cripple Creek's streets, and you can even take an underground tour of a gold mine. Visit the Cripple Creek District Museum and the Lowell Thomas Museum in Victor to see relics left over from the gold boom. Stop at the Homestead House Museum to see another side of life on the old frontier. Driving and walking tours are also available, along with tours through the historic Mount Pisgah cemetery.
12:56 - 16.0 miles / 32 minutes - 13:28
Phantom Canyon Road
This unpaved road will take byway travelers back to the early
days of Colorado's Gold Belt. As visitors drive the Phantom Canyon
Road, they are met with sights of nature and sights of history.
Phantom Canyon Road was once a railroad bed that connected the
mining districts of Cripple Creek with Cañon City and
13:28 - 24.3 miles / 48 minutes - 14:16
The Royal Gorge Route
This historic railroad is now a scenic ride from Cañon City to the Royal Gorge.
14:16 - 15.2 miles / 30 minutes - 14:47
The Dinosaur Depot is a small museum dedicated to interpreting the rich history of the Garden Park Fossil Area. It houses exhibits, specimens, and a fossil preparation laboratory. Educational programs for people of all ages are available daily. Guided tours of the Garden Park Fossil Area originate here.
15:47 - 0 miles / 0 - 15:47
Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum
The Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum gives visitors an entertaining and educational tour of the Pikes Peak region. Early explorers, Ute Indians, and Mountain Men are featured as well as early pioneers, railroads, and the gold rush. Rocks, minerals, and fossils from the Florissant Lineament provide one of the richest geological exhibits in the Pikes Peak area. The Museum Gift Shop features beadwork and other crafts from the Northern Ute Indians, in addition to books on Colorado history and handmade crafts and goods.
15:47 - 46.9 miles / an hour 33 minutes - 17:21
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
The geography of the beautiful mountain valley of Florissant, Colorado, is the catalyst for the area's colorful history. Thirty-five million years ago, the Florissant Valley was a lake bed. Volcanoes at Guffey and Thirty-Nine Mile Mountain erupted, spewing millions of tons of ash and lava that entombed dense groves of sequoia trees. The falling ash also carried a myriad of insects, birds, and vegetation into the lake. Layer upon layer of mud and ash preserved these creatures in the lakebed as shale encrusted "etchings" of life that existed during this prehistoric era. Today, the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is known for more than 80,000 identified fossil specimens.
20:21 - 1.7 miles / 3 minutes - 9:24
Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway - end