This City Escape takes you both back in time and into paranormal territory. Start by visiting the Penrose Heritage Museum, which showcases the region’s history through the personal collection of Spencer and Julie Penrose. Then, to travel back through time, head west, but not on US 24. Hit up Old Stage Rd, a dirt road that leads you through the narrow tunnels of Gold Camp Rd to the historical towns of Victor and Cripple Creek. From there, head south on Phantom Canyon Rd to Florence before returning on the same route or looping back on SR 115.
Apart from the solitude and scenery, the Gold Camp Rd tunnels experience what many believe to be supernatural activity. Phantom Canyon Rd—built over an old railway connecting Cripple Creek and Florence—is a twisty, hidden gem with its spotted green walls.
Lunch Stop: 1899 Mining Claim and Saloon
1899 Mining Claim and Saloon lets you take a break in a welcoming atmosphere and enjoy classic American pub grub, from burgers to brews and barbecue. Find it at 315 Victor Ave, Victor, CO, (719) 689-3103.
Points of Interest
Gold Camp Road Tunnels
Local myths speak of an abandoned tunnel where a collapse buried a school bus full of children. Visitors to the nine open tunnels have claimed to have left the area with tiny handprints on their vehicles and hearing the sounds of children playing or screaming in the tunnels. There are also reported sightings of cloaked devil worshipers lurking in the dark.
Each September, large numbers of tarantulas travel across southern Colorado during their mating season. The annual Tarantula Migration leads large, hairy spiders to cross many roads, including Phantom Canyon.
Phantom Canyon Bridge No. 10 Adelaide Bridge
Completed in 1894 when the Florence-Cripple Creek railroad extended its narrow-gauge lines up to the Cripple Creek gold district, this bridge features a multi-span trestle with a built-up steel deck girder. No stranger to creepy activity, travelers on Phantom Canyon Rd have reported seeing a man executed in a nearby prison walking along the bridge.