The Shelf Road of Colorado

If any of you are very familiar with the great state of Colorado you may have heard of the Shelf Road that runs between the towns of Canon City and Cripple Creek (lots of Cs in that part of the world).  It’s a mountainous dirt road with steep drop offs, hair-raising corners, and not even a hint of a guard rail on the whole 24 miles.

The Shelf Road is actually part of the Gold Belt Byway, a string of scenic roads in Colorado so called because of the gold mining in the area.

The average person wouldn’t drive this road, but my husband is not your average person.  After buying a pick up in Texas and a camper to sit on top of it in Colorado, he chooses to christen our new rig by taking it on the Shelf Road.  Let me just say right now, as the person who sat on the side of the ledge, that it was total insanity.  It may have been enjoyable in a Jeep or something but as it was, our huge lumbering beast met a small truck and I was so busy white-knuckling it that I forgot to take a photo!

Below are photos of the drive, with some captions that you can see if you click on the image and scroll to the right, and below those are some photos of Cripple Creek and the mountaintop mine nearby.

Our reward for completing the harrowing Shelf Road was getting to Cripple Creek, a town that is clearly proud of their mountaintop removal!  Here is a satellite image of the mine and some from the town itself.  Hope you get there someday if you haven’t been already.

 

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10 comments on “The Shelf Road of Colorado

  1. jinnysue says:

    Great post. Jack’s a hippie. That explains it to me. Love to you both.

    Sent from my Alcatel Onetouch A571VL

  2. Mark Deville says:

    thanks for the pictures going out that way my self in a couple of months

  3. Mike Mohr says:

    Judy, you should try that road on a motorcycle! When I was in the Air Force, I was stationed at the AF Academy in Colorado Springs. I and a couple of buddies had ridden our bikes up to Cripple Creek, and one of them decided we should ride this road. To this day, I refuse to ride on a gravel road after that experience!

  4. Hilary Hooper says:

    I feel your pain Judy. I have to drive over a moor with a view that most people would give their eye teeth for but which absolutely terrifies me. It gives new meaning to white knuckle ride as my fingers almost have to be prised off the steering wheel. Jack would find it easy peasy, most normal people do. I hate heights of any kind and I don’t look at the scenery around me. A bomb could go off and my eyes would not leave the road. My eyes tell me that of course there is enough room for the massive tractor coming towards me to pass but my subconscious tells me that I am going to be hurled into oblivion at any moment.

  5. Bill says:

    Really Love all your pictures.. Have Fun Enjoy Life.. May see you at Dollywood another time .

  6. Mr K Mclaughlin says:

    Yet another very interesting read. Still dreaming of travelling those roads myself but at age Seventy the dream will continue. Thanks again for another really great blog.

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