Gold Camp Road: Victor to Colorado Springs

Day 8 brought more of the same bad weather as the previous day.  Despite the fog, I decided to tackle a rugged, scenic road that would circle around the south side of Pike’s Peak, and eventually lead back to Victor.

Gold Camp Road follows an old rail route between Colorado Springs and Victor.  Part of the road has been closed, due to a tunnel collapse (see the note below).  So, to access the road, take exit 138 off I-25.  Follow signs that lead to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Instead of turning at the entrance to the zoo, go straight–the road turns into Old Stage Road, which turns to dirt, and eventually intersects with Gold Camp Road. 

I have driven this route a couple more times on trips that followed this one.  You may want to check out how Gold Camp Road looks during autumn.

Fog, gold camp road victor cripple creek colorado

  For the first few miles, the road was fogged in, and not very spectacular.  Then…

gold camp road victor cripple creek colorado

…the clouds started to lift, when I reached the west side of Pike’s Peak.  Suddenly, I discovered I was passing through some incredible mountain scenery!

The wide, rough dirt road narrows down to one lane as it squeezes through tight passes, blasted out of rock.  As you drive, try to imagine it’s the early 1900’s, and you’re slicing through these mountains aboard a steam engine.

tunnel, gold camp road victor cripple creek colorado

Here’s one tunnel that hasn’t collapsed, at least yet.  The tunnel is surprisingly long, and curves in the middle, so you can’t see the end as you enter the tunnel.

inside the tunnel, gold camp road

At least this tunnel has been reinforced with wood beams.

You’re in for quite a treat as you emerge from the other side of the tunnel…

Gold Camp Road, to Victor & Cripple Creek, Colo.

This is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.  You’ll find this view just west of the final tunnel.

When President Theodore Roosevelt traveled this route, he described its beauty as “bankrupting the English language”.

Gold Camp Road, to Victor & Cripple Creek, Colo.

The old railroad cut through the middle of this valley.  Both sides are on private property.

Gold Camp Road, to Victor & Cripple Creek, Colo.

The valley below.

Gold Camp Road ends at Lazy S Ranch Road.  Turn left, and Victor is just a couple of miles away.

Note: This trip was first published in 2005.

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