Shelf Road (9,494′), Fourmile Canyon
Shelf Road Gold Belt Tour National Scenic Byway is a dirt road passable with a 2WD vehicle in good weather. It follows the old stagecoach route between Cripple Creek and Cañon City built in 1892. It twists along Fourmile Creek, with long bands of limestone towering above and below the road.
The Gold Belt Tour was designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as a National Scenic Byway in 2000. It is one of eleven America’s Byways designated in Colorado. Fremont Peak and the Royal Gorge Bridge are located not far from the southern end of the road and are a favorite in the area..
Destination: Shelf Road
Rating: Easy 2WD
Road: Fremont County Road 9 (also called Red Canyon Road)
One-way: 23 miles / 37 km
Elevation: 9,494′ – 5,331′ (4,163′) / 2,894m – 1,625m (1,269m)
Area: Fourmile Canyon
Agency: BLM (Bureau of Land Management)
A sport climber’s dream, with bolted routes on stable limestone
GPS Route with Elevation
When entering the road in Cripple Creek there is a sign that recommends a 4×4 or a high clearance vehicle. The road, however, is well graded and the only issue would occur if snow or heavy rains hit the area. Any passenger vehicle can easily drive this road in good weather.
Trailhead Directions (select map to enlarge)