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BLM>Colorado>Programs>Recreation>Recreation Areas>Royal Gorge Field Office>Gold Belt
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Recreation Areas

Gold Belt Recreation Area

Gold panning

Gold Belt Recreation Area is home to semi-desert foothills, steep canyons and tumbling streams. Passing through the area is the Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway, which features a historic railroad bed and an old stage road. These follow the routes that once connected the mining locations of Cripple Creek, Florence and Victor National Historic Mining District, site of the world's largest gold rush. Other attractions include the Garden Park Fossil Area, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Indian Springs Trace Fossil Site. Hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers will enjoy the trails of Oil Well Flats and Seep Springs. Meanwhile, Penrose Commons offers exceptional motorized trails, including Independence Trail, an extreme 4x4 rock crawling route. Along Shelf Road, visitors can camp at Banks Campground and Sand Gulch Campground. In addition, the Shelf Road Rock Climbing Area is an unrivaled climbing location.

Field Office:  Royal Gorge

Total Area:  138,000 acres

  • Byway
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Fossil viewing
  • Heritage tourism
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Hunting
  • Mountain biking
  • Off-highway vehicles
  • Rock climbing
  • Wildlife viewing
  • 4x4 and jeep touring

Attractions, Facilities, & Services:
  • Cripple Creek, Florence, and Victor National Historic Mining District
  • Garden Park Fossil Area, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, and Indian Springs Trace Fossil Site
  • Shelf Road Rock Climbing Area
  • Banks Campground and Sand Gulch Campground on Shelf Road
  • Independence  Trail
  • Information kiosk
  • Restrooms
  • Interpretive exhibits
  • Available in Cañon City, Cripple Creek, Florence, Florissant and Victor: lodging, restaurants, museums and shops
  • Available in Cripple Creek: casinos

Directions: The Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway runs throughout Gold Belt Recreation Area. To follow the Byway, travel south from Florissant on County Road 1. To reach High Park Road: turn right onto County Road 11. Then turn left to continue on County Road 11, which will become High Park Road. To reach Phantom Canyon Road: take County Road 1 south to Cripple Creek and turn right onto Highway 67. At Victor, turn left onto Cedar Street, and then take an immediate right onto Phantom Canyon Road. To reach Shelf Road: travel south on Highway 67 from Cripple Creek. Turn right onto Xenia Street/Teller County Road 88, which will become Shelf Road.

Additional Information:

Shelf Road Rock Climbing Area