We finished up our day and our exploration of the Gold Belt Byway Tour by running Phantom Canyon from the south end back up to the north end at Victor. It was definitely more mellow and easy than Shelf Road was, but it had more scenery.
There were lots of trees and steep walls around us, with lots of people camping in available spaces. It was really pretty. We passed a nice rest area with a pit toilet, and then the cool scenery started. There were a few small bridges as we crossed over the creek a few times (though the creek bed was usually dry).
Then we passed through two tunnels. They were only wide enough to let one vehicle pass through, and we all imagined how cool the train trip must have been as it went through those tunnels and over those bridges. It really must have been an amazing ride.
One of the bridges stood out from the others because it was very high above the ground and it had guard rails that were painted red. There is even a parking area just south of it so you can get some good pictures and read the informational sign there. It was very pretty.
The northern half of the trail was pretty but uneventful. We stopped at the rest area on the other end (with pit toilets and parking) to put in windows and get ready for the drive home. It was starting to look like rain.
When we got started up again, Mark discovered that his Jeep was hot and didn't feel like running. He put a water bottle between his hood and the body of his Jeep and then used a bungee cord to hold the hood down. With the hood popped open just a bit like that, his Jeep stayed cool enough to continue right away.
At the far end, we discovered that a race in Victor was just finishing up, causing more detours. We aired up on a street in town, and got caught in a little rain. It was nice out, though, so no one really minded.
On the way home, everyone stopped in Woodland Park for a big dinner. It was a fabulous end to a fantastic day!
Reports from Other Days: 8
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Phantom Canyon. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.