We were looking forward to all new trails for the day, and doing the challenging part of the Gold Belt Tour. It sounded like it was going to be a really scenic day with good friends, and everyone was in a good mood. We had a new meeting place in Woodland Park and things were a bit confusing at first, but once we all found each other things got off to a great start.
The trip to Cripple Creek was easy and gorgeous, with fantastic weather. There was a festival in Cripple Creek and we had to follow a detour, but we found the trailhead easily enough. We all decided to air down just a bit and disconnect sway bars in order to make a possibly bumpy trail more bearable. We didn't have to worry about it on Shelf Road, though.
We saw a few vehicles headed in the other direction, but there wasn't too much traffic at all. The trail was smooth and easy, and everyone chatted as we enjoyed the ride.
We pulled over once to let everyone get caught up, and someone spotted a picnic table down in the trees. There was a pull-off where we could all fit off of the trail, and it was noon. We had a great lunch there, and it is now one of our favorite lunch spots. It was in the shade, right next to the creek. No one wanted to leave. We even spotted some mountain goats looking down at us.
We had a long day ahead of us, though, so we packed up and left our lunch oasis. The trail continued to follow the creek, making everything very green. It really was gorgeous.
Soon we came to a bridge that crossed over the little creek and saw a sign that said you couldn't pull over for a few miles. That's when the shelf section finally started.
It was definitely a shelf road, right next to a long drop-off with no guard rails. But still, we've been on many shelf roads that are much narrower and scarier. This shelf road was pretty tame in comparison, but it could really scare someone who wasn't used to it. The views kept getting better as we climbed.
It wasn't long before the shelf ended and it was just a mellow trail again. When we ended at the pavement, we saw our sign for the Bank trail. We headed off to do that one next.
Shelf Road is a new favorite for our out-of-town guests!
Reports from Other Days: 7
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Shelf Road. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.