Shelf Road

Gold Belt Tour SB – Shelf RdAmerica's BywayScenic BywayNational Forest Byway

Shelf Road on the Gold Belt Tour Scenic Byway

How to get there:

Travels between Cañon City and Cripple Creek.

  • From I-25/C470 to Cañon City
  • 96 miles 1 hr 45 mins
  • GPS
  • US 50/Raynolds Ave
  • 38.4481 -105.2069

In General:High Clearance Requiredrock climbingCampgroundHiking

  • Length: 26 miles
  • Driving Time: min. 2 hours

Shelf Road is unpaved and in places very narrow and winding with steep drop offs. Four wheel drive is recommended and may be required for travel through this area when the road is wet.

Juniper and pinon covered plateaus give way to sheer limestone cliffs, over 100 feet high in places, which curve and wind throughout the area. The cliffs offer some of the finest expert sport climbing anywhere.

Photo Ops:Wildlife

Unusual terrain; reminds me of western Colorado. Offers a great range of photo ops. Watch for bighorn sheep along the switchbacks north of the climbing area.

Red Canyon ParkVistasHikingPicnic Area

This 500 acre park contains unusual eroded red rock formations with spires up to 100 feet high. Facilities include picnic sites, restrooms and hiking trails.

Shelf Road Recreation AreaVistasrock climbingHikingHiking

Climbers come from around the world to scale these limestone walls. The climbs are short but very difficult with few handholds and many overhangs. Several back roads near the climbing area provide opportunities for hiking and mountain biking.

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