Phantom Canyon Road

EASY 24 reviews

Phantom Canyon Road is a 29.5 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Penrose, Colorado that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for scenic driving and off road driving and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

29.5 miles
4,727 feet
Point to Point

dog friendly

off road driving

scenic driving


1 month ago

Beautiful around every turn! Pretty relaxing drive, not much traffic and amazing views for a picnic lunch!

off road driving
1 month ago

As others have noted, this is an easy route. A 4WD is not required, though care must be taken on heavily washboarded sections and a few other rough spots. The family sedan should be able to handle it; but slow down on the washboards so as to maintain control of the vehicle. The dropoffs are spectacular, though not particularly dangerous for a sensible driver. There is plenty of room on the road surface even in the one lane stretches; no need for airsickness, so to speak.

Though much of the road is narrow; even down to one lane, there are ample places to pull over to let oncoming traffic by.

There are lots of spots for a picnic lunch. There are even a couple of vault latrines (restrooms) spaced out along the route.

Though we took this route on a Saturday, we met with very little traffic.

There was a light breeze, the smell of pinon and other conifers, lots of birdsong.

This is a great family fun trip. It really isn't 'off road', and doesn't present any difficulties or dangers as an expedition with small kids; just keep 'em away from the dropoffs. Take lots of water.

scenic driving
1 month ago

Should have checked the reviews first. Friends told me it would be a great first trail for my new Jeep. 4 wheel drive not necessary and the wash boarding was quite excessive. Great looking campsites and the views were great.

off road driving
6 months ago

I drove my BRZ (low clearance sports car) through this scenic road and had no issues other than a couple of bumps and a pile of gravel hitting the bumper. I also saw other sports cars with low clearance, a motorcycle and a prius going in opposite direction. As long ad your car has good tire, there shouldn't be any issues. Don't go fast around blind corners as you have no idea who will be coming at you, but other than that, there are not much to worry about.

Two rest area available.
Drive time: 1 hour - 1 hour 30 minutes

6 months ago

nice senic drive. No 4x4 needed. nice Side roads to test off road confidence for other courses.

10 months ago

A wonderful hike with many campsites. Plentiful water on lower half of the trail.

Monday, August 07, 2017

There are some great free camping spots within the first 10 miles or so on this road heading north from canon city

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

This is a gorgeous drive. We've done it twice now, once in the morning and once at sunset. Both were incredible.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Easy drive. Several places to pull off and picnic and observe nature.

off road driving
Wednesday, June 07, 2017

loved it!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nice ride, not a lot of spots for rv camping,

off road driving
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Easy trail - beautiful scenery. there were picnic areas along the side of the road & restrooms. Great for travelling with children.


off road driving
Friday, May 20, 2016

This is the first time I drove this road. Fun! Fun! Be careful on these roads. Some areas are narrow so drive within the limits or slower. The view was spectacular! Seen so many places to park and camp. This is were you should have four wheel drive to get down and up the terrain. I'm going again!!!!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

The road was closed..

off road driving
Sunday, May 24, 2015

It was a great trip, my wife forgot to check the weather, so halfway in the rain started. Besides the flash flood worries, we loved it!

scenic driving
Sunday, February 09, 2014

There is a reason it is called Shelf Road!! We are from ND were you have to drive 100 miles to find a hill and this road scared the bejeebers out of us. No guard rails!! What is up with that?? And the locals drive it like an interstate but to tell the truth we still talk about it with smiles on our faces. Wear your seatbelt!!

off road driving
Monday, March 18, 2013

The Phanton Canyon trail is an old RR roadbed. We did this loop by going up to Victor/Cripple Creek on Phanton Canyon and back down on the Shelf Road. Nice!

scenic driving
Thursday, October 11, 2012

Awesome drive to kills a few hours. Both routes offer a bunch of wildlife to see early in the morning.

off road driving
Thursday, July 12, 2012

A great scenic trail that's suitable for most vehicles. Shelf road can be a little interesting if you're new to backroad driving, but it's still fun. A great way to spend the day in the mountains.

off road driving
3 days ago

1 month ago

2 months ago

off road driving
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017