As you drive the byway, watch for the hundreds of historic gold mines that surround the communities along the way. Get a real feel for the gold rush days when you visit Victor’s National Historic District
and Cripple Creek
, the historical hub of the mining district and a National Historic Landmark. Most of the buildings built in the early 1900s have been restored to their original likeness, and will give you an authentic look at what life must have been like on the road to riches. Once you’ve discovered gold mining of the past, visit Victor’s new active gold
mine. See for yourself the toil and backbreaking labor that went into gold mining in the 1890s and how technology has improved the miner’s endeavors today. (Photo left: Royal Gorge Bridge)
Mining isn’t the only attraction from the past to be found on the byway. Get a glimpse of what life may have been like long before gold miners came to the area when you visit the three fossil finds located on the byway. See evidence of Earth’s prehistoric life in the 80,000 fossilized specimens of tree stumps, insects, seeds and leaves at the internationally renowned Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
. It’s a great place to stop for a picnic lunch and to learn about the past.
Communities along the byway supplement the rich culture of this area. Cañon City
is currently the byway’s largest community. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad is one of the city’s most distinctive historic sites. You can go to the Santa Fe Depot to purchase tickets for a ride on the Royal Gorge Railroad
. Enjoy community events such as the Music and Blossom Festival. In the summertime, old-fashioned entertainment thrives in Cañon City’s Park. Visit the Rudd Family cabin, and then spend the afternoon shopping and exploring the city’s two museums. For more history and museums, make a stop in Florence
. The Pioneer Museum contains pieces of Florence’s past. The area downtown is filled with more shops and restaurants.
You’ll find plenty of recreational opportunities on the Gold Belt Tour.
If you love the great
outdoors, this is the place to be. Enjoy some great fishing, camping, and hiking areas. Or take advantage of the dirt roads for mountain biking and horseback riding. If the steep rock cliffs of the Shelf Road
don’t intimidate you, you may want to go over the edge and do some rock climbing. For a thrilling adventure, take a drive over the Royal Gorge Bridge
. The drive can be a little nerve-wracking and you may find yourself holding your breath as you drive across the world’s highest suspension bridge spanning the Royal Gorge 1,053 feet above the water of the Arkansas River. You can walk or drive over the bridge, or take the world’s steepest incline railway to the bottom of the Royal Gorge. Whatever adventure you may be after, the rugged terrain of the Gold Belt Tour has something in store for you. (Photo above: Shelf Road)
The Pikes Peak Region
offers unparelled beauty and variety. From the plains to the east and south to the mountainous terrain on the west, there is outdoor adventure including local, state and national parks and monuments, historical attractions and museums, archeological finds, nightlife, festivals, fairs, arts and culture. Check out PeakRadar.com
where you’ll find a list of many of the area events throughout the area. To watch a video of the Pikes Peak area attractions, click here
Gold Belt Tour area B&Bs include Colorado Springs (Crescent Lily, Holden House, Hughes Hacienda, Old Town GuestHouse, Our Hearts Inn, Summit House Inn, The St. Mary’s Inn), Cascade (America’s Rocky Mountain Lodge, Blue Spruce Inn, Eastholme in the Rockies), Chipita Park (Chipita Lodge), Divide (Stonehaven Inn), Woodland Park (Pikes Peak Paradise, Pikes Peak Resort, The Woodland Inn), Manitou Springs (1892 Victoria’s Keep, Avenue Hotel, Blue Skies Inn, Two Sisters Inn), Cripple Creek (Carr Manor, Whispering Pines), Canon City (Jewel of the Canyons), Pueblo (Abriendo Inn, Edgar Olin House) Visit Colorado and National Scenic Byways for additional byways around the state.
Recipe Preview of the soon to be released “Colorado Culinary Inn-Spirations” Cookbook
, Carbondale, CO
1 pound sausage
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 (4 ox.) can mushrooms, drained
1 (8 oz.) package crescent rolls
1/4 cup milk
4 eggs, beaten
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions: Brown sausage, drain, saute peppers, onions and mushrooms. Line a 9″x12″ baking pan with crescent rolls, pat into pan. Pour on the sausage mixture, add combined eff and milk mixture, sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.