Upper Gold Camp Road


6 Reviews

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Upper Gold Camp Road Facts

States: Colorado
Counties: El Paso
Length: 15 miles
Trail end points: Gold Camp Rd. at High Dr. (west of Colorado Springs) and Lazy S Ranch Rd./CR 81 (east of Cripple Creek)
Trail surfaces: Dirt, Gravel, Sand
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6153584

Upper Gold Camp Road Description

Upper Gold Camp Road charts a circuitous route through the Pike National Forest, following the route of old mining trains. The route was forged in the 1880s then later improved for cars. But a tunnel collapse closed the route forever to motor vehicles and the dirt track is now popular with mountain bikers and hikers. This high-elevation trail offers spectacular views.

From east to west the trail climbs at a gentle grade as it makes its way through the mountains. The first tunnel is closed and you'll have to go around it by going up and over the hill. In all, there are 6 tunnels on the eastern end so you may want to bring a head lamp.

Parking and Trail Access

From Colorado Springs, head west on Cheyenne Road to Cheyenne Canyon Road and head up the mountain to the Buckhorn trail parking lot (4415 Gold Camp Road), which is the main Cap'n Jacks parking area at the end of the road. Upper Gold Camp Road begins at the west end of the parking area where you'll see a gate.

On the west end, take County Highway 64/County Road 81/Lazy S Ranch Road to the trailhead.

Upper Gold Camp Road Reviews

Great views but bad biking surface

This is a fine trail for hiking, but not for biking. Trail surface is mostly loose gravel, there is usually one track on the side that is firm enough to ride on. This trail is not suitable for kids and occasional riders because of the loose material and steep grade. I have ridden rail trails in 42 states and this one is the steepest I have encountered, probably because it was a narrow gauge railway. The steep grade, high altitude and loose material make the trail challenging for casual riders. I was constantly in the lower two gears of my mountain bike, and uphill averaged 4 mph with breaks.

The portage around the collapsed tunnel is an unimproved hiking trail and will be difficult for kids and older adults. It would require a stout person to handle the portage with an electric bike.

A better bike ride is the gold camp road. Although there is some car traffic the surface is much better. Start at pullout No. 1 near the Bear Creek Nature Center (245 Bear Creek Road) and ride up hill 5 miles to the parking lot near Hellen Hunt Falls. That is 3 miles of asphalt and 2.3 miles gravel with one tunnel, turn around and coast back to your car.

amazing view

Amazing trail I highly suggest. First tunnel closed follow the path created to go over the tunnel. Carry bike takes 10 minutes over mountain over few rocks and stream. This is worth it views are amazing. Note when starting trail it’s 1000 feet biking up the trail before you desend on other side totally worth. Take breaks. Tunnels are a little scary it’s not lit so bring mountain bikes flash lights.

feels like you are on top of the world

Beautiful hike even though we didn't come close to finishing... Can't wait to go back!

Great way to experience the mountains

We bought a tour package from Pikes Peak Mountain Bike Tours (www.bikepikespeak.com) including mountain biking on Upper Gold Camp Road. The tour guides drove us to the top of the trail and got us setup on bikes. They gave us some directions to navigate down the trail back to the shop and sent us on our way.

Wow! What a great way to experience the mountains and unbelievable views! We rode down the gravel/dirt road for a few hours (stopping frequently for photos) and saw only 4 other people. It was great to enjoy the scenery and the ride without any cars/traffic.

The trail was in good shape with just some loose gravel/sand in a few areas. There are a few stretches with steep drops off the edge so if you're a recreational/casual rider just pay attention and control your speed. Be prepared to hike your bike over the collapsed tunnel. Bring plenty of water as there is nowhere to refill along this route.

Glad we had gravity working in our favor. I'm sure climbing would have been a different experience!


Seemed like a good idea

We attempted a family bike-packing adventure from the lower trailhead to Wye Campground. It seemed like it would work but a couple of unforeseen factors thwarted our attempt.

1) Trail surface. My seven year old can ride a solid ten miles on his one speed bike no problem. We intended to do 13 to get to Wye and so we thought we could just take our time and stop along the way to check out creeks and a few geocaches along the way and just make a day of it. Unfortunately the soil in the area is unconsolidated gravelly sand. A lot of the trail/road is covered in deep channels of the stuff, and trying to slog up it at a 3-4% grade is just too much for a kid. I was pulling a two wheeled trailer with our camping gear and didn't have too much trouble, but the gravel-sand sure made things more difficult. By myself on a day ride it would have been fine.

2) First tunnel. It's closed. You have to cross a ridge via a steep and rocky single track to get past the first tunnel. Again, not easy for a seven year old and a real bear with a heavy two wheeled trailer.

Can't say for sure what the upper ten miles are like. We turned back after three. But the views are amazing and if I had been alone or with only other adult riders it would have been a blast. Gonna go back and try it again someday soon.

Gold Camp Road-One of the areas finest bike trails

Want to get away from it all, including annoying traffic? Ride the Gold Camp Road, a wide, gravel "trail" that follows the old narrow gauge tracks from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek. The only other users will be fellow cyclists or hikers, but not many of either, typically.

When my relatives from Northeast Ohio arrived and wanted a "Colorado" experience, I couldn't think of a better place to get them outdoors and into the heart of the magnificent Pikes Peak country. Most of them limit their outdoor activity to golf, so I needed a safe and simple ride that wouldn't be overly challenging. So, we rented bikes for them, and got volunteer drivers to take us to Cripple Creek up Highway 24 and CO 67, in itself a wonderful drive that almost encircles Pikes Peak from east to southwest. Once in Cripple Creek, we took H-67 to Victor, an easy ride that gave these non-cyclists a chance to work through the gearing. Once in Victor, it was fifteen miles of flat-to-downhill riding. An hour into the ride, we stopped for snacks, liquid, and a moment to soak in the views. Another hour and a half of easy riding, and we reached the trailhead above North Cheyenne Canyon.

If you could only see the smiles on their faces throughout the trip. Well worth the planning! How's that for a genuine CO experience!

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