Thursday, November 7, 2013

Phantom Canyon ~ pt.2

Phantom Canyon road was originally built in 1892 and two years later a narrow gauge railroad was built over the roadbed. The railroad hauled coal and supplies to the mining camps of Cripple Creek and Victor and brought gold ore back down the mountain for refining. There were 12 stations along the route to service these trains. Evidence of some of the stations can still be seen while others are lost to elements.

What remains of a water tower 
Lone Telegraph Pole
In 1912 a flash flood with a wall of water 30ft high swept down the canyon, damaging tracks, bridges and dwellings. The railroad was rebuilt at a higher level but its life was short-lived. The tracks were dismantled in 1915 and by 1918, the road was opened once again to vehicle traffic.

Only remaining steel bridge from the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad 
The origins of the name, Phantom Canyon, are unknown. It might have been simply a marketing campaign on behalf of the railroad or it might have been from the shadows cast by the ginormous rocks which can be found in the canyon. In any case, it was a beautiful drive.

Even though we took this trip at the end of September, there wasn't much color to the trees. Large green patches would be next to trees that had already dropped their leaves. But the few bright spots of color did make us exclaim, "There is Gold in them thar hills!"


the dogs' mother said...

When I was a kid.... we're talking 60s-70s - we had occasion to drive around Oregon a lot and there were still places you could see the Oregon Trail (which several ancestors traveled over).

Jeanne said...

TGM - When I was a kid, my Mom & Sister & I took a roadtrip to Oregon to visit my oldest Sister. I remember seeing many places that were along the Oregon Trail as well as some locations along Lewis & Clark's route.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

That song "Up on Cripple Creek" keeps running through my head when I read these posts . . . .

Mickie said...

Beautiful pics!!! Wish my traveling partner had been a little more adventurous, this would have been a beautiful drive last month with the snow but then it may have been closed as some of the roads out of CC were. Thanks for posting your pics and the info.

mrsduncanmahogany said...

Wow! What beautiful views! I echo Debra's thoughts with the song