As I said in the previous post, I prefer Victor over Cripple Creek; but many find Cripple Creek more to
their liking. More hotels, eateries and of course the casinos. It is certainly worth the short drive over.
As the story goes a local rancher was hearding some cattle across a creek when one of the cows stumbled and broke it's leg. Then one of the ranchers sons trying to get the cow out slipped and broke his leg - hence the name Cripple Creek.
And for a break from walking around eating and shopping, or rolling the dice; take a train ride on the
Cripple Creek and Victor Railroad
Cripple Creek and Victor Railroad opened for tourist passenger service in June of 1967. This is a rather narrow - narrow gauge being only a two foot track. Narrow gauge is a track width less then the standard 4 foot 81/2 inches. Many mining and industrial applications prefered to build narrow-gauge do to the price to build and maintain and is considerably less then standard.
Three locomotives serve as the "little engines that can" and all are coal fired. Number One is a Orenstein and Koppel built in 1902 0-4-4-0 articulated mallet. The Number 2 engine is a Henschel built in 1936 0-4-0, built in Germany. The Number 3 is a Porter built in 1927 0-4-0 tank engine Operation generally run from May to October. The ride is only about an hour and offers views you can't see from the road. Also, the engineer offers up interesting facts along the way.
The town of Cripple Creek has a rich and fascinating history. Aside from the odd way it got it's name; it almost grow up over night when gold was discovered back in 1890. Didn't take long before the word got out and thousands of miners found their way to the area. As mentioned in the post on Victor, the area once had a population exceeding 50,000. One thing you will notice the entire town is constructed out of brick. That's because back in 1896 the first of two fires struck. The first burnt down half the town. Four days later the second fire took down most of the remaining buildings. While Victor was the working mans town. Most of the mine owners and bankers were in Cripple Creek.
Ride the Cripple Creek & Victor Railroad
Return to Victor to start your drive. It is only about a 20 minute drive from Cripple Creek. Phantom Canyon is roughly a 30 mile drive and there are plenty of camping, picnic, hiking and of course photography opportunities. So take your time and enjoy the drive.
The family car is adiquate to drive the road; but I would not suggest towing a trailer for the tunnels are narrow and there are a few tight and narrow turns along the way. As for RV's, I drove it a few years ago in my Sprinter based RV and was able to clear the tunnels without an issue. I would not recommend the "wider" body RV's.
Drive Phantom Canyon
See You Down The Road
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