Penrose, CO

Between Florence and Victor

Status: Former Railroad, Scenic Drive


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This road began as a railway that was completed in 1894. Previous to that everything mined out of the area had to come down out of the mountains by horse and wagon.

It took 1,200 workers 4 months to complete the rail line including building bridges and blasting tunnels; there were numerous fatalities during the construction.

One day after the railroad opened a train derailed resulting in at least one fatality.

As the 20th century began Colorado Springs began to grow as the center of mining and built a wider gauge railroad track creating a shorter trip capable to transporting greater weight. In 1912 a major flood washed out 12 bridges, 8 miles of track and several of the small mining towns in the area.

The remaining tracks were ripped up and the former railroad was converted into a road in 1918.

It is now one of the most scenic routes in America; but also one of the most dangerous as its unpaved and filled with sharp curves and steep drop offs with no fences.

The road is 30 miles long and passes by numerous abandoned mines and a number of ghost towns.


Paranormal Activity

The name of the canyon dates back to convicted killer who was executed in a nearby State Prison in 1890. Since then, it is said he walks the path of the old railroad and was even seen by riders on the train.

Today, he is still seen walking the side of the road still in his prison uniform.

The ghosts of miners and railroad workers are seen all along the 30 mile road as well as in the abandoned mines and ghost town easily accessible on this scenic drive.