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Level: Intermediate
Length: 27 mi (43.5 km)
Surface: 4x4 Trail
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +298/1 ft
Total: 8 riders

Mountain Biking Shelf Road / CR 88

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#446 of 1,346 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#4,452 in the world

Route finding is simple. Follow the road 13.5 miles up to Cripple Creek. The only fork is at mile 11.8. Take the road to the left, route 88. You'll reach Cripple Creek at mile 13.5. This road is part of the National Scenic Byway and the Colorado Gold Belt Tour. The canyon is also known for its big horn sheep population. The climb is a sustained gut check, gaining 3000'. The last half is especially tough, but the cruise down is worth it. The ride could easily be made into a shuttle since cars can drive down Shelf Road in good weather.

First added by vbeckman74 on Jan 5, 2012. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From U.S. Highway 50 in Canon City, head north on Dozier avenue. Dozier eventually turns left and becomes Central. 1.5 miles from this turn is Fields Avenue. Turn right (north) on Fields and drive untill the pavement ends. Parking will be on the left.
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Shelf Road / CR 88 Trail map

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teables (on Sep 29, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Sep 29, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Canon City, Colorado

Beginner | 0 mi
Easiest | 14 mi
Advanced | 5 mi
Intermediate | 7 mi

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    For a gravel grinder, this is tough to beat! Absolutely gorgeous scenery, and great riding.

    Note: this road is different from Shelf Road Recreation Area, which is a stand-alone area with doubletrack, dirt roads, and singletrack, whereas the Shelf Road mentioned here is a county road between Canon City and Cripple Creek.

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  • rcraft6826   ✓ supporter

    This is definitely one of the most scenic fire roads ive ever ridden up. The road starts just north of canon city and is quite easy till about 3 miles in, where the road seems to go from a leisurely stroll to "holy shit thats steep" in all of about 5 seconds. Overall the route is a gut check... Climbing over 3,000 feet quite quickly. If your reasonably fit you can make the round trip in about two and a half hours. Definitely a must ride trail for all the cardio animals out there!

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  • akhalteke

    Great LONG cardio event. You literally never know when the town of Cripple Creek is going to show its self. When it does, boy are you ever glad! Downhill is insanely fun though I did it in the winter when there was ice in the road and kinda wussed out on some of the speed I could have had.

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  • vbeckman74

    Three of us rode this route on an unusually warm day in January. There was brief talk of making this a shuttle ride, but we manned up in the end and rode all the way up. It's not technical, but it's very scenic. Black Diamond rating is for the climb. Canyons, old mine structures, an oddly placed huge pink house, and a very cool arch make this an interesting ride. We grabbed lunch at Cripple Creek and bombed the road in about 40 minutes, including picture taking time.

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