Most Coloradans are used to driving through beautiful scenery in places like Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks Park, and even the drive over Vail Pass on I-70 is something you won't find in any other state.

However, while these places are all pretty well-known, there are also plenty of drives in Colorado's backcountry that are just as beautiful, if not more so.

Many of these old dirt roads that take travelers through this stunning scenery date back to the mining boom of the 1800s, including an old trade route that connects Cañon City to Cripple Creek known as Shelf Road.

Colorado's Shelf Road is an Absolutely Stunning Drive

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As mentioned above, Shelf Road was initially established as a delivery route between Cañon City and the old mining town of Cripple Creek during the mining boom that took place during the state's infancy.

The trip between the two towns consists of 26.4 miles with elevations as low as 5,338 feet above sea level all the way up to 9,472 feet.

Originally meant for stagecoaches, nowadays the dirt road is fairly well-maintained though there are some spots in which a small error could result in a catastrophic fall. In addition, it's recommended that anyone who attempts the drive does so in a four-wheel-drive vehicle and avoids taking the trip during winter months.

As you'll see below, the trip treats the traveler to gorgeous rock formations, beautiful wooded areas, and some of the most stunning scenery imaginable.

Keep scrolling to take a virtual trip over Colorado's Shelf Road:

Take a Virtual Drive Over Colorado’s Stunning Shelf Road

Shelf Road was originally made as a delivery route from Cañon City to Cripple Creek, Colorado, and is an absolutely gorgeous drive.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

Sketchy Yet Beautiful: A Road Trip Over Colorado’s Engineer Pass

Take a virtual drive over Colorado’s Engineer Pass, a drive that is just as beautiful as it is sketchy.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

Colorado’s Old Monarch Pass is Not for the Faint of Heart

Take a virtual trip over Colorado’s Old Monarch Pass, an old dirt road that travels over the continental divide and is what many would call ‘sketchy.’

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

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