Riding Cripple Creek to Shelf Road - gleefully found at www.dangerousroads.org!!

When I google "best switchback roads near me" and Shelf Road (outside of Cripple Creek, CO) comes up.. and all of the comments say "4WD recommended" or "Rough ride even on a dirt bike" or "XT250 and I turned around"... I silently wonder if they are telling the truth or not. And I want to see the person who posts the comments...basically so I can judge whether or not I am anything like them and basically to confirm that I would be a FOOL to (not) try to take the Victory on said road. Because lets be real, I WILL try it until its too late to turn around. #Committment
 Meanwhile, poor Stiffy is following me and I can feel her daggers beaming into the back of my helmet, right after I turn around as we start up the gravel road, give her a thumbs up sign, smile, and then do an evil laugh complete with shoulder movement to let her know that she might want to reconsider following me.  She admitted once that she was petrified of riding on gravel. I cant remember which demon of a gravel road that was after, but it had been her first gravel experience. And I am sure it was a doozie. But yet, there she is. Evil glare behind the sunglasses and all... and off we go!


Ah, see? This gravel road isn't so bad after all! 
 Window Rock

 A little about Shelf Road, taken from
https://www.dangerousroads.org/north-america/usa/6406-shelf-road.html 

Shelf Road is a gravel road located in Colorado, USA. This is a road where a high clearance 2WD vehicle is able to travel safely at low speeds on long dry straight-of-ways, without losing control due to wash boarding, ruts, or dips. The road is carved along the side of a cliff that is supposed to fit two lanes, but really only fits one. This trail passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. The road and the scenery it offers are pretty much unremarkable, lots of hairpin turns as the road ascended, hugging the side of the mountain. The road accesses about a dozen (closed) gold mines and at least 2 ghost towns. The really bad, scary 'shelf' part is when you come from near Canon City heading toward Cripple Creek. When you are going this way, you will be on the outer edge of the shelf. (*naturally this got my attention). This is a great drive if you're brave and trust the person behind the wheel. If you don't like steep drop-offs, don't take the road. Back gravel road with an extreme drop off in some places. It's very narrow in some spots and 2 vehicles can't go thru.This narrow unpaved mountain road is 24.4 miles (38km long). It runs south from Cripple Creek, in Teller County to just outside Canon City, Colorado, where it intersects with Colorado Highway 9, in USA. The road was built in 1892. It has great views but it is a little scary in parts as it’s a one lane, two-way dirt road on the side of a cliff with blind corners. It's a dirt road that's often narrow and at times clings to the side of a hill, with very little room to spare. The road is pretty steep. It climbs from Cañoñ City, at 1.700m above the sea level, to Cripple Creek, at 2.885m above the sea level. The elevation gain is 1.185m and the average gradient is 3,03%.  The road is part of the Gold Belt Scenic Byway. Road suggested by: Catrìona M. MacKirnanPic&video: wakkanne


 MIDDLE of NOwhere - but I have a SPOT GPS - so worst case scenario, someone could locate our bodies if need be. So long as I have time to push the magical locator beam button first. 

 OK, OK... I admit. This is getting a weeeeeee-bit rough. 
 "No Parking on roadway at any time".. As though it would cause a traffic jam ;) 

Beware washboards and potholes... together at once. 


 Who doesn't like dodgeball?  "Should I stay more towards the clay mud hole on the right, or the ginormous missing piece of earth on the side of a cliff to my left?"
 And then, one corner after another confirms that I made a GREAT choice! The road winds around and around with epic views around every bend. 









What I sent to my dad - in the event we went missing, someone would have an idea of where to find us! 

And just like that, we survived and found another amazing gravel road!!!  
Stopped to take a breather after surviving the hairpin turns, the 'shelf of a road' on a cliff, and the ROUGH road conditions for several miles.... no other motorcycles around, weird!! 

Shelf Road - 10000% worth it!!!! (If you dare)

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