Gold Camp Road heads along the defunct railroad route from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek referred to as the "Short Line". The railroad was turned into a toll road for vehicles in the 1920s and was then converted into a free, public road. The third tunnel used on the road collapsed in 1988 and was never cleared. This has shut off the road to vehicle use making it a popular route for hikers and bikers.
This trail can either start at Seven Bridges Trail #622
, the parking lot, or be combined with any number of climbs.
Begin along Gold Camp Road (GCR). Buckhorn
is the first turnoff on the right. At the switchback, Seven Bridges Trail #622
is also on the right.
The 1st tunnel encountered (#3) is closed and a trail leads up and over the tunnel. Here, access to St. Mary's Trail
splits off to the right. There is a sign that marks this split. Go left and descend back down to Gold Camp Road.
There are two more tunnels (#4 and #5) which are open along the next few miles, passing wonderful vistas of Cheyenne Mountain and other surrounding peaks.
The trail is gradual, but the climb is steady and because the road is closed on both sides to cars, Pike's gravel has accumulated in some areas. It is also exposed to the elements with no bail-out options once along the eastern climb. Plan for weather accordingly.
The trail eventually meets up with Old Stage Road
, and cars can now access the path, although there isn't much traffic even in summer. The climb continues for several more miles, crossing FS Road 381
several other roads and unmarked trails.
At mile 14, Forest Service Road 379 leads to Foresters Trail / Jones #701
, which will be on your right at the end of the trail, with access also to Nelson's Trail (672) and Pipeline Trail #668
The road continues on to Cripple Creek, with access to other roads and trails.