Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cañon City's Skyline Drive, Then and Now

After a late start, I left the house at around 09:45AM with the goal of shooting pictures from Cañon City's Skyline Drive. I'd never even heard of Skyline Drive until I stumbled upon pictures of it while perusing the photographic archives of the Denver Public Library!

It was a pretty uneventful but windy ride down the I-25 super slab to CO115 at Colorado Springs. You take CO115 to US50 and eventually it gets to to Cañon City. I reached and cruised through town at Noon, noting some old buildings for pictures. I exited the town by going by the Colorado State Penitentiary. Cañon City boasts several prisons and even has the state's Prison Museum.

Soon after leaving town on westbound US50 you see the highway sign for Skyline Drive. When I arrived after Noon, the gate was locked! Rats I thought to myself. As I pondered the situation, this nice old lady approached me and asked me if I was there to unlock the gate! Apparently my riding gear led her to think I was the police. She'd called them to unlock the gate for some charity event which involved hiking up Skyline drive you see.

As we talked, and I disabused her of the notion I was law enforcement, the real police showed up and proceeded to unlock the gate. I was the first vehicle to go through for the day!

I have to tell you, Skyline Drive is a must do ride when you're in the vicinity. Incredible views, narrow road, steep sloping dropoffs to the valley below. What more could you ask?

On the way up, that's westbound US50 in the valley floor below

Narrow with steep dropoffs, but its paved!

Circa 1905
Link to DPL: Call# gb-8287

Further along Skyline Drive

Circa 1903-1910
Link to DPL: Call#mcc-1246a

For a photo of this portion of Circa 1900-1910
Link to DPL: Call #Z-7112

Here's the view as you reach the small parking area before you start heading down

I liked the way clouds dappled the nearby mountains

There's two hairpins on the way down from Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive was so enjoyable, I rode it twice! It's a one-way road so you end up in a quiet neighborhood at the base of the ridge that the road straddles. I'll cover Cañon City and it's building in the next posting. For now, its time to sleep. 316 miles covered today with over 8 hours of time in the saddle, I am one tired puppy.

Tune in next time, where I'll post about riding Phantom Canyon and ending up in Victor, Colorado as I make my way home from Cañon City.


Derek said...

Absolutely stunning views.

mq01 said...

beautiful pics