Virginia Canyon Scenic Drive

aka “Oh My Gawd” Road

This Scenic Drive Near Denver is One Thrilling Ride

“Oh My Gawd” Road is the breath-taking and hair-raising shortcut to nearby Central City. This historic gold rush town is known as the “richest square mile on earth.” This scenic dirt/gravel road gets its nickname from its spectacular views and its narrow and curving lanes. The canyon is filled with old mining sites, and like the travelers of yesterday, many people drive the road in search of gold as they travel between Idaho Springs and the gambling communities of Central City and Blackhawk. Open year-round.


  • Take I-70 to Exit 241 in Idaho Springs.
  • Follow Colorado Boulevard into town, and stay to the right past the Visitor Center
  • Take a right onto Virginia Canyon Road and follow the road up through the residential neighborhood, which then curves to the right onto the dirt road. At all switchbacks along the way, stay to the right.
  • Maps are available at the Idaho Springs Visitor Center.

For local traffic information and webcams throughout Clear Creek County please visit or download the CDOT Mobile App for up to date traffic information. All information is provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Clear Creek County is the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Located just west of Denver along Interstate 70, Clear Creek has 396 square miles of public lands to explore, as well as four mountain peaks above 14,000 feet. Clear Creek is comprised of charming mountains towns Idaho Springs, Downieville, Lawson, Empire, Georgetown, and Silver Plume, which are all along the I-70 corridor. Learn more about Clear Creek County here.