As I plan next summer's route, one section I am looking to ride is between Canon City and Cripple Creek. I am trying to determine which road is better, Shelf Road or Phantom Canyon Road. I understand both have gravel, neat old RR tunnels to ride through, cool rock formations, high elevation, etc. Shelf is shorter and has more pavement.

But the overriding factor is which is more scenic? Yes, I know "scenic" is subjective but I am trying to figure out which one is generally considered prettier, has more "oohs and aahhs" etc. The pics on google seem to be better on Shelf but that is really not a good way to select a route.

Has anyone ridden (or driven) either road that is willing to offer an opinion? I did Phantom Canyon back in mid-80s but it was a day with lots of low hanging clouds so could not see much.