Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
When most people think of Colorado, they picture majestic mountain peaks and sprawling alpine valleys. While the mountains of Colorado have made the area famous, there are also incredible sights to see on the rivers and waterways.
The Royal Gorge is a jaw-dropping natural feature formed by the mighty Arkansas River. As the river flows downhill from its majestic headwaters in Leadville, CO, it passes through famous areas such as Browns Canyon National Monument.
Before the Arkansas River finally flows out of the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, it carves a 1,000 ft deep gorge into the earth. The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park was established to celebrate this rare natural wonder. Today, the park is a regular stop for adventurers, families, and historians alike.
Where is the Royal Gorge Located?
The Royal Gorge is located just outside of Cañon City, CO. Nestled in Colorado’s Front Range Mountains, the park is easily accessed from the quaint mountain town of Salida to the west and the city of Pueblo to the east.
Due to its convenient location, Royal Gorge Park can be easily accessed from major metropolitan areas in the region, including both Denver and Colorado Springs. In fact, Denver is a 2-hour drive from the park and Colorado Springs is just 1-hour away.
What Is There to Do at Royal Gorge Park?
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is famous for both natural wonders and modern conveniences. If you find wildlife viewing interesting, you have a good chance of seeing deer, eagles, falcons, and even bighorn sheep! The park also has tons of modern amenities, including rides, restaurants, exhibits, and gift shops.
Whether your family enjoys exciting rides or educational experiences, Royal Gorge Park has a little something for everyone.
Great family activities at the park include:
- The Royal Rush Skycoaster will send you flying over the Royal Gorge for an unforgettable experience.
Royal Gorge’s Tommy Knocker Playland is a sure hit for the kids. From carousels to interactive exhibits, this deluxe playland will keep your kids entertained all day.
There is no better way to experience the size and depth of the Royal Gorge than to scale its walls or fly over its depths.
Luckily, the park has ample adventure opportunities:
- The Cloudscraper Zipline is not your average ride. With this state-of-the-art zipline, you actually fly across the Royal Gorge at 1,200 ft. above the canyon floor!
Royal Gorge Park’s Via Ferrata gives visitors the opportunity to climb and traverse the walls of the gorge with the safety of a harness and mountain guide.
If you are interested in the rich history of Colorado and Canon City, the park has some excellent educational opportunities.
- The Plaza Theatre features a number of documentaries on local history, as well as the wildlife of the Rocky Mountains.
The Water Clock is an extremely unique exhibit for the whole family. This giant clock actually works with the help of flowing water and buckets!
How Big is the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge?
The Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the United States. Stretching nearly 1,000 ft over the Arkansas River, the bridge is truly a modern engineering marvel. To cross the Royal Gorge, the bridge spans an incredible 1,260 ft from end to end.
A walk across the bridge will not only give you an appreciation for the striking natural beauty of the place, but also the engineering prowess of the bridge builders themselves.
What’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Royal Gorge?
Royal Gorge Bridge and Park makes for an incredible trip any time of the year. Nonetheless, each season offers its own unique perks and flavors when visiting the Canon City, CO area.
Summer: The summer months are the peak tourist time for the Royal Gorge. If you visit in the summer, you can also go on an amazing rafting trip or fishing adventure.
Fall: The fall months offer incredible weather and smaller crowds than seen in the summer. After a visit to the park, take your family to see the fall colors high in the Rocky Mountains.
Winter: Wintertime at the Royal Gorge is surprisingly mild. With main attractions like the Via Ferrata open during the winter, a visit to the park could be the perfect complement to a Colorado ski trip.
Spring: When visiting the park during the springtime, you can see the Arkansas River flowing at its mightiest. With a mild climate in Canon City, get outside and stretch your legs after a long winter.