Category: Adventure

Romance in the Royal Gorge

With Valentine’s less than a week away, here are some very Colorado-esque things to enjoy as a couple in the Royal Gorge region. It’s easy to impress with a hand-packed picnic afternoon at one of these breathtaking backdrops. Whether your sweetie loves adventure or is a tad leery of heights, a ride on our shiny red POMA gondolas is the perfect excuse for a little cuddle and hand-holding. Relax with a tasty glass of wine on one of the Park’s sitting areas or overlooks.

Cañon City is famous for our Chocolate Walk each February. Snag tickets to enjoy a sugar-filled stop at one of 50+ local businesses. Even better? All proceeds go to supporting the Cañon City Music and Blossom Festival held each spring. For a super special experience, take Colorado Jeep Tours most popular excursion, the half-day Royal Gorge Jeep Tour. Enjoy area views, and our beautiful bridge, from the inside of a custom-crafted Jeep. Commitment in the cards? Ask about their new proposal package.

There’s so much to enjoy here in the area, we suggest making it an entire weekend adventure. Book a night or two in our Bighorn Mountain Top Lodge, or nearby Royal Gorge Cabins for unforgettable panoramas of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

New Trails in the New Year

Guest Post: Ashlee Sack of Fremont Adventure Recreation

Been there, seen that? Not in the Royal Gorge Region! Home to one of the most beautiful and iconic natural wonders in the state, Cañon City offers more than just beautiful weather and whitewater rafting. In 2018, you’ll find miles of new trails that are perfect for hiking, biking and strolling. Numerous trail systems, including the region’s newest – the Royal Gorge Park Trails – will keep you busy as you find inspiring overlooks, soaring vistas and scenic climbs.

Royal Gorge Park Trails 

The landscape of this 5,000-acre park has rocky outcroppings that stand out from the panoramic horizon of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the distance. Whether you’re looking for a 15-mile ride or a quick three-mile hike, the Royal Gorge Park will help you keep your resolution to explore more.

Looking for a shorter hike with big rewards? Start your ride or hike at the Canyon Rim Trailhead, located on CR3A. You’ll catch views of the Royal Gorge, including unmatched views of the famed Royal Gorge Bridge. You may even see the Arkansas River winding its way through the 1,000-foot canyon. For bikers, the short Rock Hardy spur (which bisects the loop) offers some great technical climbing over slick rock and boulders.

You can also start your journey at the East Ridge Campground and head out Cañon Vista > FAR Out > Summit trail, which takes you around the front side of Fremont Peak – named for famed American explorer, John C. Fremont. Adventurous individuals (with secure footwear and appropriate hiking ability of course) can scramble the last few hundred meters to the top of the peak for an incredible 360-degree view of the Arkansas River valley.

Mountain bikers will enjoy the flowing, scenic qualities of the newest trails in the system: Dark Side of the Moon and The Maze. Climb up The Maze and find yourself smiling all the way down Dark Side of the Moon (or the yet un-named trail just north of The Maze) for an added bonus. Berms, turns, and bumps will keep bikers of all abilities coming back for another round.

To visit the Royal Gorge Park Trails, take Hwy. 50 to Cañon City. Turn South on CR3A and head toward the Royal Gorge Park. Multiple trailheads allow you to choose your own adventure. Please see a trail map to find the best option for your group and/or abilities. Due to the area’s dry climate, snow doesn’t stick around for long. Please remember to check trail conditions before riding or hiking and do not use muddy trails. Find complete trail maps and more information on trails in the Royal Gorge Region or download the Royal Gorge Trails map.

Make the Royal Gorge Your Memorial Day Getaway

The kick-off to summer is here and Canon City is in the spirit with festivals, live entertainment and all the adventure that Colorado has to offer. Here are a few ways to play in the region this Memorial Day Weekend.

Live Entertainment at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

Enjoy the sounds of Deja Bluz and Exit West and Out of Nowhere at various locations throughout the park. We’ll kick-off our Nature’s Educators series at the Elk Park Amphitheater where guests can get up-close-and-personal to birds of prey, reptiles and other animals. Find a full list here.

Lip-smacking BBQ

Bridge View BBQ opens for the season. Taste the hours that go into slow roasting delicious meats like pork, brisket and more. Classic sides like coleslaw, pasta salad and beans are sure to please your palate. Don’t forget to enjoy the view from our patio.

Rafting the Royal Gorge

It’s officially rafting season and Canon City is home to the best rapids in the country, whether you’re enjoying a family float, or an adrenaline rush down the river. Book with one of our amazing partners.

Create Canon City Day Balloon Classic

Enjoy great food, award-winning wines on the grounds of The Abbey and see the works of local artisans. Watch balloon launches, glows in the evening and even skydivers. Enjoy a great music lineup or participate in races. The kids can play in the Kids’ Zone. Stay in the evening for Balloon Glows and the Abbey Glow. The Create Cañon City Balloon Classic is open to the public with FREE Admission and FREE parking.

Enjoy the Royal Gorge Region Year-round

Museum of Colorado Prisons

While of course warmer temperatures, Colorado sunshine, and some of the best whitewater rafting in the country is popular in the spring and summer months, there’s just as much fun to be had year-round in the Royal Gorge region. Make a stop at these spots, even in the winter months.

Colorado Prison Museum – Step into this museum that was once the area’s women’s correctional facility. Built in 1935, this historic space explores the history of prison life dating back to territorial days.

Observation deck

Royal Gorge Bridge & Park – Weather permitting, we are open nearly almost every single day of the year! Some rides are subject to the mercy of mother nature but guests can enjoy our indoor Cafe 1230, Visitor Center, a jaunt across the bridge and our historical theater and plaza, even on extra chilly days.

Winery at Holy Cross

The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – Whether you’re looking for a unique gift, or want to taste-test onsite Abbey’s impressive architecture.  

Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience

Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience – One of the region’s newest attractions offers a ropes course, indoor museum, and guided tours. With fossil casts and various exhibits, it’s easy to uncover the prehistoric history of Canon City.

Royal Gorge Museum & History Center – Admission is free to those wishing to learn more about the city’s past. From galleries to Fremont County’s movie history, there’s a lot to learn in Canon City’s Municipal Building.

Enter to Win Season Passes

The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is a true Colorado wonder. Hanging 956 feet above the flowing Arkansas River, this architectural wonder is a must-see. Open 365 days a year (weather permitting of course) there are so many ways to enjoy the region no matter what the season. Wouldn’t it be even better if you were able to do so for free? Make sure to enter our Pinterest contest below to see this beauty covered in snow, sunlight, next to spring flowers and summery blue skies. This pass allows guests access to the park, bridge and all available rides, shows, and attractions for 1 year from date of purchase. Skycoaster and Zip Line are extra pay features. If you’d rather not take the change of missing all the seasons, you can purchase a pass here.


Enter to win Four Season Passes to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

Here’s How to Enter:

  • Follow Royal Gorge Bridge & Park on Pinterest
  • Pin the image at the top of this page
  • Pin up to 5 additional images from our website (blog included) for more entries
  • Make sure to fill out the below form

Good luck!

Disclaimer: Subject to full compliance with all terms, conditions and requirements of the contest. The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park and all affiliated partners reserve all rights to withhold the award of prizes for noncompliance with or any misrepresentation in qualifications or eligibility in its sole discretion. Winner agrees to have likeness used in various attraction promotions. Transportation to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park and other expenses to redeem prizes is the sole responsibility of the winner(s). Contest is open only to U.S. residents, 18 years of age or older. This offer is void wherever prohibited and subject to all federal, state and local laws. Entrants, by participating in the Contest agree to waive any and all claims of liability against the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, previously mentioned partners and any parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies and agencies, representatives and employees from any accident, loss or injury occurring from this promotion or in any way related to the prize or the use or misuse thereof. Winners will be announced on by September 12, 2015 and notified by email. If no response is received within 5 business days, an alternative winner will be selected and the original winner will have no claim upon the prize package or any part therein. Prizes are not redeemable for cash or any other form of payment other than the prizes themselves. Passes are good for one year from one calendar year from the date of issue and no longer. After this date, all prizes will be forfeited and no longer valid. By entering and providing your email address you are opting in to receive future communications from the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, which can be unsubscribed from at anytime.

Posted in Adventure, Family Friendly, Rides & Attractions | Tagged Colorado giveaways, Colorado year round, Pinterest contest, Royal Gorge Bridge discount, royal gorge season passes

Dig Cañon City’s Dinosaur History

Skyline Drive

Cañon City is one of the most well-known fossil areas in the U.S. Packed full of prehistoric history, fossils and insight as to the creatures that roamed this region of Colorado millions of years ago. Here are just a few the stops to dig up a little dinosaur fun before, or after a visit to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.

Skyline Drive – Drive your passenger car on a road that ascends and follows the top of a high razorback ridge overlooking Cañon City. Enter this one-way, paved road from US 50 on the west edge of town. Soon the landscape falls away hundreds of feet on both sides, which is just a bit hair-raising! Cañon City spreads out on both sides of you and there are pullouts to enjoy the view. Towards the top, there is an interpretive display to help you see dinosaur tracks embedded in the cliff face.

Garden Park Fossil Area – Garden Park Fossil Area is one of the most productive and historically important locations in the United States for the study of Late Jurassic dinosaurs. Fossil hunters and scientists from across the country have dug in Garden Park since 1877, when the nearby town of Cañon City, Colorado was still young. Important discoveries include the first complete skeleton of Allosaurus, some of the most complete Stegosaurus skeletons, as well as the first known remains of dinosaurs like Camarasaurus, Ceratosaurus, and Diplodocus.

Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center – The museum offers a rich look into the history of the region and its people. Many of the items on display at the former Dinosaur Resource Center, which closed a few years back, now call the museum home. Enjoy an array of prehistoric related items including the well-known replica dinosaurs.

Posted in Adventure, Family Friendly, Royal Gorge Region | Tagged Colorado Dinosaur, Colorado Fossils, Colorado Vacation, Dinosaur Tracks, Family Travel, Prehistoric, Skyline Drive

5 Must Take Photos at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the scale and grandeur of the park, especially when you visit for the first time. There are so many wonderful attractions that it’s easy to overlook some of the smaller, more secluded areas. Some of these spots offer fabulous, sweeping and unobstructed views of the bridge. You’ll also capture the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the immense Royal Gorge. If you’re trying to snag some stellar photos of these amazing sights, here are five great spots to set up your camera and capture the landscape.
There are plenty of amazing photo opportunities in the park, but please remember to observe warning signs and don’t climb around or over protective barriers that signify “off-limits” areas. We always have guest safety top of mind.

1. By far one of the best places to take photos at the park is from Point Sublime. Located on the south side of the park next to the Skycoaster, this historic landmark has offered visitors a grand view of the area for decades. From this point, you can capture the bridge, the gorge, the Arkansas River and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. It is an awesome sight to see, and one that is great fun to catch any time of day. In the morning, the cliffs and bridge will be illuminated, and you have the best chance of being alone in the pavilion. However, as the sun sets over the mountains, photo opportunities are stunning as well.

2. Looking for an unobstructed view of the bridge? Walk down to the theater, past the picnic tables toward the perimeter fence. From here, you’ll get a fantastic view of the bridge, the gorge, and the entire Arkansas River Valley to the north. This particular spot is great in the morning or midday, as the sun is hitting the east-facing cliff faces and you can really capture the varied topography.

3. If it’s your first time on the bridge, you may be overwhelmed with the height and distance of the structure. Once you acclimate yourself to being 1,100 feet above the Arkansas River, don’t forget to look around! The bridge offers an array of opportunities to capture a unique or interesting perspective in photographs. Utilize the cables, the height, and even the spaces between the boards to create an interesting and abstract photograph.

4. Before you even enter the park, head toward the historic Denver and Rio Grande train engine and walk out onto the viewing platform. From here, you get a grand view of the gorge, the bridge, and the surrounding landscape. Then take a walk down the gravel path (watch your step) and wander around. You’ll find several great spots to snap a photo from various vantage points.

5. After you leave the Visitor Center and head toward the bridge, take a moment to find the old Incline overlook. The Incline may be gone (we’re working on a replacement attraction), but the overlook remains and permits a fabulous view of the mountains in the distance. This point provides some great foreground material, middle and distant points to create a dynamic shot. Try this point in the evening or on a cloudy day when the sun is setting over the mountains.


Celebrate 4th of July at the Royal Gorge Bridge

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is decked out in red, white, and blue to celebrate Independence Day, July 3-6, with special entertainment for a fun four-day weekend, said Mike Bandera, Vice-President and General Manager.

This will be the first Fourth of July the park is able to offer a fully-open park since the Royal Gorge Fire of 2013. “Adventure, good food, and awesome scenery is a good way to celebrate this summer holiday,” said Bandera.

The Geezers will be playing every day from 12:30 to 4:30 on the Entertainment Stage right next to Bridge View BBQ featuring sodas, suds, and barbecue. Zany Paint face painters will be at the newly-opened Children’s Playland, 12:30 to 4:30, free for kids.

The new Giant Children’s Playland for kids ages 5-12 is the newest attraction to open in the park, said Bandera. The Playland features a two-story climbing structure, with nets, slides, and bridges, and sits next to the Carousel (for kids of all ages!), a Maze, Splash Pad water feature, and the Wax Hand shop.

General Admission includes the brand new Aerial Tramway, special shows at the Plaza Theater, the Magic of Christian Augustine, and the April Vollm Show, featuring acrobatics and silks, North America’s Highest Suspension Bridge and several other features. Two thrill rides, the highest zip line in America, the Royal Gorge Cloudscraper by Zip Rider fly’s guests across the Royal Gorge, 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River, and the World’s Scariest Skycoaster, the Royal Rush, sitting on the edge of the Royal Gorge are available as extra pay attractions with admission.

Café 1230 with a deck hanging 1,230 feet over the Royal Gorge has lunch, snacks, beverages, a full service bar, and dinner served from 5-7 pm.

Admission for adults is $23, Seniors, 60+, $21, and Children 4-11, $18. An automatic $2 discount is available for those guests who pre-purchase online tickets Royal Rush Skycoaster tickets are $25 for one rider, $25 for two, and $60 for three riders. The Royal Gorge Cloudscraper is $40 per rider. Park hours are 9:30 am- 7:00 pm, July 3-6. For more information call 888-333-5597.

Adventure in the Arkansas Region


Seeking thrills and heart-pumping fun? There are plenty of ways to catch an adrenaline high in the Royal Gorge region of Colorado. The Arkansas River offers some of the best rafting in the state, and even the country. With rapids ranging from class II-V, there is no lack of whitewater on this river. Book a full day or half day excursion.

The area is well-known for its rich fossil finds and prehistoric history. Make your way up Skyline Drive to view the famous dinosaur tracks. Whether by car, motorcycle or Segway, it can get a bit hairy with no guardrails. However you decide to travel the road, the view is totally worth it.

At the bottom of Skyline Drive, notice the parking area for one of Cañon City’s newest hiking and mountain biking trail system. The system offers users wide dirt paths, singletrack and some technical steep trails. Head up the Graneros trail to meet with Old Skyline Drive, then opt to follow the paved road back down to the bottom or ride the dirt trails back to the parking area. Beginner-level cyclists will enjoy following “Greenhorn” – an easy double-track that runs north to south.

Strap in for a bird’s eye view of the Royal Gorge on the ZipRider Cloudscraper, the highest zip line in North America. Honestly, the day can’t truly end without swinging out on the Royal Rush SkyCoaster. Reach up to 50 mph while swinging stomach-first 1,200 feet above the Arkansas. Make sure to take advantage of the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park’s “High Altitude” package including: bridge admission, the SkyCoaster, and the ZipRider Cloudscraper for a bargain price.

Posted in Adventure, Rides & Attractions, Royal Gorge Region | Tagged Arkansas River, colorado adventure, rafting, royal gorge, Segway, skycoaster, Skyline Drive, zip line

What’s in a Name?


North America’s highest zip line

In the summer of 2013, the Royal Gorge Bridge lost 48 of the 52 structures due to a fire. But in the wake of challenge, there came an opportunity to grow. And grow we did with new rides, new buildings and an overall unforgettable experience. There were no limits to how high the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park could soar. In fact, our new zip line is now the 2nd highest zip line in North America.

With a fact like that and a phoenix story to boot, Ayla Larsen of Vladimir Jones agency set to work creating a name for this new, amazing zip line. A name that would reflect the indomitable spirit of Royal Gorge Bridge & Park and the awe-inspiring scenery surrounding it. In big cities around the globe, there are buildings that are so tall they pierce the sky – skyscrapers.

The incredible height of the new zip line reminded her of these buildings, as if this zip line was the Colorado version of a skyscraper. Only this zipline is an experience, a journey where you can soar above it all and brush the clouds with your fingertips, a perfect example of rising from the ashes and leaving limitations in the dust. And so, Cloudscraper was born.