Category: Family Friendly

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.

Santa Paws Seeks Fur-ever Home for Four Best Friends

Santa Paws (shh it’s really Ranger Pete, but don’t tell the pups) 🐾 and his adorable elves are ruffin’ it in Colorado this Christmas at North America’s highest suspension bridge. He only asked us fur one thing this year, to give his four bestest friends, and North Pole helpers, a fur-ever home.

Rocky, a two-year-old male Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler mix, loves rockin’ around the Christmas tree, and belly rubs.

Three-year-old Allie is a real people person. She’s a red heeler who sits pretty, works hard and plays hard, for treats of course.

Bear, the border collie knows all kinds of magic tricks and is happiest when he’s on an adventure. He’s at the top of his class and has the best of manners.

Chert the three-year-old lab mix has white-tipped twinkle toes and her favorite hobby is snuggling in for a winter’s nap after a day full of play. She’s known for her warm, welcoming butt wiggles.

Pete, er, Santa asks that everyone take the time to paws and remember his tail-rriffic friends this holiday season. The Fremont County Humane Society is always in need of Dog and Cat Food, go to for approved brands.

Please come visit us at Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. You never know who you’ll come across.

3 Wacky Roadside Attractions Not to be Missed

The John May “Bug Museum” offers what is now considered one of the world’s outstanding collections of giant insects, related creatures and rare artifacts. Even though the main collection contains over one hundred thousand invertebrates, about 8,000 are all that are shown to the general public because this is all a person can look at in one visit. The museum is easily found off Highway 50 as there is a large beetle on the side of the road that is a fairly difficult to miss.

The Di Nardo twins are known over for their famous, fresh-made cider as much as they are for their personalities. For more than six decades, Mario and Albert having been making fruity beverages and selling them from their charming Di Nardo’s Cider Mill & Farm Market roadside location. The most coveted flavor is the cherry delight, but make sure to browse the shelves for random produce, knick-knacks and mementos.  

The site of the former World’s Largest Rocking Chair, Doxey’s Apple Shed, is long closed. However, the chair is still very visible. Those who stop can even snap a photo or two through the fence. Built in 1990, the chair sits at 21 feet tall, 14 feet wide, 9,100 pounds.

Cool Down in Canon City

With the summer sun still shining high in the Colorado sky, here are a few ways to cool down when you and the fam are exploring the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.

We all scream – Ice cream is the tried and true cure all to the warm weather. Whether a swirled cone or bowl of delicious, grab a sweet treat at our Cliff Side Patio, a Dippin’ Dots spot near the Tommy Knocker Play Land and even root beer floats at Bridge View BBQ.

Splish Splash – There’s nothing like enjoying the cold spray of our splash pad on a hot day. We ask that kiddos have swimsuits and T-shirt’s to cover them, as well as shoes while running through this area of the park. We suggest you pack a dry change of clothes as a backup. 

The Wind in Your Hair – Want a super quick cool down? Hop in our Cloudscraper Zip Line harness to feel the rush of the wind through your hair as you cross the span of the Royal Gorge with the river below.

Whitewater Wonder – Of course the quickest way to a reprieve is a guided rafting trip down the rolling waters of the Arkansas River. Book with a variety of local and talented guides and make sure to look above when floating under the Royal Gorge Bridge.

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.

Places to Picnic

There’s nothing quite like spending a warm summer afternoon with some freshly-packed food and a view. Gather up the sandwich making materials and pop a squat at these beautiful picnic spots in, and outside the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.

The Elkhorn Loop is just outside the Bridge and Park

Outside the Bridge & Park entrance, the Elkhorn Loop picnic area and overlook provides a glimpse at our beautiful bridge.

Outside Gate Pavillion

Enjoy a bit of shade from the Colorado sun from these pavilions, also outside our park entrance.

Inside the Park (must pay admission).

Near the Tommy Knocker Play Land

Cool off with some Dippin’ Dots ice cream before or after watching the kiddos climb, crawl and slide their way through our play land, included with admission.

Juniper Junction

While this area is reserved for special events, the public is free to take advantage of the tables and shade when no one has booked the space. Enjoy the sounds of live entertainment in the background during the summer months.

Cliff Side Patio

Stay on the north side before crossing the bridge and enjoy snacks while watching others cross the 1,270 wooden planks of the Bridge to the south side.

Perfect Spring Break Stop

The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park has long been a favorite stop for families. Pair a little learning with some of the most amazing views in the state of the Colorado. After parking, grab a photo of the old Baldwin steam engine. Walk through the Visitor Center and take in the spectacular views just outside the glass-paned windows. Make a quick memento with some pocket change and the penny smashing machine before heading to the bright red POMA gondolas. Faces will light up when peering down the glass pane while it travels 2,200 feet across the Royal Gorge.

Let the littles and pre-teens burn some energy by walking across the span of the Royal Gorge Bridge or hiking up the mountainous terrain. A stop in the Plaza Theater is a must to understand the rich history of this famous attraction. View historic photos, plaques and artwork before enjoying a short film about how the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park was built and rebuilt.

Make sure to grab a children’s Junior Ranger activity sheet, included in the purchase of a 4-11 year old ticket. Clues are hidden throughout the park and when complete, can be turned in at the Express Lane inside the Visitor Center redeemable for an authentic Junior Ranger Badge perfect for show and tell.

Of course ages 3 and under can enjoy the Bridge & Park for free.

Holiday Happenings Around the Royal Gorge Region


Christmas on Main – Canon City

Hit Main Street to find unique gifts and pieces perfect for a last minute gift. Enjoy Christmas lights, wagon rides and of course Santa and his Elves. Even the Grinch will be making an appearance

December 16th & 17th   

Fremont Civic Theatre’s A Christmas Story

Is there anything better than a live reenactment of a cult Christmas classic? Head to Washington Elementary and receive a discount with a canned food item. (9th & College Ave.)

December 16th & 17th at 7:00 pm

December 18th at 2:00 pm  

Cripple Creek Gold Camp Christmas

Take a drive with a self-guided tour through this ghost town’s mine headframes, decorated with impressive Christmas light displays. Go directly to Victor via your own transportation.


Of course you can visit the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park during the entire holiday season, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (weather dependent).

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