All About the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
Colorado is known for its breathtaking mountains and outdoor activities. While millions visit our state every year, many miss some of the hidden treasures found at the Royal Gorge Bridge. Here are some interesting facts that you should know!
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park Is Privately Owned
Unlike other parks in Colorado, Royal Gorge Bridge is privately owned by Cañon City. The city was gifted the park by the federal government in 1906. The bridge was built in 1929 and stands high above the Arkansas River. While a private company operates the park, they give a percentage of the revenue back to Cañon City every year.
Although the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park isn’t a National Park, you can receive a $2 discount and a stamp in your National Park passport if tickets are purchased at the visitor center.
The Park Operates Like a Small City
The location of the park prohibits the ability to operate as a typical tourist attraction. Therefore, expenses are similar to a small city, including a water treatment plant. We treat the water from the Arkansas River, and the Colorado Department of Public Health regulates it.
To preserve nature, we return the same amount of clean water into the environment using bio-organisms to clean the wastewater. Any chlorine used for disinfecting the water is removed before transferring it back into nature. We can accommodate 300,000 gallons of water storage (half raw and half potable), and 30,000 gallons are sent to fire hydrants within the park.
We Care About the Environment
In addition to eco-friendly water treatment, we recycle all cardboard, paper, plastic, and aluminum. We utilize solar panels that provide power to our offices and warehouse. Annually, we replace approximately 300 planks on the bridge, but we reuse the used planks for park projects. Additionally, we use organic products anytime possible, and we reduce water waste by using LEED-certified equipment in our irrigation systems.
Safety Is Our Priority
We love our visitors to have fun, but we keep your safety in mind as well. We inspect and maintain all of the rides daily, weekly, monthly, and annually to maintain standards above the state minimum requirements. In addition, we have both the state and third-party engineers perform non-destructive testing and inspections.
During January and February, we close the Zipline and Skycoaster for routine maintenance. We also close off the aerial gondolas two weeks out of the year for testing and inspections. Finally, we replace up to 300 planks annually on the bridge and have the CDOT inspect for safety. We are proud to have one of the only bridges in the state with a full-time maintenance crew.
The Royal Gorge Via Ferrata Is Awe-Inspiring
The Royal Gorge Via Ferrata allows guests to hike and climb the granite rock walls of the Royal Gorge with their trained mountain guides for a controlled mountaineering experience, Via Ferratas were originally constructed during WWI to aid in troop movement through the mountains. The Royal Gorge Via Ferrata was constructed by Adventure Partners Attractions, LLC using a team with over 100 years of combined mountaineering experience. You will get a unique perspective of the bridge and gorge from these vantage points.
The Bridge Is Trademarked as America’s Bridge
The bridge was constructed in 1929 and was the highest suspension bridge in the world until 2001. While no longer the highest in the world, it is still the highest suspension bridge in America. To celebrate its 90th birthday, Royal Gorge Bridge gained the trademark of America’s Bridge. It’s also located just a short drive from America’s Mountain, Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs.
Pre-Scheduled Car Clubs Can Drive on the Bridge
During the morning hours between 8am – 10am, pre-scheduled car clubs can reserve drive time across the Royal Gorge Bridge.