Author: Chelsy Offutt

Noteworthy Summer Performances at the Royal Gorge Bridge

Find a summer full of live performances and music at America’s Bridge. From bluegrass to country, there’s something for the entire family to enjoy through Labor Day. Live entertainment is included with general admission tickets. These special performances will take place at Elk Park Amphitheater from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Lawn seating is first-come, first-serve.

Flying W Wranglers – The sounds of the American cowboy return to America’s Bridge with multiple Flying W Wrangler performances. The Glory days of the American cowboy have been relegated to a bygone era that ended over 100 years ago. Yet, the romantic legend of the cowboy lives on in song. Join us for performances by the Flying W Wranglers, the world’s second-oldest western singing group, this June, July and August.

When:

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Ashley Barron – Pulling her inspiration from country music greats like Johnny Cash and Miranda Lambert, Barron embraces the powerful and independent country woman aura in her singing and songwriting and strives to create relatable music from her personal hardships and experiences.  

When:

July 4, 2019

Grass It Up – This group showcases the feeling of life in the American West, offering a unique brand of Americana combining the sounds of country, rock, bluegrass, ragtime and folk influences. Their stories translate to timeless songs, which they have been producing on their own since 2005, touch the hearts of their listeners. The band is renowned for their engaging performances, thought-provoking songwriting and high energy.

When:

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Powell Brothers – Founded in 2014 by brothers Blake and Taylor, their sound boasts a unique blend of genres, amazing musicianship and thoughtful lyrics. The group’s first full-length album releases this year.

When:

Sunday, July 28, 2019

90th Anniversary Coloring Contest

We’ve partnered with the Bank of the San Juans for a special 90th anniversary celebration coloring contest. Aspiring artists can mail or drop their masterpiece off at any Fremont County bank branch location.

Bank of the San Juans employees will select 10 entries from each age group by 5-2-19. These selected entries will be posted in the lobbies of the branches in Fremont County (see addresses listed above) for voting by members of the community from May 3rd – 10th. Winners will be announced and notified on May 15th!

Make sure to stop by the Bank of the San Juans booth at the Royal Gorge Bridge on Saturday, April 27 & 28 to pick up some swag.  

Download the coloring sheet

Contest Rules:

Age groups:

Under 6

7 to 10

Coloring Materials:

The following are the coloring materials that can be used -crayons, markers or colored pencils.

No gluing of any extra materials or embellishments will be allowed.

Judging:

Entries will be judged on neatness, use of color, and eye appeal.

Pictures may be duplicated, but each child may only submit one entry.

Deadline:

All entries must be submitted either in person or mailed to any Bank of the San Juans location within Fremont County by Tuesday, April 30th.

Branch locations:

Canon City 816 Royal Gorge Blvd.

2101 Fremont Drive

Florence 401 East Main Street

Prizes:

Per age group (Under 6 and 7 to 10)

First Prize Royal Gorge Annual Family Pass

Second Prize $100.00 gift card

Third Prize $50.00 gift card

Bank of the San Juans employees will select ten (10) entries from each age group by 5-2-19. These selected entries will be posted in the lobbies of the branches in Fremont County (see addresses listed above) for voting by members of the community from May 3rd – 10th. Winners will be announced and notified on May 15th!

Winners will be asked to sign a PHOTOGRAPH/MEDIA CONSENT AND RELEASE, as they will be featured in various Bank of the San Juans promotions.

Relatives of employees employed by Royal Gorge Bridge or Bank of the San Juans are not eligible for this contest. All entries will become property of Royal Gorge Bridge and Bank of the San Juans.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.

Four Unique Ways to Experience America’s Highest Bridge

Segway Tour

If you’re looking to combine two bucket list items in one, take a guided Segway Tour across the Royal Gorge Bridge and throughout the park. iLean Ride Company offers a 90-minute experience with a little extra time for parking lot practice on these personal vehicles.  

Colorado Jeep Tour

Take this extra special drive across the wooden planks of the bridge as these are the only vehicles outside of park staff and scheduled car clubs allowed to cross on four wheels. Offered year-round, the half-day and full-day options both include the option to return and explore our beautiful attraction after your tour – small upgrade fees will apply. For something extra special, book the Sunset Tour including dinner on the Cafe 1230 deck.

Whitewater Rafting Trip

The Arkansas River offers some of the most amazing rafting in the state of Colorado. There are a number of skilled rafting companies and packages to choose from, many of which include a trip that goes right underneath the bridge. Many of the tours also offer a Boat and Bridge combined package to experience an entire day’s worth of excitement.

Helicopter Ride

For the ultimate bird’s eye view of the Bridge, climb inside Royal Gorge Helitour’s Rolls Royce jet-powered Robinson R66 helicopter for the ride of your life. A quick tour over America’s Bridge starts at $49 per person. Longer tours of the region can be booked including views of Cripple Creek and even Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain.

Via Ferrata Adventure Coming to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, celebrating its 90th Anniversary this year will be opening Colorado’s newest adventure, a Via Ferrata on the granite walls of the Royal Gorge. The new attraction will be ready for the 2019 summer tourist season. Guests will be halfway down into the Royal Gorge when they start climbing on what will be a unique lifetime experience.

The Via Ferrata is in the planning and proposed routing stage for the first of three phases. The first route will be on the South Side (North Face) of the Royal Gorge with a targeted opening date of May 1, said Brent Hargrave, COO. “Guests will be able to enjoy watching people scale the opposite wall from the Visitor Center deck, the bridge, or just about anywhere in the park,” said Hargrave.

“Via Ferratas are increasing in popularity and timing is right for the park,” said Jeremy Boswell, VP of Operations. “This experience is for those who would not otherwise ever have a climbing experience.” You don’t have to be a professional or serious mountain climber, he said. This system introduces people to mountaineering in a protected, safe climbing system that uses trained guides, climbing lanyards with carabiners, steel cables, and iron rungs installed into rock surfaces. Popularity of Via Ferratas began in Europe over a hundred years ago even though the system has been around longer. In the United States, there are Via Ferratas most notably in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and California in the mountainous regions.

Hargrave said the Via Ferrata will capitalize on the natural attraction of the Royal Gorge. “We will set ourselves apart from other Via Ferratas with the sheer drama and vertical foot advantage of the 1,000 foot walls. In fact, this system will be unlike any other Via Ferrata in the nation due to its verticality.” The sturdy rock walls are made of Pike’s Peak granite and formed over a billion years ago.
Mike Friedman with Colorado-based Adventure Partners Attractions, designer and installer said “Via Ferratas are taking off in North America right now. It’s designed for non-climbers with an adventurous streak who want to know first-hand what it feels like scale a rock face. People today want to be more participatory in their experiences, and the Via Ferrata is a spectacular, earned adventure.”

Friedman, a former Teton mountain guide, began creating Via Ferratas for a resort in the red rock canyons of southern Utah in 2009. “The park is building something that will deliver life-long memories. It’s a gateway for those who want to experience climbing.”

Still in the beginning stages, this guided-only activity will be open to a wide range of ages, and courses from easy to more challenging. The average tour can range from two to five hours.

“The Royal Gorge is an awesome place. When I first stepped up the rim it took my breath away, the beauty of those sheer rock faces, perfect for a Via Ferrata.” said Friedman.

Check www.royalgorgebridge.com or facebook.com/royalgorgebridge for updates and opening date.

Be a Rad and Respectful Colorado Traveler

 

Colorado is home to some of the most breathtaking sites, scenes and outdoor recreation the country has to offer. Millions of travelers come from near and far to experience the unrivaled beauty of our state. With so many visitors enjoying our natural landscapes and resources, we kindly ask that you show these places the love and respect they deserve by being a responsible visitor.

Less Waste

  • Bring along a reusable water bottle or tumbler to stay hydrated and contribute less waste while hiking, biking and adventuring
  • Stay on the path. Trails are in designated places to ensure natural wonders stay as natural as possible. Make sure to camp at least 200 feet away from lakes, rivers and streams.
  • Trash it. Make sure to properly dispose of trash and even food items, as well as pick up anything that may be there before you to maintain a great outdoor space.

Beat the Heat

  • Be mindful of any fire restrictions or high fire warnings, especially in windy and dry seasons.
  • If building a campfire, be sure it is small and manageable and make sure to put it out entirely.
  • If you do smoke outdoors, be sure to put your butts out entirely and take them with you. Many roadside fires spark due to still burning butts.

Keep Wildlife Wild

  • The state is home to an array of awesome plants and wildlife, please take care not to stray the path and destroy homes and plants.
  • Do not feed or approach wildlife, you are in their home and we want to keep the best ecosystem possible. No matter how cool it looks in your feed, please think of them first.
  • Pick up the dog poo and keep your furry friends leashed for their safety and yours.

Leave it as you find it for others to enjoy! There are a number of ways to help give back to our outdoor impressiveness, like these four opportunities courtesy of the Fremont Adventure Recreation.

Get Ready to Junior Ranger

Junior Ranger programs are a fantastic way to enjoy area attractions with a big ole’ side dose of learning. The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park’s Junior Ranger Program, thanks to Centura Health, is the perfect way to play inside the park. Even better? It’s included with your general admission ticket.

This real-time series of puzzles feature ways to find letters and numbers all while learning about the great history in the Royal Gorge region of Colorado. Two different programs mean the perfect trivia fit for ages up to seven and a bit more challenging option for ages eight and up.

Little legs will enthusiastically race around our grounds to the final payoff, a nice, shiny and totally official Junior Ranger Badge they can proudly display at their next show-and-tell, they even have the chance to be sworn into their duties onsite.

13 Fun Facts About the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

There are so many fun and interesting facts about the Royal Gorge Bridge. From how it began, to all of its impressive intricacies, here are a few tidbits to remember the next time you’re exploring this Colorado wonder.

  • Construction of the bridge began in June 1929

  • The bridge was built in only seven months time

  • The original cost was $350,000 and $100,000 over budget

  • A total 1,292 wooden planks make up the length of the bridge

  • Original builders average wage was $.50 an hour

  • The bridge towers stand 150 high

  • The bridge is 18 feet wide

  • The original toll was $.75 per person

  • The park has attracted upwards of 30 million visitors since opening

  • The bridge held the title of the “world’s highest” from 1929 until 2001

  • The total length is 1,260 feet

  • The original aerial tram opened in 1969

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the site during his campaign in 1936

 

Fremont County’s Deep History

Millions of years after dinosaurs roamed the land that is now known as Canon City and Fremont County, Lt. Zebulon Pike explored frigid Arkansas River region in the winter of 1806. John C. Fremont, famed pathfinder and once presidential candidate, arrived to the area in 1843 and returned for multiple expeditions finding the headwaters of the Arkansas River and finding the railroad route through the Royal Gorge, still available today.

One of 17 original Colorado counties, it was home to the first-drilled oil well west of the Mississippi. Today, travelers can experience many of the same staples that helped form the country and surrounding towns. From the natural beauty of the Royal Gorge, to the rushing white waters of the Arkansas River.

Popular hiking and biking trails include the Oil Well Flats, most well-known for the discovery of intricate dinosaur bones. One of the region’s newest trail systems, it is constantly being modified and updated. Shelf Road is also a choice spot for climbers and hikers. Agriculture is also very popular here with orchards, farms and fisheries.

Odes to Fremont can be found all over, whether wandering the stacks of books inside the John C. Fremont Library, or catching a glimpse of his 20-foot statue at the entrance of Pathfinder Park. Come discover the beauty and adventure  that can be found in Fremont County.  

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.