Underneath the sun of Colorado’s summer days and clear nights, performers, dancers and artists made their way to the scenic Royal Gorge region to show off their talents at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. From dance troupes to Nature’s Educators, days were packed with family fun and entertainment. As the early evening hours rolled in, the Elk Park Amphitheater lawn and seats began to fill with excited fans.
Country music’s finest didn’t miss a beat in July from singer, songwriter and actress, Pam Tillis followed by John Michael Montgomery. Early August brought more country chart toppers when Wynonna Judd and Diamond Rio delighted fans from all over with their famous lyrics and sounds. Ms. Judd made it a point to catch some thrills on the SkyCoaster.
Before Atlas Genius and Dirty Heads filled the final Park After Dark series night with hits, they had to ride the country’s highest zip line. It seems heights make even rock stars nervous. After playing their final sets, the guys decided they had to pull the cord on the Royal Rush SkyCoaster, in the dark.
Met with rave reviews from guests, the final Park After Dark series closed out with a bang thanks to amazing sponsors St. Thomas More Hospital, St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center, Penrose- St. Francis Hospital and Bristol Brewing Company.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This February, do something a little extra for the special someone in your life. Whether whisking them away for a couples weekend, or treating them to decadent dishes and desserts, here are some great ways to show you put a little thought into it.
15th Annual Chocolate Walk
February 11 | 11am-3:30pm
Take a sweet stroll along the streets of downtown Canon City during the 15th annual Chocolate Walk. Shop the boutiques while savoring delicious cocoa-created treats. Find more details here.
Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
February 10 – 12
Dawson Ranch Stables is now taking reservations for sweetheart dinner carriage rides. Package includes 1/2 ride with pickup and drop-off at a Canon City restaurant, wine and chocolate. Call 719.244.6034 for details and to book.
Moonlit Honey-Themed Dinner
February 10 | Seatings at 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8pm
Delight in creative honey-infused dishes dreamed up by the Royal Gorge Bridge’s Chef Beau. The full experience includes pairings with the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. Find pricing and full details here.
Cañon City is a great choice for a romantic weekend escape. Close to Cripple Creek, Penrose, Florence, Victor and Colorado Springs, there are a lot of things to do with that special someone while in Fremont County. Enjoy the scenic drive along Highway 50 and the stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains against those famous Colorado blue skies.
Make a stop at the historic Abbey. Visitors are welcome to take a self-guided tour of the monastery year-round or enjoy a guided tour June through September. Also on the grounds of the monastery is the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, which was just awarded the 2015 Gold Medal Champion by the Tasters Guild. Sip and swirl samples of these delicious, award-winning Colorado wines. The tasting room is open seven days a week and a bottle is the perfect memento to remember the trip.
Stroll through downtown Cañon City, listed on the Registrar of National Historical Places. It’s also one of the largest intact historical districts in the state. Nearby, Florence’s downtown is known as the Antiquing Capital of Southern Colorado.
Nosh on some delicious lunch or dinner at Cafe 1230, located inside the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park’s new Visitor Center. Gaze out the glass windows at the stunning Royal Gorge next to a cozy fireplace. Afterwards walk hand-in-hand across the highest suspension bridge in North America. It’s the perfect place to steal a kiss and get a photo opp.
Lodging options range anywhere from quaint Bed & Breakfasts and campgrounds to the Hampton Inn & Suites. Other eateries offer pizza to French fare.
2017 Park After Dark Concert Series presents Wynonna & the Big Noise August 5th at the world famous Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.
Five-time Grammy winner and New York Times best-selling author, Wynonna has always revolved her career around telling stories. Whether performing alongside her mother as one half of the legendary duo The Judds, or pushing the boundaries on her own mega-successful solo path, Wynonna’s ability to reach the heart of the human spirit through her bold and unflinching honesty, is the entertainer’s true gift. Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and her undeniable talent, Wynonna’s rich and commanding voice has sold over 30 million albums worldwide spanning her epic career. Charting countless singles including 20 #1 hits and over 60 industry awards, the iconic performer was once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline.”
Wynonna and her band The Big Noise, led by her husband/drummer/producer, Cactus Moser, released their debut full-length album in February 2016 via Curb Records to critical acclaim.Wynonna has described the new sound as “vintage yet modern” and a “return to the well.” It’s a rootsy work encompassing country, Americana, blues, soul and rock. The album features special guests Derek Trucks, Jason Isbell, Susan Tedeschi and Timothy B Schmit.
For show time and ticketing details click here.
Head to the Historic Church Conservancy to enjoy live music and performances by members of the Fremont Civic Theatre. In conjunction with a Loaves and Fishes food drive, they ask that guests also bring a non-perishable food item in addition to a purchased ticket.
Join the Florence Arts Council for a festive evening full of holiday fun as they present their annual holiday show. Make sure to stop by their Member Art Show through January 4, 2019, to pick up something special.
Only in Colorado, will you find a Santa-saurus Rex. Head to this prehistoric hotspot through the end of the year to enjoy the museum decked out in holiday cheer.
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.
The Florence Chamber of Commerce hosts their second annual New Year’s celebration complete with dinner, dancing, costumes and more. Price includes food, dancing and a champagne toast at Midnight.
This race will ring in the New Year with FAR at the Pueblo Community College Fremont Campus towards Tunnel Drive. Participants can choose from a 5k or 10k course with snacks and prizes at the finish line.
Of course, you can visit the seasonally decorated Royal Gorge Bridge & Park during the entire holiday season, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (weather dependent).
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.
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.
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 – 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.