Category: Royal Gorge Region

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.

Treat Your Valentine

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.

Escape to Canon City for a Romantic Weekend

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.

Holiday Happenings Around the Royal Gorge Region

Christmas Parade of Lights

Get in the holiday spirit at the 31st annual Christmas Parade downtown. This year’s “Christmas in the Movies” theme is sure to delight. Grab a thermos of hot cider and join the free, family fun.

When: Saturday, December 7, 2019

Where: Main Street

Cost: Free

Pictures with Santa 

Enjoy a festive photo with Mr. Claus himself Saturdays at the Canon City Chamber of Commerce, just in time for this year’s holiday card. 

When: December, 7, 14, 21

Where: Main Canon City Chamber of Commerce

Cost: Free

Annual Christmas Boutique 

The 6th annual shopping extravaganza features a variety of hand-made goods and local vendors. Find one-of-a-kind gifts for that special someone in your life. 

When: Saturday, December 14, 2019

Where: Canon City Recreation and Park District 

Cost: Free

FAR Resolution Run

Spend the first day of 2020 with Fremont Adventure Recreation  and friends along the beautiful Riverwalk and Tunnel Drive. The flat, wide-open course is suitable for all ages and abilities. Register by December 15th to add a long-sleeve tee to your entry! 

When: Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

Where: Pueblo Community College, Fremont Campus

Cost: $25 per adult / $10 Youth age 1

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).

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.

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

Adventure in the Arkansas Region

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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