Category: Royal Gorge Region

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

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“Twas the Night Before Christmas” Performances – December 7-9, 14-16, 2018

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.

Christmas Show at the Bell Tower – December 10, 2018

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.

Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience – December

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.

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.

New Year’s Eve Masquerade – December 31, 2018

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.

Fremont Adventure Recreation Resolution Run – January 1, 2019

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).

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