Category: Uncategorized

One of the Coolest Attractions Near Colorado Springs — Via Ferrata at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park

Coolest Attractions Near Colorado Springs

Looking for something new to add or cross off your Colorado summer bucket list without having to make a trek for it?

We, at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, have just the bragging rights experience for you. 

Our newest attraction is definitely one of the coolest near Colorado Springs — the Via Ferrata. 

Why? We’re glad you asked. 

Here are three reasons the Via Ferrata is one of the most intense and coolest attractions near Colorado Springs.

1. There Are Limited Via Ferrata Opportunities in the United States

Via Ferrata adventures have been around since World War 1. 

In fact, the Via Ferrata technique was created to scale the Dolomite Mountains in Italy and help soldiers scale the treacherous mountainous terrain safely and efficiently with the use of iron rods drilled into the side of the mountains, cables, and hooks to keep the soldiers connected at all times and from falling off the side of the mountain.  

The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park’s Via Ferrata attraction in Colorado use the same technique but in a different setting as you’re trekking up the granite and gneiss walls of the Royal Gorge versus the Dolomites in Italy.

There are many more Via Ferrata attractions throughout Europe and other countries; however, in the United States, Via Ferrata attractions are few and far between due to government-imposed bans from the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Thankfully, the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park do not fall under the Act so we’re able to take guests on an adventure of a lifetime.

2. Scale the Rock Walls That Support America’s Highest Suspension Bridge

 Coolest Attractions Near Colorado Springs

On the Royal Gorge  Via Ferrata attraction in Colorado at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, you will scale the sides of the Royal Gorge — the same granite and gneiss rock formations that form the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. 

The Royal Gorge’s rock formations were formed over 3 million years ago. On the Via Ferrata attraction, not only will you get up close and personal with this geological wonder, you’ll get a completely different perspective of America’s highest suspension bridge.

3. There’s an Experience Level For Everyone

You don’t have to be an experienced rock climber to participate on the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park’s Via Ferrata attraction near Colorado Springs. Each group will be given an experienced guide who will assist you along the way.  In fact, you don’t have to have any experience at all!

We have a series of tours that accommodate your hiking and climbing comfort level from beginner to expert routes.  Helmets, shoes (in most sizes), harnesses and backpacks are provided free of charge 

If you’d like to do a shorter route, the Revelation Tour would be perfect for you. If you’re looking for a full-day adventure, the Royal Tour is a comprehensive guided climbing tour that gives you the ultimate unique Via Ferrata experience. If you’d like more of a one-on-one tour, we offer private tours where we will create customized itineraries for you and your group.

Book Your Via Ferrata Experience at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park Today

The Via Ferrata attraction is truly at the forefront of introducing Via Ferrata experiences within the United States, and at the Highest Suspension Bridge in America, this is truly one of the coolest and most accessible attractions near Colorado Springs. 

Learn more about our Via Ferrata attraction on our website. 

Book your tickets in advance for your preferred dates.

 

** We would like to mention, during the writing of this blog we have altered our park operations to comply with COVID precautions and Fremont County Health regulations. We sanitize our equipment regularly and are practicing social distancing even during the Via Ferrata tours. 

If you would like more information on what we’re doing to combine these COVID precautions with our Via Ferrata please contact us. **

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.

Park After Dark: Recap

Royal Gorge Bridge Park After Dark Concert

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.