Majestic Landmark of History Found at the Royal Gorge

History of the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

Nestled in the heart of Colorado, the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park stands as a testament to both human ingenuity and the breathtaking beauty of nature. Spanning the rugged Royal Gorge, this iconic suspension bridge, which is the Highest Suspension Bridge in America, has a rich history that dates back to its construction in the early 20th century.

historical sites in colorado

The Royal Gorge Bridge has a long history as an iconic destination in Southern Colorado. Experience new heights, panoramic views, and thrilling adventures at America’s Highest Suspension Bridge.

History of Building the Royal Gorge Bridge

The story of the Royal Gorge Bridge begins in 1929 when construction began on what would become the world’s highest suspension bridge. At a staggering height of 956 feet above the roaring Arkansas River, the bridge was an engineering marvel of its time. It was designed to connect the two sides of the Royal Gorge, however it has never been part of a road or highway system.

The project to build a bridge with the sole purpose of admiring the natural landscape was led by Chief Engineer George Cole. The Royal Gorge Bridge is designed to hold more than 2 million pounds with 1,257 wood planks and 4,100 steel cables.

Completed in just seven months by a team of about 80 men, the Royal Gorge Bridge fulfilled the purpose of providing a bird’s eye view of the landscape, drawing visitors from far and wide to witness its natural splendor.

Over the years, the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park underwent several enhancements to improve the visitor experience. The aerial gondola was first installed in the 1950s, allowing guests another thrilling way to traverse the gorge and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Today, guests will find a fully revamped Aerial Gondola complete with floor-to-ceiling windows and sitting benches inside the cars. 

The park expanded its offerings with thrilling rides like the Royal Rush Skycoaster, the Cloudscraper Zip Line, and the historical Plaza Theater, providing a wide range of activities for all ages throughout every season.

Visitors, to this day, are treated to awe-inspiring views of the steep canyon walls and the rushing Arkansas River below. The bridge also offers a panoramic view to admire the surrounding Rocky Mountains, creating a truly unforgettable experience. In 2019, the Royal Gorge Bridge was trademarked “America’s Bridge.”

A must-see destination in Colorado is found at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park where guests can see a piece of history that will forever remain unique. The Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in America as it spans 1,260 feet across the Royal Gorge 956 feet over the Arkansas River. Read in this month’s blog about the history of the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.

History of the Royal Gorge Fire

The history of the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park hasn’t been without its challenges. In 2013, a devastating wildfire swept through the area, causing significant damage to the park and destroying dozens of structures. The fire forced the park to close temporarily, leaving many visitors and locals heartbroken.

Determined to restore the park to its former glory, the community rallied together, and the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park rose from the ashes. With an incredible display of resilience and hard work, the park reopened in 2015, welcoming visitors once again to experience the majesty of the Royal Gorge.

The Bridge as a Historical Landmark

The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park continues to captivate visitors with its unparalleled beauty and thrilling attractions. As you step onto the bridge, the feeling of walking above the world is truly awe-inspiring. The wind whispers through the canyon, and the stunning panoramic views leave visitors breathless. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a nature lover, there is something for everyone at this magnificent historical site in Colorado.

Beyond the Royal Gorge Bridge, the park offers a myriad of activities and Colorado experiences for families. The Royal Gorge Via Ferrata, a series of iron rungs and cables, allows visitors to explore the gorge walls in a safe yet exhilarating manner. The aerial gondolas provide a bird’s-eye view of the bridge and the surrounding landscape, offering a unique perspective on this natural wonder.

Sustainability at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is not only a testament to human achievement but also a tribute to the power and beauty of nature. The park’s commitment to preserving the surrounding environment is evident in its sustainable practices and dedication to conservation of Colorado’s precious resources. From educational programs to wildlife habitats, the park strives to promote environmental awareness and appreciation.  We recently introduced the Royal Gorge mobile app to reduce the use of paper materials previously used for park maps.Guests can now access information on the location of all park attractions and create an in-park plan with tailored suggestions on what to enjoy during their visit. Our paperless park map is now accessible in the App Store and on Google Play. Click here to see it now.

At the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, we take pride in our commitment to the environment, and our water treatment plant is a key part of our eco-friendly operations. Using a Conventional Direct Filtration System, we draw water from the Arkansas River, situated 1,500 feet below. With careful monitoring, we ensure that the same volume of water taken from the river is returned clean and safe, preserving the river’s natural ecosystem.

As you leave the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, the memories and experiences will stay with you forever. This remarkable landmark continues to inspire awe and wonder, reminding us of the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable beauty that exists in our world. Whether you visit for the thrill of adventure or to simply soak in the natural splendor, the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is a destination that will leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul.