Tag: Royal Gorge Bridge

13 Fun Facts About the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

There are so many fun and interesting facts about the Royal Gorge Bridge. From how it began, to all of its impressive intricacies, here are a few tidbits to remember the next time you’re exploring this Colorado wonder.

  • Construction of the bridge began in June 1929

  • The bridge was built in only seven months time

  • The original cost was $350,000 and $100,000 over budget

  • A total 1,292 wooden planks make up the length of the bridge

  • Original builders average wage was $.50 an hour

  • The bridge towers stand 150 high

  • The bridge is 18 feet wide

  • The original toll was $.75 per person

  • The park has attracted upwards of 30 million visitors since opening

  • The bridge held the title of the “world’s highest” from 1929 until 2001

  • The total length is 1,260 feet

  • The original aerial tram opened in 1969

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the site during his campaign in 1936

 

New Trails in the New Year

Guest Post: Ashlee Sack of Fremont Adventure Recreation

Been there, seen that? Not in the Royal Gorge Region! Home to one of the most beautiful and iconic natural wonders in the state, Cañon City offers more than just beautiful weather and whitewater rafting. In 2018, you’ll find miles of new trails that are perfect for hiking, biking and strolling. Numerous trail systems, including the region’s newest – the Royal Gorge Park Trails – will keep you busy as you find inspiring overlooks, soaring vistas and scenic climbs.

Royal Gorge Park Trails 

The landscape of this 5,000-acre park has rocky outcroppings that stand out from the panoramic horizon of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the distance. Whether you’re looking for a 15-mile ride or a quick three-mile hike, the Royal Gorge Park will help you keep your resolution to explore more.

Looking for a shorter hike with big rewards? Start your ride or hike at the Canyon Rim Trailhead, located on CR3A. You’ll catch views of the Royal Gorge, including unmatched views of the famed Royal Gorge Bridge. You may even see the Arkansas River winding its way through the 1,000-foot canyon. For bikers, the short Rock Hardy spur (which bisects the loop) offers some great technical climbing over slick rock and boulders.

You can also start your journey at the East Ridge Campground and head out Cañon Vista > FAR Out > Summit trail, which takes you around the front side of Fremont Peak – named for famed American explorer, John C. Fremont. Adventurous individuals (with secure footwear and appropriate hiking ability of course) can scramble the last few hundred meters to the top of the peak for an incredible 360-degree view of the Arkansas River valley.

Mountain bikers will enjoy the flowing, scenic qualities of the newest trails in the system: Dark Side of the Moon and The Maze. Climb up The Maze and find yourself smiling all the way down Dark Side of the Moon (or the yet un-named trail just north of The Maze) for an added bonus. Berms, turns, and bumps will keep bikers of all abilities coming back for another round.

To visit the Royal Gorge Park Trails, take Hwy. 50 to Cañon City. Turn South on CR3A and head toward the Royal Gorge Park. Multiple trailheads allow you to choose your own adventure. Please see a trail map to find the best option for your group and/or abilities. Due to the area’s dry climate, snow doesn’t stick around for long. Please remember to check trail conditions before riding or hiking and do not use muddy trails. Find complete trail maps and more information on trails in the Royal Gorge Region or download the Royal Gorge Trails map.

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. Sip and swirl samples of these delicious, award-winning Colorado wines. The tasting room is open seven days a week year-round. A bottle, or two, make 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 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 onsite Bighorn Mountain Top Lodge to quaint Bed & Breakfasts. Other eateries in the region offer pizza to French fare.

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.

Cool Down in Canon City

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.

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.

Wynonna Judd Comes to Canon City August 5th, 2017

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.

 

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.

Be a Junior Ranger at the Royal Gorge Bridge

There’s so much for families and little ones to enjoy at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, including our new Junior Ranger program. Make sure to grab a children’s activity sheet, included in the purchase of a 4-11 year old ticket. The sheet helps navigate the entire Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. When complete, turn it in at the Express Lane inside the Visitor Center to receive an authentic Junior Ranger Badge that’s perfect for show and tell.

Who says learning can’t be fun?

5 Must Take Photos at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the scale and grandeur of the park, especially when you visit for the first time. There are so many wonderful attractions that it’s easy to overlook some of the smaller, more secluded areas. Some of these spots offer fabulous, sweeping and unobstructed views of the bridge. You’ll also capture the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the immense Royal Gorge. If you’re trying to snag some stellar photos of these amazing sights, here are five great spots to set up your camera and capture the landscape.
There are plenty of amazing photo opportunities in the park, but please remember to observe warning signs and don’t climb around or over protective barriers that signify “off-limits” areas. We always have guest safety top of mind.

1. By far one of the best places to take photos at the park is from Point Sublime. Located on the south side of the park next to the Skycoaster, this historic landmark has offered visitors a grand view of the area for decades. From this point, you can capture the bridge, the gorge, the Arkansas River and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. It is an awesome sight to see, and one that is great fun to catch any time of day. In the morning, the cliffs and bridge will be illuminated, and you have the best chance of being alone in the pavilion. However, as the sun sets over the mountains, photo opportunities are stunning as well.

2. Looking for an unobstructed view of the bridge? Walk down to the theater, past the picnic tables toward the perimeter fence. From here, you’ll get a fantastic view of the bridge, the gorge, and the entire Arkansas River Valley to the north. This particular spot is great in the morning or midday, as the sun is hitting the east-facing cliff faces and you can really capture the varied topography.

3. If it’s your first time on the bridge, you may be overwhelmed with the height and distance of the structure. Once you acclimate yourself to being 1,100 feet above the Arkansas River, don’t forget to look around! The bridge offers an array of opportunities to capture a unique or interesting perspective in photographs. Utilize the cables, the height, and even the spaces between the boards to create an interesting and abstract photograph.

4. Before you even enter the park, head toward the historic Denver and Rio Grande train engine and walk out onto the viewing platform. From here, you get a grand view of the gorge, the bridge, and the surrounding landscape. Then take a walk down the gravel path (watch your step) and wander around. You’ll find several great spots to snap a photo from various vantage points.

5. After you leave the Visitor Center and head toward the bridge, take a moment to find the old Incline overlook. The Incline may be gone (we’re working on a replacement attraction), but the overlook remains and permits a fabulous view of the mountains in the distance. This point provides some great foreground material, middle and distant points to create a dynamic shot. Try this point in the evening or on a cloudy day when the sun is setting over the mountains.