The Royal Gorge Private Tour – Via Ferrata Style
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is home to the highest suspension bridge in the United States. It is a 360-acre park and a great way to start an adventurous vacation in Colorado. One of our exciting adventures inside the park is to climb the rock walls of the gorge, on our Via Ferrata!
Level of Difficulty
The Via Ferrata is a climbing system that guests can use to hike and climb the granite rock walls of the Royal Gorge. The Revelation Tour and the Royal Tour are two tours to consider for a controlled mountaineering experience. The Revelation tour is two and half to three hours long. Beginner climbers should start with this tour before going on to the longer Royal Tour.
The Royal Tour takes four to five hours to complete and is for climbers of different skill levels. The route is tailored to the climber’s skillset and from recommendations made by the tour guide. There is no difference between the two tours except the timeframe.
Hike the Granite Rock Walls
Via Ferrata means “iron path” in Italian, which is a concept that came about in World War I. The soldiers fixed iron rungs into the mountainsides and used them as a step ladder. This attraction allows guides to take guests on breathtaking traverses. The hiking portion of the tour is known as the Grand Traverse. It has an elevation change of approximately 260 feet. It is about 1/2 mile and passes along the rim of the Royal Gorge.
Conquer Your First Climb
“The Slabs” are practice routes bending skyward approximately 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River. It starts about 1/4 distance into the route of the Grand Traverse and is popular with beginner climbers. The Slabs give you a chance to accomplish your first climb where guides will test your resilience. This section of the Via Ferrata consists of three routes with varying degrees of verticality:
- Jungle Gym
- Cross Town Traffic
- Gneiss and Easy
The Hanging Bridge
Ever thought you’d cross a hanging bridge, just barely wider than your feet that moves as you cross? Good thing your harness is attached to the cables that are embedded into the granite rock walls! This bridge crossing is not mandatory to complete the route, but you don’t want to miss the view from the other side. Don’t forget you have to walk back across it to finish your tour.
The Royal Ridge
The Royal Ridge is the first trail after the hanging bridge and the most challenging of them all. It has the highest degree of verticality and is a favorite among experienced climbers. This trail ends at Point Sublime, where you can take in the amazing 360-degree views.
Granite Versus Iron
As you continue across the Grand Traverse, you will come to the beginning of Granite Grit and Iron Way. These routes are combined for the first part of your climb and then split into separate paths. The last 50 feet of sheer vertical rock is the most difficult portion of Granite Grit. If you want to end your climb more easily with lots of rungs, then you should consider going the Iron Way.
What’s Included With Tickets?
Via Ferrata tickets include admission to Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, a harness, helmet, approach shoes, and an experienced guide. You only need to bring a snack and some water.
Come join us this summer, for a climb you won’t forget!