Top Hiking Trails in the Royal Gorge Region for Summer Adventures
Spend Summer Outdoors
As we switch gears into the summer season of Colorado, the weather is perfect for outdoor adventures. The mountain air turns warmer, the days are longer, and flowers are blooming. Hiking near the Royal Gorge gives explorers scenery of the famous gorge with the winding Arkansas River deep below, mountain terrain filled with pinyon and juniper brush, and wildlife roaming the hills. Find the best mountain scenery and fresh air with these top hiking trails in the Royal Gorge Region to make it a summer spent outdoors.
Many trails intertwine throughout the Royal Gorge Region, leading to incredible views of the Royal Gorge, mountains on the horizon, and native wildlife. Hikers and mountain bikers can find long loop trails, like the Canyon Rim Trail that circles the rim of the Royal Gorge, or short out-and-back trails to overlooks of our region’s beautiful landscape.
Royal Gorge Park Trails
Whether you’re seeking a backcountry feel for hiking or taking the family on a simple mountain walk, the Royal Gorge Park Trails intertwine through this 5,000-acre park. Unique features within this popular trail system are rock outcroppings showing millions of years of geological formation, and spectacular Colorado views.
For the most scenic hiking experience in the Royal Gorge, pack up and hit the Canyon Rim Trail. This trail is the first-ever to be built around the rim of the Royal Gorge. The Canyon Rim Trail is rated as easy to intermediate and is a 6.1-mile, out-and-back hike with 567 feet of elevation gain. Hikers on the Canyon Rim Trail will catch breathtaking views of the Royal Gorge, as well as spot the highest suspension bridge – the Royal Gorge Bridge – spanning across each rim of the gorge. The trail is flowy and smooth across the land, leading to spectacular views of the Royal Gorge Region. Because this trail has very little elevation gain, the whole family can enjoy this mountain hike.
Experience the Canyon Rim Trail this summer to catch colorful wildflowers painting the landscape. The Le View and the Far Out trails are accessed from the Canyon Rim Trail to catch more beautiful views. Dogs are also able to enjoy this nature trail but must be kept on a leash and owners must pick up excrement. Be prepared for exposure to the sun with hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and plenty of drinking water when hiking in the Royal Gorge Region. After all, it wouldn’t be a Colorado adventure without our summer sun! Keep your eyes open for a chance to spot local wildlife such as deer, big horn sheep, lizards, squirrels, and more!
The Royal Gorge Park Trails System was completed in 2018 and traverses the gorge’s rim and surrounding rolling hills. The trails let you explore one of the most iconic natural wonders of the world found right here in Colorado, the Royal Gorge. Hiking and mountain biking are the most popular uses of the trails, giving visitors a wide range of opportunities to explore Colorado. Find 17 miles of singletrack to hike and bike against a backdrop of the stunning Sangre de Cristo mountains. The Canyon Rim Trail is the ultimate hiking experience at the Royal Gorge with this first-ever trail to be completed around the gorge’s rim.
Keep Adventuring on More Hiking Trails in the Royal Gorge
Other popular hiking trails near the Royal Gorge in Colorado are the Point Alta Vista Trail, The Overlook Loop/Elk Horn Picnic Area, and Made in the Shade. The Point Alta Vista Trail is a 1-mile, out-and-back trail for those seeking a wide, easy trail. Be sure to stay on the trail as the surrounding land is designated private property.
The Overlook Loop/Elk Horn Picnic Area has short and sweet offshoots of trails to catch stunning views of the Royal Gorge and the Royal Gorge Bridge. It is also one of the most popular picnic spots near the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park to enjoy your packed lunch. If you are seeking to get out of the sun on your day hike in the Royal Gorge, follow Made in the Shade. This trail is a 3.1-mile loop with plenty of vegetation to cool off in the shade. You will find incredible scenic views or rock outcroppings, mountains, and the Royal Gorge.
For the more experienced hikers, check out the Canyon Vista trail within the Royal Gorge Trail System. From Canyon Vista Trail, continue on the Far Out Trail, then take Summit Trail to bag the front side of Fremont Peak. This hike is rated as intermediate due to some steep and rocky areas. Also, keep an eye out for cacti. The views from Fremont Peak show the rugged landscape of the Royal Gorge Region. Fremont Peak is named for the famed American explorer, John C. Fremont. The 360-degree views from the summit reveal an amazing panorama of the Arkansas River Valley.
Help keep the Royal Gorge Region beautiful by bringing waste bags to pack out all trash and pet waste. Remember to always stay on the trail to protect the natural environment, as well as to keep a safe distance from steep cliffs. If you encounter wildlife, observe the animals from a distance and never touch or feed them.
After a day of hiking, head into the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park for snacks and beverages at our Café 1230. You can lounge on the outdoor patio and enjoy beautiful views of the Royal Gorge Bridge and watch riders on the zip line and aerial gondola. The ultimate visit to the Royal Gorge includes crossing the famous bridge, conquering the gorge on our Via Ferrata course, and so much more! Visit our website to purchase tickets today.