Sightseeing, rafting, railroads, and so much more await at one of Colorado's most popular destinations.
Carved over millions of year, the Royal Gorge is truly a Colorado treasure. The 1,200-foot deep canyon was formed by the Arkansas River and has become a playground for visitors from all over the world. The bridge and park area offers so many things to do, which will thrill both casual tourists to thrillseekers, alike, and all within a few hours from most of the major metro areas in the state. Let's jump right into (not literally, of course) all there is to do at the Royal Gorge.
Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
People have been flocking to the area for decades, the bridge was first built in 1929, and it stretches 1,270 feet across the canyon, sitting 956 feet above the river below. If you are brave, you can walk across the bridge and see what it feels like to cross one of the highest suspension bridges in the world. Oh, and did we mention that it moves with the wind? Whether you walk or crawl (yes, that happens) across it, the views are spectacular.
If the bridge is just way too tame for you, the park has some soaring options that will let you experience the gorge in an eagle-eye way. The Royal Rush Skycoaster will send you on a 50mph free fall before hanging you over the canyon rim above the rafters below. The Cloudscraper Zip Line also sends you flying over the gorge, if you want to feel the wind whipping through your whole body. In case you'd like a little more stability in your ride across the canyon, you can enjoy a ride in the aerial gondola.
Courtesy of royalgorgebridge.com.
Royal Gorge Route Railroad
All aboard the best way to see the canyon bottom! The Royal Gorge Route Railroad offers a ton of options to keep you entertained. You can enjoy dining options, a glass-topped dome car for spectacular views, theme trains (like murder mystery), and other special event rides. Check out the website for more details and to book your trip through the gorge.
Raft the Arkansas or Zip Through the Park
Boasting both challenging rapids and some wonderful calm waters, you can enjoy the wildlife and scenery as you float down the river. There are tons of outfitters that offer rafting trips; they'll give you all the equipment and instruction you will need to enjoy a day on the water.
Courtesy of royalgorgeziplinetours.com.
There are also zip-line companies in the area with some great courses (I've personally tried Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours, and it was awesome). They won't take you over the Gorge as the Cloudscraper does, but the scenery and adrenaline more than make up for it. You can often get rafting/zipline package deals if you want to seek several thrills.
Other Things to Do
Are you a rockhound? Check out The Gold Mine Rock Shop. It's geology heaven in one good size location with a selection that is hard to beat. I stop by here every time I drive by the gorge, and it's basically a shut-up-and-take-my-money type of place.
The Royal Gorge Park has 5,000 acres of easy or longer hikes and bike trails to also enjoy. Bike Dark Side of the Moon or The Maze, or choose some of the many trailheads to begin your hiking adventure. If you want to enjoy a couple of days at the gorge and surrounding areas, there are several campgrounds you can check into for an extended adventure. The Royal Gorge Via Ferrata, coming in the summer of 2019, will also let you climb to new heights up the canyon walls.
If helicopters are your thing, you can take a tour of the gorge by air with Royal Gorge Helitours. You can enjoy the Royal Gorge, or book longer trips that go all the way to the Pikes Peak area. Rafting and zipline packages can also be added on to your trip.
Have you visited the Royal Gorge? Let us know your favorite things to do there in the comments.