The Royal Gorge Bridge is a must-see Colorado attraction. Until 2001, it was the highest bridge in the world! But personally, we think it’s worth a visit because of the stunning nature views all around.
The Royal Gorge, in Fremont County, is about 10 miles long. Its granite walls rise up to 1,000 feet (304 m) above the winding Arkansas River. The river started carving this gorge about 3 million years ago and continues to “dig out” another foot every 2,500 years. It’s called a gorge because, unlike a canyon, it’s much wider at the top than at the bottom.
The Royal Gorge Bridge was built across the Royal Gorge near Cañon City in 1929 as a tourist attraction. The bridge deck crosses the Arkansas River at 955 feet (291 m). Its span is 880 feet (270 m), and its total length is 1,260 feet (384 m).
To walk or drive (in the mornings and evenings only) across the bridge, you have to enter the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. The price of admission ($23 for adults as of this writing) includes access to the bridge, viewing of a documentary and riding the gondola! The 360-acres park offers other attractions, like zip-lining across the gorge, that cost extra.
In our video, you can see the Royal Gorge Railroad train snaking its way along the bottom of the gorge. We hope to take that train later this year. Of course, we will bring you back some photos and a video, if you’d like.
Before or after you explore the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, turn off the main road to the park and stop to enjoy majestic vistas at the Elkhorn Picnic area.
Walking across the bridge first and then taking the gondola back requires a bit of a hike to the gondola station on that side. If you want to avoid the trek up the hill, take the gondola across first from park entrance side, and then leisurely walk down to the bridge afterwards.
After leaving the Royal Gorge Bridge area, we highly recommend taking scenic Skyline Drive back to Cañon City.
All photos in this post were taken by Luci Westphal. By clicking on an individual image you can see a larger version – and even purchase a print if you’re so inclined.