Royal Gorge Bridge and Park


(Gondola at Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. Photo by Liana Moore.)

A fantastic day trip from Colorado Springs or even better weekend getaway from any Colorado destination, the Royal Gorge area is a must-see in Colorado. It is home to the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, as well as fantastic whitewater river rafting and the Royal Gorge Train.

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is the focal point of the area, even attracting international visitors. The Gorge itself is a natural wonder. And, the bridge is the result of of bravery, ingenuity, hard work, and engineering completed in 1929.

From this vantage point visitors can see the rail line and the rafts navigating the river rapids below. The park is home to the highest and most famous suspension bridge in America. Here you can take in Colorado’s iconic natural beauty while standing 956 feet above the wild Arkansas River.

The Gorge is actually so deep that if you were to place Chrysler building beneath the Royal Gorge Bridge, the only part of the Chrysler building that would rise above the bridge is the antennae spire.

(The deep Royal Gorge with the Arkansas River and railroad far below the bridge. Photo by Liana Moore.)

Royal Gorge Gondola

The park offers gondola rides across the gorge. This is a bit like riding a gondola at a ski resort but so much further off the ground. No need to go up the mountain here, just across the gorge. We recommend arriving early to beat the crowds and take the gondola over first. Explore the other side of the Gorge. And, then walk back over the bridge.

For the more adventurous, there are even more exciting ways to experience the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.

Cloudscraper Zip Line

There are rides on the Cloudscraper Zip Line 1,200 feet above the roaring Arkansas River for the more adventurous. This hands-free zip line flies you back across the Gorge running parallel to the gondola. But instead of a gondola you fly across with just a harness between you and the river below.

(Royal Gorge TommyKnocker Playground and Theater. Photo by Liana Moore.)

Royal Rush Skycoaster

Really feeling like an adrenaline rush? Then you might want to try out the Royal Rush Skycoaster. One to three riders are hoisted up to the top of a 100 foot tower. Then the ride operator sends riders off for a flight like no other. Sweep 50 mph through the Rocky Mountain air in a free fall.

Via Ferrata at Royal Gorge

Also, new this past summer was the opportunity to scale the gorge’s walls with Via Ferrata. At this exclusive experience guests can climb the granite rock walls of the Royal Gorge with a trained mountain guide for a safely managed mountaineering experience.

TommyKnocker Park

There’s a great park for the kids on the other side of the bridge, with lots of climbing features and slides. The views from the top aren’t too shabby either. The park includes a fun vintage carousel for the kids to ride. And, during non-Covid times there’s a spray park for water fun and cooling down on a hot day. Kids can even pan for gold at Ole Zeb’s Sluice Box.

A TommyKnocker beer stand fit available for the parents, or those just needing some liquid courage before or after swinging out over the gorge.

On leash dogs are welcome everywhere in the park except the splash pad.

Insider Tip: Due to Covid there are social distancing protocols in place that make the line for the gondola quite long. Either try to be the first into the park as soon as it opens, or skip the gondola on a busy day. Walking the bridge is the real experience.

If you make a trip to the Royal Gorge area make a weekend of it. Stay in the Royal Gorge Cabins, take a raft trip and visit the Dinosaur Experience.

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Insider Families is a Colorado-based family travel publisher. We love the great outdoors. We feel grateful to live in the mountains of Colorado and see first hand how climate change is impacting our winters. It is important to us that we share with our readers and followers how they can help preserve what makes a place special. We make a point to learn about the local history and environment of the places we visit. When we visit the Golden Isles of Georgia you will find us making a stop at the Sea Turtle Sanctuary and learning about this endangered species. We return home with books on the subject and a desire to share that knowledge. We love nature and like to spend as much time in it as possible whether hiking a mountain, riding the BMX track, soaring down an alpine coaster or trying a new sport at the beach or lake.

Vail, CO

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