Family Fun

The Royal Gorge region is your family’s gateway to the perfect adventure – regardless of what activity you pursue!

Course the rapids of the wild Arkansas river, ride the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and dare to look over the side of the Gorge from topside, too. Discover the treasure trove of fossils left by ancient residents. Bike, 4-wheel, picnic and most of all… enjoy!

Explore the Trails

Hiking in the Royal Gorge area can be as easy or as difficult as you like. The Arkansas Riverwalk provides more than seven miles of great strolling along the river, adjacent to bluffs, up and down hills and under forest canopies. You’ll wind through wetlands and groves of cottonwoods, breathtaking all year but even more so in the autumn, especially in the John Griffin Regional Park nature area, the “island” of the Riverwalk that separates the River Trail and the Bluff Trail. The path’s surface is crushed gravel, making it ideal not only for walking but also for jogging/running, biking and even horseback riding. Your leashed dogs are always welcome, and there are stations at either end of the path with complimentary bags for dog waste as well as disposal bins. One of the newer attractions to the Riverwalk is the Cañon City Whitewater Kayak and Recreation Park, home of the Whitewater Festival and a terrific area for all outdoor enthusiasts. As you continue your walk westward, you’ll link to the recently completed trailhead to Tunnel Drive and another two miles of trails. Consult our map for directions to more trails for hiking, running and biking.

Royal Gorge Region Wildlife

Whatever outdoor activity you’re enjoying while you’re visiting the Royal Gorge Region, you’re more than likely to see wildlife. This area is home to herds of deer, elk, bighorn sheep, eagles, bears, mountain lions and more. Walking the paths of the Arkansas Riverwalk gives you the chance to observe water fowl and other wildlife – and wading in or floating on the river opens up the unforgettable world of Gold Medal fly fishing.

View From Up Top

Everyone gets a thrill of looking over the edge of the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the United States and one of the highest in the world. This monumental 20th century project was started June 5, 1929 – and it was completed in November of that year. That it withstood the 2013 Royal Gorge Fire further entrenches it in our history. The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is “Still Standing Tall” – visit for updated information on which rides and attractions have reopened. The Skycoaster, one of the world’s wildest rides, is definitely open!

A Ride Back in Time

Right from its start in the 1870s, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad has been an adventure! Two railroad companies, the Denver & Rio Grande and the Santa Fe, battled for the route – “battle” being a literal term here – but the narrow Gorge could accommodate only one line. The legal fight was called the “Royal Gorge War,” and ultimately the Denver & Rio Grande triumphed. Today’s ride is enjoyed in 1950s-era air-conditioned rail cars, which transport more than 100,000 passengers a year along the 24-mile round trip through the awe-inspiring Royal Gorge and over the famous Hanging Bridge. Keep watch for bighorn sheep, bald eagles, blue herons and more.


Family Fun 4 Day Itinerary

Day 1  
8:00 AM Breakfast, Horseback Riding
12:00 PM Lunch, Garden Park Fossil Area
5:00 PM Dinner in Cañon City
Day 2  
8:00 AM Breakfast, Drive over Skyline Drive & View Dinosaur Tracks
12:00 PM Lunch, Pump Track (adjacent to Santa Fe Depot)
5:00 PM Dinner in Cañon City
Day 3  
8:00 AM Breakfast, Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
12:00 PM Lunch, Royal Gorge Route Railroad
5:00 PM Dinner in Cañon City
Day 4  
8:00 AM Breakfast, Ziplining
12:00 PM Lunch, Prison Museum
5:00 PM Dinner in Florence

photos courtesy > Royal Gorge Route Railroad

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