Named after the magnificent canyons of south-central Colorado, the Royal Gorge region is packed with activities for the whole family. Also, thanks to the region in the Arkansas River Valley, the cities of Canon City, Florence, and Penrose offer some of the state’s warmest climates and playgrounds throughout the year for outdoor fun and enjoyment.
Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting
The Arkansas River flows through the Royal Gorge, creating a wonderland for rafting enthusiasts, kayaks, and anglers in the spring and summer. The Arkansas River, with its challenging torrents, panoramic canyon views, and great opportunities to find creatures such as bighorn sheep and wapiti, is one of Colorado’s most beloved torrent rafting spots.You can also enjoy family friendly whitewater raftingfor the adventurers in your family. Experienced guides organize river tours of all ages and skill levels, whether you’re looking for a first-time family float through the Bighorn Sheep Canyon or an advanced boat trip through Royal Gorge.
Visit Royal George Bridge,
Home to America’s tallest suspension bridge, Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is a must-see in Canon City. Visitors can walk or drive across a huge bridge 956 feet above the Arkansas River. Other ways to experience the park include a zipline through the canyon, an aerial gondola, a children’s favorite mini-train, and a Royal Rush Sky Coaster that hangs visitors on the edge of the canyon after a 50 mph dive.
Other notable attractions in the Canon City area include the Colorado Prison Museum, the Royal Gorge Museum and History Center, the Florence Pioneer Museum, and the Fremont Arts Center.
Hiking and biking
From the kaleidoscopic desert scene to the steep vegetation-covered peaks, the area has many unique natural landscapes. Hikers can spy on the 14,114-foot Pikes Peak from the Tanner Trail in Temple Canyon Park. Alternatively, explore the rock tunnels created for horses and carts in the early 20th century on Tunnel Drive.
Meanwhile, Red Canyon Park, dotted with red sandstone rocks and spire, and Oilwell Flats, with stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from single-lane trails, are a popular mountain bike trail network for local mountain bikers.
Nicknamed the “Antique Capital of Colorado,” Florence has more than 12 antique shops where you can browse everything from postcards and vintage books to Western ornaments and collectibles. The former mining town also has a creative community, and the city’s intimate gallery displays and sells paintings, photographs, jewelry, and other works by local artists. Shopping Details in Canon City
A tour of Colorado’s history
The Royal Gorge region is full of gold diggers, agricultural pioneers, and even dinosaur legends. The Fremont County, Self-Guided Heritage Tour, offers a great opportunity to discover the history of Canon City, Florence, and other regions. Learn about the architecture of historic buildings like the Colorado Territorial Prison on a Cannon City Tour. Or explore dinosaur footprints and ancient fossils on a skyline drive tour.
For spectacular views and maximum speed, enjoy the afternoon zipline. The Royal Gorge Zipline combines 20 zip lines (up to 55 mph) with beautiful hikes in the area. To add an adrenaline rush, the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park Zip Rider allows visitors to fly through canyons over 1,200 feet above the Arkansaw River.