A world of beauty and adventure awaits you in Colorado's Royal Gorge region.
Cañon City offers you a warm mountain welcome! Come experience the beauty and variety of the Royal Gorge area in one of the friendliest cities in the west.
Cañon City is surrounded by an abundance of breathtaking scenery, natural wonders, thrilling activities and exciting attractions. The local landscape ranges from semi-arid plains to the east to the majestic peaks and mountain meadows of the Rocky Mountains to the north, south and west.
Make sure your visit includes a full menu of the area's activities and wonders. Take your pick from the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, home of the world's highest suspension bridge and the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, which offers breathtaking scenery.
Book a Royal Gorge fly-over with the Royal Gorge Helitours, explore the Arkansas River, or drive the spectacular Skyline Drive. Experience nature as you hike, camp, fish, raft, or rough it on an ATV tour; or visit the area's numerous museums, art galleries, and mountain parks. Complete your day by dining in one of our fine restaurants.
The Cañon City Chamber of Commerce offers extended office hours during the summer season to better accommodate visitors' needs. Stop by for area guides to attractions and services!
We have so much to offer the traveler, whether you're bringing multi-generations or looking for an all out mountain adventure. Be sure and check out our many places to stay while you're in the Royal Gorge Region.
It's All Right Here in Cañon City
Take a stroll down along the Arkansas River
Cañon City's riverwalk follows the Arkansas River for more than seven miles, winding through wetlands, groves of cottonwoods, and the John Griffin Regional Park, a nature area located in central Cañon City.
An early evening stroll along the riverwalk provides a great opportunity for bird watching and wildlife spotting. The crushed gravel path is open for biking, hiking, strolling, and even horseback riding. Dogs are welcome on leash.
The Arkansas River now boasts another Chamber-sponsored improvement: the Cañon City Whitewater Park, part of the Arkansas River Restoration Project. This park created a whitewater kayak and recreation park near downtown Cañon City.
Improvements will benefit boaters, fishermen, hikers, walkers, bikers, and runners.
Eat, shop, and absorb the atmosphere of Cañon City's historic downtown
Cañon City's downtown area is listed on the National Historical Register for its abundance of turn-of-the-century architecture. Submerge yourself in the ambiance of another era, even as you enjoy local dining, boutiques, music, and art galleries. Need a little more excitement for the younger members of your party? Cañon City's new skate park is open from sunrise to 10:00 pm; or check out the Cañon City Area Recreation and Park District's lengthy list of special events.
Enjoy the winery at Holy Cross Abbey
In May of 2001, a group of Benedictine Fathers dreamt of creating a fine winery on the grounds of the historic Holy Cross Abbey in Cañon City. Today, that dream is a reality. Visit the abbey's tasting room for a memorable wine experience. During spring and summer, you will enjoy an outdoor garden setting with mountain and vineyard views.
During winter, you will warm your hands by a glowing fire while sipping the abbey's rich, full-bodied Merlot. In addition, the tasting room offers Provence textiles, exquisite Italian crystal, the latest wine accessories, and books that relate to every aspect of wine, cooking, and travel. Knowledgeable staff will assist you with your wine questions and selections. Visit the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, and share the dream!
Experience magnificent - and occasionally hair raising - views from Skyline Drive, an approximately 3-mile stretch of paved road that follows the crest of an 800-foot high Dakota hogback. This narrow road is open year round, weather permitting. Stop along the way to view a series of preserved dinosaur footprints, called a dinosaur trackway, preserved in the Early Cretaceous Dakota Sandstone. Explanatory signs provide additional information for dinosaur enthusiasts.
Nearby Sights and Adventures
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
At the most visited theme and wildlife park in Colorado's Pikes Peak region, you can experience the rush of the historic Royal Gorge Bridge, a quarter-mile long span of planks and galvanized wire. This engineering marvel hangs 1,053 feet above the spectacular scenery of the Royal Gorge, providing a view you can get nowhere else.
The Park also boasts the world's steepest Incline Railway and the world's largest single-span Aerial Tram. Built in 1931, the railway glides down a crack in the gorge to the raging waters of the Arkansas River. It drops 1,500 feet at a 45-degree angle, providing guests with the view of a lifetime. The Aerial Tram, built in 1968, gives guests a spectacular view of the Bridge and the Gorge during its 2,200 foot route.
At the Royal Gorge theme park, attractions such as the Royal Rush Skycoaster thrill and terrify visitors. Called the "Scariest Skycoaster in the World," the Royal Rush releases harnessed riders from a 100 foot tower to swing over the Royal Gorge. Visitors can also find quieter entertainment at the 10-acre Wapiti Western Wildlife park. There, guests wander paths to view bighorn sheep, elk, and rare white buffalo. The ever-popular Petting Zoo featuring free burro rides for small children, and barnyard animals for kids of all ages.
Colorado history comes to life in the Mountain Man encampment, where re-enactors dressed traditional mountain clothing demonstrate the lifestyle of Colorado's first mountain men. Muleskinners and Mountain Men battle each other daily May through September.
Welcome aboard the Royal Gorge Route!
The Historic Royal Gorge Route Railroad travels 24 miles through the depths of the Royal Gorge. The oldest railroad in Colorado offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. On one side, the Gorge's granite cliffs rise 1,000 feet; on the other rushes the Arkansas River. After being closed to passengers for 32 years, the tracks reopened for passenger service in May of 1999. Now young and old can enjoy the unparalleled views of the Royal Gorge offered by this one-of-a-kind railroad.
No trip to Royal Gorge Country is complete without experiencing the world famous Arkansas River. This Colorado jewel offers everything from a mild and enjoyable family trip through Bighorn Sheep Canyon to the world-class whitewater excitement of the Royal Gorge. The area's professional rafting outfitters will provide a trip that suits your skill level and taste for adventure, whether you desire the adrenaline rush of a full paddle-boat experience or a peaceful oar-boat excursion.
Camp in Royal Gorge Country
Royal Gorge Country is an exceptional place to camp with gorgeous views and lovely weather. The area offers a wide range of private, city, state and national campgrounds, with facilities ranging from cabins to full hookup RV sites to tent campsites.
Fly Fish the Arkansas
The Arkansas River offers the best fly fishing in the southern Rocky Mountain region. Excellent public access, gorgeous weather, and the sheer numbers of fish make the stretch of Arkansas River from Howard to Texas Creek a favorite fly fishing location. There you can cast for wild Brown Trout in the company of big horn sheep, eagles, and other wildlife. Book a guided fishing trip with local anglers and outfitters, brush up on your fly fishing skills with a class, or head out on your own for some riverside solitude.
Birding In and Around Cañon City
This 131-mile circuit begins and ends near Cañon City and includes some of the most incredible scenery in Colorado. Explore old mining camps, fossils and the picturesque Royal Gorge.
Twelve miles north of Cañon City, the Shelf Road Recreation Area offers world class rock climbing. Five limestone canyons hold more than 700 climbing routes, designed and maintained by national and international climbing experts. Beautiful scenery, inexpensive campsites, and several miles of foot trails attract hikers, mountain bikers, ATV-ers, and horseback riders as well as 32,000+ climbers per year.
Whether you're looking for a leisurely stroll or a pulse-raising workout, you can find a trail to suit your needs. About seven miles out of town, the moderate Stultz Trail serves horseback riders and mountain bikers as well as hikers; or venture a few more miles to the more challenging Tanner Trail for more spectacular mountain views. The narrow Tunnel Drive is a hiking trail in the foothills west of Cañon City. These and other area trails attract hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders year-round.