Unless you’re an expert on Colorado’s hidden gems, Royal Gorge may not be on your radar. But once you discover the sights and experiences of this area, you won’t want to leave.
Only about an hour from Colorado Springs and 2.5 hours from Denver, it’s a fantastic escape from the city. Pack the action into a day trip or spread it out for an outdoor lover’s weekend getaway; no matter how you plan your Royal Gorge trip, you’ll leave with memories of sweeping views, thrilling rapids, and the wind in your hair as you soar over the gorge.
Intricately carved out by the stunning Arkansas River, the Royal Gorge is one of Colorado’s most majestic natural phenomena. This dramatic canyon has 1,250 ft-tall walls with rocky outcroppings, creating a breathtaking scene winding through the terrain.
Royal Gorge is 10 miles of unforgettable fun at every level, from being suspended above the canyon to zipping through the terrain to rafting at the base. With so many options for excitement, we had to rank our favorite ways to experience Royal Gorge.
Ready to gear up for some classic Colorado adventure? Here are our top five best things to do in Royal Gorge that are great for anyone!
5 Best Things To Do in Royal Gorge
- Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting
- Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
- Royal Gorge Route Railroad
- Ziplining Adventures
- Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience
Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting
Raft the Arkansas River with towering canyon walls around you! The Arkansas River is the most commercially-rafted river in the United States, so you are destined for a great time the moment you hop in a raft.
The Arkansas River has different levels of thrill on every leg, so everyone can enjoy the fun. The Royal Gorge rafting trip on the Arkansas River has a concentrated, high-octane rafting adventure with class II-IV+ rapids that will get your heart pumping and pulse racing. If you are looking for the best whitewater in Colorado and every adventure lover in your group is a strong swimmer over 14 years old, this section of rafting will give you all the thrill you need and then some!
If you’re looking for a rafting adventure suited for beginners, our Bighorn Sheep Canyon rafting trip has splashy class II-III rapids that offer a great intro to the world of whitewater rafting. If you have younger children or just want to enjoy the stunning river views, our family float on Cottonwood Canyon will grant you fantastic canyon views.
Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
There’s no more exhilarating feeling than walking across a bridge almost a thousand feet above ground. Hold onto your hats – the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park has been wow-ing visitors for almost 100 years.
With 1,257 wooden slats suspended 956 feet in the air – “America’s highest bridge” is for everyone searching for an accessible thrill. Navigate a bridge suspended far above Royal Gorge with some of the most breathtaking views in the country.
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park offers several ways to enjoy the gorge views. While the bridge is the most iconic activity, the park has several adventures to try. One of our favorites is the Via Ferrata climbing course, which securely hooks you up to the climbing route so you can confidently conquer several ladder climbs, traverses, and a chance to access a front-seat look at the gorge.
Royal Gorge Route Railroad
All aboard the Royal Gorge Route! If you want a creative break from the highly active adventure around Royal Gorge, this train ride is the perfect way to sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning views without lifting a finger.
The Royal Gorge Train hosts different types of fun experiences, from family-friendly holiday hot chocolate rides to fine dining in a first-class environment. The train cars have choices of open-air seating, giant curved windows to see all the scenery around and above you, and old-fashioned cars that take you right back to the charming 1900s.
We also have a raft and rail combo package for anyone who wants to play in the river and then enjoy a ride alongside the current. This train spans the board on accommodations, prices, and additions, so you can choose the train adventure you want!
Soar over the Royal Gorge without a care in the world on a zipline that is suspended over a thousand feet above the ground!
The Broadmoor Soaring Adventure is a #1 must-try activity for anyone over 90 lbs. There are multiple different ziplines and suspended bridges to enjoy on this zip line course so you get to relive the thrill several times over.
Captain Zipline will fly you over Lost Canyon, with incredible views of the Arkansas River. There are six ziplines that each soar over fantastic scenery of rivers, canyons, and mountains. This is an excellent option for younger children, as children as young as six years old can zip this course!
For everyone who wants to enjoy a full day of Royal Gorge fun, the Zip and Dip Rafting and Ziplining Package will get you on the river and in the air for fun from sunup to sundown.
Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience
Have a little archeologist running around the house? You will make their dreams come true with the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience. These dinosaur-sized displays and science-forward interactive activities will interest and engage dinosaur lovers of all ages.
You’ll get to explore full-scale fossil casts and hands-on experiments in and around the museum. Take your kids to dig up some “fossils”, explore some exhibits and learn something new about the creatures that inhabited this area millions of years ago.
The air is fresh, the river is pumping, and the adventure is waiting – now is the time to escape and find some thrilling outdoor adventure in Royal Gorge! From family trips to exciting couples getaways to Colorado whitewater rafting, Royal Gorge has some tricks up its sleeve to ensure an unforgettable experience. To enhance your adventure, consider exploring Royal Gorge camping options, immersing yourself in nature’s beauty. If you need any help getting on the river, reach out to our team! We’ll save you a seat on a raft.