Royal Gorge Bridge

Denver to Royal Gorge Road Trip

Nothing says summer like a good ol’ fashioned road trip! Colorado’s Denver to Royal Gorge weekend road trip is the perfect option. This Denver road trip is full of breathtaking views as you wind your way to the Royal Gorge, a 10-mile-long canyon with 1,000-foot tall, red-granite walls.

Whether you’re a local seeking a weekend getaway or seeing the area for the first time, this road trip offers views, adventures, and unforgettable experiences around every corner.

Here’s how to plan your Denver to Royal Gorge road trip!


How to Get from Denver to Royal Gorge

The drive from Denver to Royal Gorge is an easy weekend getaway or even a day trip if you’re ready for a packed trip! The drive is just over two hours on a normal day, so leaving early will still get you a full day in Royal Gorge.

Best Route

The easiest, shortest and most straightforward route is taking I-25 and CO 115 S. There are hardly any exits or turns to worry about, so you can jam out and take in the views. You can also take I-25 all the way there, which will take a bit longer but allows you to pass by Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and several beautiful peaks along the way.

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument on the way from Denver to Royal Gorge Road Trip

Where to Stop

There are multiple unique stops to consider when taking the most popular route from Denver to Royal Gorge. For example, Herkimer, the World’s Largest Beetle! This museum is dedicated to the natural history of the area, including a giant construction of this bizarre beetle. You can even make a little pit stop at Dakota Hot Springs, right after Penrose, for a quick soak.


Denver to Royal Gorge Road Trip FAQs

Why Drive from Denver to Royal Gorge?

It’s an easy, short-day trip or weekend getaway that doesn’t require several hours of travel time but still takes you somewhere that feels completely different from Denver. The deep river gorge, expansive valley and sheer red rock cliffs make for a dramatic change in scenery from the sprawling city. Not to even mention all of the outdoor activities to try, from ziplining to hiking to rafting to camping!

How Much Time Should Visitors Spend at the Royal Gorge?

Plan at least an overnight trip to see Royal Gorge at every stage of its beauty, from a crisp and serene morning to a golden hour sunset and everything in between. By staying overnight, you have an opportunity to wake up with the sun right in the beauty of the area and hop on the river right away.

Best Time of Year to Go to Royal Gorge

The best time to visit Royal Gorge is in late spring (April to June) and early fall (September to October) for mild weather, beautiful scenery, and fewer crowds. Summer offers the most activities and great weather but comes with larger crowds. Winter provides the least crowds but can be cold, with some attractions closed or limited.


Denver to Royal Gorge 2-Day Itinerary

What to Do

Visit one of the world’s highest suspension bridges at Royal Gorge Bridge and Park! Enjoy activities like ziplining, gondola rides, the Skycoaster, a scenic version of the Via Ferrata and much more.

Experience the thrill of Royal Gorge whitewater rafting or a calmer Arkansas River rafting. We offer multiple trips that span from easy floats, perfect for small children, to wild whitewater for adventurous souls 14+.

Denver to royal gorge white water rafting

The Royal Gorge Route Railroad has outdoor and indoor seats for taking in the towering rock faces on either side of the canyon. The comfortable train is great for nature lovers, families, and couples who want endless views without lifting a finger or taking a step.

Where to Stay

Lodging and camping (with a fantastic view) are abundant in the area. From luxury resorts with every amenity to rustic camping with front-row seats to the surrounding nature, you will find a great place to rest your head after a day of adventure.

If you want a roof over your head, Cheyenne Mountain Resort is a comfortable stay right near Cañon City. Garden of the Gods is another luxury stay with multiple room, cottage and suite options. If you want to sleep under the stars, here are several great campsites along the Arkansas River.

What to Eat

While food options may be somewhat limited, the nearby Cañon City has fantastic comfort food options like Los Compas Mexican Restaurant and Pizza Madness. And as always, food tastes better with a view! Grab takeout from any restaurant and you’re always just a couple minutes away from a perfect backdrop for a mountain picnic.

This Denver to Royal Gorge road trip is waiting to give you unforgettable memories on your next Colorado adventure! If you need any help getting on the river, reach out to our team! We’ll save you a seat on a raft.

By: Tomis Contact
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