It is often called “the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas (River)”. The Royal Gorge, the world’s highest suspension bridge, in CaÃ?Â±on City, Colorado, hangs 1,053 feet high above the river, and spans Ã?Â¼ of a mile across the canon. The bridge has a length of 1,260 feet and a width of 18 feet. Visitors can walk across, drive across, take a ride on the world’s longest single span Aerial Tram (2,200 feet), or go to the bottom on the steepest Incline railway (45 degree angle) on the planet. Those seeking a real thrill can fly over the Gorge on the Royal Rush Skycoaster, which swings 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River at 50-miles-per-hour.
The original cost to build the bridge was $350,000 in 1929, but it would cost $20,000,000 to build the same bridge today. Construction took only six months. There is little danger of the bridge collapsing from too much weight, as it will support two million pounds.
The Gorge was discovered in 1806 by explorer Zebulon Pike, for whom the world famous mountain Pike’s Peak is named.
The website for the amusement park that also owns the bridge, www.royalgorgebridge.com, states that “looking down is even more breathtaking than looking up. A place that brings together the scenic beauty of the Grand Canyon and the human achievement of the Golden Gate Bridge.”
Other attractions include burro rides, a carousel, mule team wagon rides, a trolley, entertaining and educational shows at the Gazebo Theater, Rocky Entertainment Pavilion, and the Plaza Theater, a cliff walk, which is a beautiful site for weddings, the Mountain Man Encampment, in which actors dressed in clothes of the old west entertain and educate, a petting zoo, and a wildlife park.
For the adventurous, there is white water rafting and extreme games, including bungee jumping.
There are also a variety of special events at the Royal Gorge at various times of the year, such as a Civil War reenactment, entertainment by various singing groups, an Armed Forces Appreciation Month, and others.
There are a variety of places to each throughout the park, such as the Royal Grill, the Pizza and Sub Garden, and the Cliff Terrace. There is a variety of food, such as Barbecued items, Mexican food, grilled cheese, and homemade ice cream.
If you can’t get enough of the area in one day, there are a variety of campsites and the Bighorn Mountain Lodge. Accommodations at the lodge include three bedrooms, a fireplace, a modern kitchen, and a laundry facility.
The peak season for the park is April 29 to October 9. Limited rides are available during the off season. The ticket price of $21 per adult, $17 per child, and $19 per senior includes all attractions and rides, except the Skycoaster.
If you visit the Royal Gorge, it is a site you won’t forget. This former Colorado resident, who has lived in Ohio for more than 20 years, never has.