Welcome to the Royal Gorge Region of Colorado.
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Royal Gorge & Cañon City, Colorado Visitor Information

Home of the famous Royal Gorge Route Railroad, Royal Gorge Rafting, The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, and Royal Gorge Bridge

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Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Depart from the Santa Fe Depot which is located one block south of Hwy 50 & 3rd Street, Cañon City, CO 81212.

  

The Royal Gorge Route Railroad opening day is Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 12:30PM.  Call 888.724.5748 or 719.276.4000 for reservations.

Welcome to the Royal Gorge Region and Cañon City, Colorado.  The Royal Gorge Region is located just two hours south of Denver and 45-minutes southwest of Colorado Springs. The Royal Gorge is host to a number of world-class activities and attractions, including the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, Colorado's premier scenic train that offers the very best view of the dramatic Royal Gorge. This train is Colorado's first and finest scenic railroad, operated by a Colorado company with a focus on outstanding service, delicious food and comfortable classes of service.  From March thru December, ride coach, vista dome, first-class lunch, dinner, murder mystery trains and many holiday excursions, including Santa Express - the best way to experience the magic of Christmas.

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Top Attractions and Activities in the Royal Gorge Region

The Royal Gorge region of Colorado has much to offer, We want you to know which attractions to see and why. We've made it easy for you and listed them below. We've combed through reviews of the attractions, visited them, and passed on the information to you, our valued guest. If you need help in planning your trip, please call us at: 1.888.724.5748 and a Royal Gorge specialist will help you.

Download Official Visitor Guide                                                            Group Tour leaders - Escort Notes

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The Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Listed at one of America's Top Train Rides

Why? This is THE train to take in Colorado. The reviews are amazing as is the ride. Just when you think that the scenery can't be beat, you've got the option of dining aboard WHILE enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Royal Gorge. The train is operated by a Colorado company and a family business that is widely respected in the tourism industry for providing a quality experience, and it shows. This is not a tourist trap and not associated with the Royal Gorge Bridge. 
Straight Scoop: The train takes you THROUGH the Royal Gorge. Other than rafting (through difficult whitewater which is not for families, or anyone out of shape) this is your best option to really see the entire Royal Gorge and the wildlife found within the canyon. And, you don't want to miss this "Grand Canyon."They offer six classes of service and are Colorado's only train (and one of the few in the nation) to offer outstanding dining options. This train is world-class and over 100,000 people ride it each year!

 

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Dinner Trains

If you're into amazing food and wine, try the Royal Gorge Route's Premier Dinner Train where they offer 3 courses for dinner, white linens and all. Their food is not just good, but outstanding. It's obvious they spend time and money on training as all are treated as guests on this train.
Insider Information: Every class of service offers an open-air car. If you're in coach, head out there early and have unobstructed views of the Royal Gorge. If you're doing lunch, vista dome, etc., head out after you order. The staff is well trained and it shows. No tacky tourist stuff here, just a truly memorable experience. Think high quality at affordable prices.

The train is owned by a Colorado family that gives back to the community, continues to provide emergency services to the rafting community, has worked to clean up the river for safer boating conditions, and believes in quality customer service.
Vitals: Royal Gorge Route Railroad
RoyalGorgeRoute.com | 888.724.5748 | 719.276.4000
Santa Fe Depot | 1 block south of 3rd and Highway 50 West, Cañon City, CO 81212
Review: Check out the review

 

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Rafting the Arkansas River

Why? The Royal Gorge region is fortunate in that Colorado's most popular river, the Arkansas River "runs through it" offering exciting trips for all ability levels. From mild to wild, you'll have a blast battling Colorado white water.
Straight Scoop: Choose a company that has its act together and can provide you with all the safety gear necessary for an enjoyable trip. When you speak to a representative, do they sound professional? Remember, there is risk involved with anything in life and rafting is no different. 
Insider Information: Make sure you're choosing a trip that is within your ability level. Are you in shape? If you're not, don't pick an advanced trip (Royal Gorge section) that will place you or your fellow passengers at risk. Rafting is a blast. Whether you prefer a family outing or a real class V whitewater in your face adventure, you've come to the perfect place for adventure! Remember, the Royal Gorge section is not for the faint of heart, those with health issues, or families with small children. Rafts can and do flip, people swim, and this is fast moving whitewater. The train continues to provide help for injured rafters and kayakers in the Royal Gorge who seek immediate evacuation every season.
Popular Option:
 Another popular option is the Raft and Train package offered by several different companies combining a raft trip and railroad journey through the Royal Gorge. The train is pretty picky when it comes to choosing partners, so if you want to experience both, give this a shot as it's fun! Go to Raft and Train. 
Vitals: Rafting Adventures 
Rafting Outfitters

 

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The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey

Why? Colorado wines are now being compared to the best California wines, and for good reason! Matt Cookson, from the Napa Valley, is the winemaker for the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey moving here in 2000. His expertise and attention to detail shines through with many award winning wines.
Straight Scoop: OK, so you're not in the Napa Valley right? That's actually a good thing as both Matt and his wife Sally, who operates the tasting room, are much less pretentious than what you'd find in California. This winery is rockin all year round as it has gained a stellar reputation for producing quality wines.
Insider Information: The tasting room and adjoining gift shop are first rate. In addition to tasting wine, you'll find a variety of gifts that you just won't find anywhere else. They obviously take pride in what they do and really make sure you feel comfortable tasting wine. That's why you're there right? If you have the time, call about their VIP winery tour. This is a "must do" and if you've got kids, they can play outside on their beautiful grounds.
Vitals: Winery at Holy Cross Abbey
AbbeyWinery.com| 719.276.5191| 877.422.9463
3011 East Highway 50, Cañon City, CO 81212

 

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Royal Gorge Bridge and Park - Open Weekends!

Why? This is the second highest suspension bridge in the United States and the views are impressive. Optional activities include the aerial tram, incline railway and walk across the bridge. 
Straight Scoop: The Royal Gorge Bridge is owned by the City of Cañon City and run by a concessionaire out of Dallas, Texas.
Vitals: Royal Gorge Bridge and Park 
RoyalGorgeBridge.com | 888-333-5597 | 719-275-7507
4218 County Road 3A | PO Box 549, Cañon City, CO 81212

 

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Discover Downtown Cañon City

Download our Historic Home Walking Tour
Download our Historic Downtown Walking Tour

Why? Downtown has much from great watering holes to some of the best pizza on the planet (Pizza Madness) - no kidding. Many visitors simply miss historic downtown because it's just north, one block off of highway 50 and that's a shame. 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.
Straight Scoop: Downtown is totally "walkable" and not to be missed. From the train station at the Santa Fe Depot (west end of town), just cross highway 50 driving north, park, and wander. The architecture is really classic and not many Colorado downtowns have this historic flavor. Download the PDF files above for historical walking tours.
Insider Information: We mentioned Pizza Madness, but there is also McClellan's brew pub which has some great brews. If you're looking for high end, delicious french cuisine, try Le Petite Chablis located at 512 Royal Gorge Blvd. We love this place. A great website for more information on downtown is: DowntownCanonCity.com Have fun!

 

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Outdoor Activities in the Royal Gorge Region

Download the Royal Gorge Region Trails Map

Why? The Royal Gorge region offers so many options for outdoor enthusiasts with a difference in that this part of Colorado is uncrowded. Some of the best rock climbing in the state is located just north of town up shelf road for starters. And it gets better for cyclists as you can ride for miles either on dirt roads or paved to Cripple Creek and enjoy amazing scenery along the way. The Arkansas River offers outstanding rafting and kayaking opportunities either on your own or with an outfitter. Same goes for fishing. If you enjoy running, try tunnel drive or the Arkansas River Walk where you'll have miles and miles of trails off the beaten path.
Straight Scoop: The Royal Gorge Region isn't Summit County with a Starbucks on every corner and a gazillion travelers to compete with. The Royal Gorge region offers up what Colorado used to be years ago with less crowds, no attitude, and friendly locals ready to help. It really is like taking a well deserved step back in time.
Insider Information: If you're into kayaking, ask about the local "play wave" located in town that's amazing during spring run-off. Red Canyon Park, located just north of town is like the Garden of the Gods sans crowds and Shelf Road is a pretty spectacular place. A great, challenging mountain bike ride is to head south on 1st street toward Temple Canyon Road, circle around toward Parkdale and bike back to Cañon City on Hwy 50. You can also check with the Royal Gorge Bridge to see if you can cycle across the bridge from the south side and cut off some miles. Phantom Canyon Rd. is another great place to mountain bike. Enjoy!

 

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