Florence

Located along the tumbling whitewater of the Arkansas River on the eastern range of the Rocky Mountains, Florence visitors enjoy endless views and big adventure. The community marks the start of the Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway, a drive that follows old stagecoach and railroad routes while passing world-renowned fossil sites and historic mining towns, including Cripple Creek, one of the nation's greatest gold camps.

Florence's 20-block downtown has a grocery and drug store, as well as a local art center and a remarkable collection of antique stores. Just west of town hangs the world's highest suspension bridge, the Royal Gorge Bridge as well as the town of Cañon City.

Outdoor activities include rafting or fishing along the Arkansas River, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing and mountain biking on rugged dirt roads. Four-wheel driving is popular on Independence Trail, Shelf Road, Phantom Canyon Road and Skyline Drive between Florence and Colorado Springs.

Sign up for guided llama trekking and overnight camp trips in the surrounding mountain areas. For an all-natural adventure, bring your birthday suit to the nearby Desert Reef Hot Spring.

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