In Colorado’s Royal Gorge Region, a river cuts through a giant gorge, geology shares secrets from our past, outdoor recreational opportunities abound and a strong agricultural community makes it easy to eat locally. Explore the vast wonders of this southern Colorado area and experience it firsthand.
Fremont County defines the boundaries of the Royal Gorge Region, where the Arkansas River rushes out of the Rocky Mountains and onto the Great Plains. Cañon City, Fremont’s county seat, sits at an elevation of 5,332 feet. But tucked into the folds and bluffs of the Arkansas River Valley, the town enjoys a mild climate and boasts the nickname The Climate Capital of Colorado.
The Royal Gorge Region’s banana-belt climate makes for year-round outdoor recreational opportunities limited only by one’s imagination. Regardless of what the calendar might say, the Royal Gorge Region’s breathtaking landscape beckons adventure seekers. With far-reaching dirt roads, miles of designated trails, long stretches of rock slabs and some of America’s best whitewater, athletes from all over the world descend upon the Royal Gorge Region to test their skills, strengthen their bodies and minds and experience the ultimate adrenaline rush.
The entire region is dotted with outfitters who will take you down the Arkansas River, provide you with the gear you need for your next adventure, or share a map of the Oil Well Flats Trail System, Hogbacks Trail System, or Shelf Road Climbing Area.
Orchards and farms in the Penrose area and eastern Fremont County and grass-fed beef from the western part of the county delight the palates of today’s visitors with locally produced food and authentic heritage experiences.
In late spring and summer, farmers markets in Cañon City and Florence offer fresh produce, bread and homemade specialties for all tastes. Fall brings harvest festivals, apple cider, wine tastings, pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Specialty shops and restaurants make locally produced food items and craft brews year-round, while Florence’s many antique shops have helped the town earn the title Antique Capital of Colorado.
Arts and theater thrive in Fremont County, where several organizations work hard to provide locals and visitors first-rate cultural experiences. The Fremont Center for the Arts is the hub of the Royal Gorge Region’s art and theater scene, with the Fremont Civic Theater, the Bell Tower Culture Center and the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park also providing cultural experiences throughout the year. The region also boasts history museums and geologic and paleontological wonders waiting to be discovered at Garden Park, Temple Canyon, The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience and beyond.
The Royal Gorge Region is perhaps best known for being home to the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. Walk across the gorge on America’s highest suspension bridge, glide over the gorge in a gondola or scale its walls on the via ferrata, the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park’s newest attraction.