Colorado Springs Colorado

Colorado Springs Colorado

If you are about to book a Colorado ski vacation this year, consider taking time out to visit Royal Gorge, Colorado Springs, one of the jewels in the crown of Colorado.

There is so much for the visitor to do in this area it merits a hub all on its own.

With over 21 separate activities within just 360 acres, the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is like nowhere else, so allow at least a full day to appreciate all that is on offer here.

Royal Gorge Colorado Springs

The world’s highest suspension bridge, spans a quarter of a mile, 1,053 feet high above the Arkansas River below. Drive slowly across the wooden planks or walk if you dare, either way is a real thrill. Take time out to look at the mountains in the distance where one outline is comparable to the outline of JFK.

If you do walk across, dare to return by riding in the world’s longest single-span aerial tram at 671 meters high, with nothing but air between you and the river 359 meters below.

Another record book entry is the worlds steepest incline railway which will take you almost vertically down the steep cliffs to the riverside below, where you can look up to the bridge above, which now has the appearance of a cobweb in the sky and watch the white-water rafters scurry past towards the next set of rapids on the Arkansas River.

If the contents of your stomach from your last meal are still intact, now try the Royal Rush Skycoaster, a free fall experience from 1200 feet above the river, recognised as the scariest Skycoaster in the world, which plunges you at 50 mph towards the river.

These four activities alone should be enough to make anyone considering a ski vacation in the Denver Colorado area book an extra day or two in Colorado Springs, and children and less able adults are not left out either. Don’t forget to take your camera of video camcorder with you, there’s plenty to capture in this area.

Wapiti Western Wildlife Park

Wapiti Western Wildlife Park in 10 acres gives all an opportunity to see bison, mountain elk and bighorn sheep, there’s a petting zoo, carousel ride, as well as the Silver Rock Railway train and covered wagon ride pulled by mules.

For meal breaks, visit the restaurants, gift shops, Plaza Theatre next to the visitor center for a 15 minute video show about the park, or visit the Rocky Entertainment Pavilion which has a rolling program of entertainment, located next to the visitor center and the water clock, one of only 3 water clocks in the world.

Elk roam freely here, and food pellets are available from the visitor center to hand feed them.

Having rested for a while, you should now be ready to do some hiking, rock climbing or cycling along the many scenic trails, and at the end of the day you can camp in the area and continue to explore this great area of Colorado.

Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Take a ride far along the foot of the gorge, clinging between the towering cliffs and the river from Cañon City nearby, on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, Colorado’s only dinner train, with vista dome carriages and open air cars to take in the wildlife and breathtaking scenery on the journey of a lifetime. Gourmet lunches are available, with wine tasting, or book a murder mystery ride.

Across the way from the train depot is Dinosaur Depot, rich in the many fossils found in the area.

Visit the winery at Holy Cross Abbey to sample quality wines from locally grow grapes and take a VIP tour, and it’s in Cañon City where all of the white-water rafting and kayaking tours start.

I hope you agree this is a really worthwhile area to visit, not just as a beak from your ski vacation, but at any time of the year. From Denver, take the I-25 south through Colorado Springs to Pueblo, then turn west on highway 50 past Penrose and Cañon City to 3-A just past Parkdale.


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