You’ll find much more to do beyond walking over the bridge at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. Water started carving the gorge more than three-million years ago and continues at the rate of one foot every 2,500 years. When you look down from the bridge or the zip line, it’s over 1,000 feet down to the Arkansas River below. Today the park, which encompasses terrain on both sides of the gorge, has activities for everyone, and a zip line and the Skyscrapers for visitors who enjoy extreme adventures.
Take a circular pattern to get the most out of the park without retracing a lot of steps. Start with a ride on the gondola over the Gorge. First take a ride on a hands-free seat (but hold on at the end) on the highest zip line in North America. The views are fantastic. Ride the gondola back and then, if you dare, try the Skycoaster, a scary, unique ride that swings you out over the gorge. It’s a screamer at 50 mph, and we bet you’ll scream like everyone else, when you’re soaring over the gorge at 50 miles per hour. These rides are open from mid-March to the beginning of January weather permitting.
There’s a separate area called the Tommy Knocker Playland for kids. You’ll find a carousel, climbing towers, slides, ropes and tunnels.
You can have lunch at the visitor center on the north rim. But, after sampling the ride and enjoying the views, we recommend trying the BBQ at the south rim before you stroll across the walk across the bridge at the end of your visit.
As you walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge look down at the river below (either over the fences or through the cracks between the wood slats you are walking over. Before you leave check out the unique water clock.
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park are back in operation after the fire of 2013. The fire, which jumped 1,600 feet across the Royal Gorge, burned 3,200 acres and destroyed most of the buildings. Now when you visit you will see some charred hillsides but everything has been rebuilt. Royal Gorge is about a one-hour drive from Colorado Springs.
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park and rides can be pretty pricey. Before you go check Groupon and other Internet sites for discount coupons.