On my last post I shared some of our visit to the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park in Canon City. It was a spectacular visit. Here is a link to Part 1 in case you missed it. I ended that post after watching the video in the Plaza Theater. I left the theater sad, but glad that no one was hurt during the fire that destroyed much of that park. Happily the park was able to reopen after much clean-up, planning, planting, and rebuilding. I don’t know what it was like before the fire, but it is a beautiful park today. We eventually made our way to the bridge after stopping to check out the Entertainment Stage. I was so excited to start walking across the bridge. We have been on a few suspension bridges in the past, but not one with such amazing views.
Standing 956 feet above the Arkansas River, the Royal Gorge Bridge was built between June and November 1929 at a cost of $350,000, and formally opened on December 8, 1929. It held the world record as the highest suspension bridge in the world until the Liuguanghe Bridge was built in China in 2001. At 1,260 feet long and 18 feet wide, the bridge is suspended from two 200-ton cables. Each cable has 2,100 strands of No. 9 galvanized wire in it. The floor of the bridge contains 1,000 tons of steel and almost 1,300 wooden planks.
What I enjoyed, besides the phenomenal views below, are the 50 state flags located across the bridge. It was fun walking around taking pictures of the state flags for several states to send to our friends across the US, as well as our state flag here in Colorado. The bridge isn’t that long, and we walked it back and forth a couple of times. Eventually we ended up back at the visitor’s center. Here we took a break and had a bite to eat as it had gotten really windy and they had stopped the gondola ride until the winds died down. We set out on the observation deck and just enjoyed the view. It is spectacular.
Eventually we made it back to the other side and decided to be brave again and do the Skycoaster. I thought I would be more nervous, but I was more excited than nervous. After all it’s not called the world’s scariest skycoaster for nothing. I guess the zip line prepared me, lol. After a 50mph free fall, the coaster hangs you over the canyon’s rim with only the river below. We got strapped in and were ready to go. The free fall was a little scary (ok, a lot scary, lol) but the rest of the ride was phenomenal.
We were flying, swinging and dangling 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River and had the time of our lives. I felt a little shaky after we got off, but I was ready to do it again. 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever experience such a thrilling adventure as the skycoaster. The feeling of flying and being free is definitely something I will never forget. Happily we can remember it forever, as we bought the video of our ride. Here it is below. You can tell I was having fun 🙂
After we left the Skycoaster we visited Point Sublime, which is the perfect spot to capture the panoramic grandeur of the Royal Gorge Bridge, the Gorge, the Arkansas River and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Since it was a perfect place to take a few pictures and marvel at the wonder of the Gorge, we had to snap a few pictures. I am glad it had been a few years since the fire as I would have hated to see it that way for the first time. As it was, there are still many places in the area where you can see burnt trees. So sad, but apparently it will take decades for the land to get back to the way it was before the fire.
We slowly made our way back to the bridge and crossed it one more time before heading out of the park. We ran into had a great day, and made even better when we got to meet Peggy, one of the parks employees. She told us a little bit more about the park and about some of the animals that were relocated. She was actually on site the day the fire started and shared some stories with us about that week. Still amazing that no one, not even firefighters, were hurt or injured. We ended our day with a picture of us in front of the Water Clock. Such an incredible adventure and a thrilling day I will never forget.
Thank you to Peggy, Dona, and the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, for supporting me on my visit to the park. As always, all opinions are my own. Here is a link to their website with more info, hours, and pricing. Happy travels.
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