Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s scenic Royal Gorge Region, Canon City is a hidden gem that promises adventure, natural beauty, and a rich history. Surrounded by towering peaks, lush forests, and the iconic Arkansas River, Canon City offers an array of activities for travelers of all interests. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for a tranquil escape, this charming town has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the top things to do in Canon City, Colorado.
- Discover Royal Gorge Bridge & Park:
No trip to Canon City is complete without visiting the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. This iconic bridge, suspended 956 feet above the Arkansas River, is the world’s highest suspension bridge and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. You can explore the park’s attractions, including a gondola ride, zip line, and hiking trails, making it an unforgettable experience for adventurers.
- White Water Rafting on the Arkansas River:
The Arkansas River that winds through Canon City is renowned for its white-water rafting opportunities. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rafter, the river offers thrilling class II to class V rapids that promise an adrenaline-packed adventure. Numerous outfitters in the area provide guided tours, making it accessible for all skill levels.
- Royal Gorge Route Railroad:
For a more relaxed and scenic experience, hop aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. This historic train journey takes you through the awe-inspiring Royal Gorge, offering a unique perspective of the towering cliffs and the Arkansas River. The elegant railcars, delicious dining options, and informative commentary make this a delightful trip for all ages.
- Explore History at the Museum of Colorado Prisons:
Delve into the fascinating history of the Colorado prison system at the Museum of Colorado Prisons. Housed in a former women’s prison, this museum showcases artifacts, exhibits, and stories related to the criminal justice system, infamous inmates, and prison life. It’s an eye-opening experience that provides insight into Colorado’s past.
- Skydiving and Paragliding:
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, Canon City has something special in store for you. Skydiving and paragliding adventures let you soar through the Colorado skies while taking in the incredible views. Experienced instructors and scenic landscapes make these activities memorable and thrilling.
- Garden Park Fossil Area:
Canon City is not just about heart-pounding adventures; it also offers a glimpse into prehistoric times. The Garden Park Fossil Area is a treasure trove of dinosaur fossils and tracks. You can take a self-guided tour along the well-marked trails and marvel at the ancient history preserved in the rocks.
- Visit Wineries and Breweries:
For a more laid-back experience, explore Canon City’s wineries and breweries. Sip on locally produced wines and craft beers while enjoying the charming ambiance of the tasting rooms. Several wineries, such as The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, offer wine tours and tastings.
- Arkansas Riverwalk:
The Arkansas Riverwalk is a serene urban oasis, ideal for leisurely strolls, picnics, and enjoying the river views. This scenic path winds through parks and gardens, making it an excellent spot for nature lovers and families.
- Hiking and Rock Climbing in the Surrounding Trails:
Canon City is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, offering numerous opportunities for hiking and rock climbing enthusiasts. The area boasts an array of well-maintained trails suitable for all skill levels, providing the perfect setting to immerse yourself in the beauty of Colorado’s wilderness. Some popular trails include the Oil Well Flats Trail System and the Skyline Drive Trail, each offering unique perspectives and challenges for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Explore the Historic Downtown:
Take a stroll through Canon City’s historic downtown area, where you’ll find charming boutiques, local art galleries, and quaint cafes. Immerse yourself in the town’s rich history by visiting the historic buildings, some of which date back to the late 19th century. Enjoy a leisurely day of shopping for unique souvenirs, savoring local delicacies, and soaking in the small-town charm of Canon City.
- Horseback Riding in the Rockies:
Experience the rugged beauty of the Rockies on horseback with guided trail rides offered by various local outfitters. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a novice, exploring the scenic trails on horseback is a fantastic way to connect with nature and appreciate the breathtaking mountain vistas and diverse terrain that Colorado has to offer.
- Fremont County’s Blossoming Art Scene:
Immerse yourself in Canon City’s burgeoning art scene by visiting local art galleries and studios that showcase the works of talented regional artists. From traditional paintings to contemporary sculptures and mixed media, you’ll find a diverse range of artistic expressions that reflect the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the region. Consider attending art events, workshops, or even participating in an art class to unleash your creative side.
- Camping in the Great Outdoors:
For those seeking an authentic outdoor experience, Canon City and its surrounding areas provide a wealth of camping opportunities. With several campgrounds and recreational areas nearby, you can pitch your tent or park your RV amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Rockies. Whether you prefer a rustic camping experience or the comfort of modern amenities, Canon City has a range of camping options to suit your preferences.
- Fishing in the Arkansas River:
Anglers will find ample opportunities for fishing in the renowned Arkansas River, known for its abundance of trout and other freshwater species. Spend a tranquil day casting your line and enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the river, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and the soothing sound of flowing water.
- Attend Local Festivals and Events:
Check the local events calendar to see if any festivals or events coincide with your visit to Canon City. Throughout the year, the town hosts a variety of cultural festivals, music events, and seasonal celebrations that offer a glimpse into the vibrant local culture and community spirit. Participating in these events is a great way to connect with the local community and experience the region’s rich cultural heritage firsthand.
Canon City, Colorado, is a destination that caters to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re in search of thrilling adventures, historical insights, or a peaceful escape in the midst of nature, Canon City has it all. With stunning natural beauty, a rich history, and an array of activities, this picturesque town is a must-visit destination for any traveler. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the best of Canon City, Colorado!