Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. Now when he said this, he was talking about the importance of hard work and perseverance. And while I agree with that, this quote sprang to my mind for an entirely different reason. A reason that involves one of the world’s highest suspension bridges and my irrational yet comedic fear of heights.
Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest bridge in the United States and the ninth highest in the entire world. It is located in Canon City, Colorado and is about a 2 and half hour drive from the state’s capital, Denver. The bridge was built in 1929 by George F. Cole so it is quite old. Fun fact (I got to know this after I visited), in 2013, a wildfire broke out and destroyed 90% of the park. The bridge alone lost more than half of its boards but they have all been replaced so, no worries!! (I think)
I have visited Royal Gorge twice so far with my family and some friends. While initially, It can seem a little daunting to cross, the amazing scenery seen from the top drives that fear away. The bridge is about 955 feet above the Arkansas River and 1,260 feet long. The entire bridge is adorned with flags from all 50 states so there is no lack of representation. (COLORADO REPRESENT!!)
There is also a gondola ride and a zipline. After we crossed the bridge and took some pictures on the other side, we took the gondola ride back and that was an entirely different experience. The ride is 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River so it’s even higher than the bridge itself. The gondola has full-size windows so you can see the surrounding mountains and the flowing river underneath even more clearly. Now if you are like me and have a fear of heights and friends who love to tease you then, I wish you the best of luck because it’ll be a little nerve-wracking. Nevertheless, it is a ride that you definitely do not want to miss.
As I mentioned before, there is also The Cloudscraper zipline that is available for visitors. I personally have never tried it as the gondola ride was more than enough for me. But if you are a thrill-seeker then this will definitely interest you. Again, it is 1,200 feet above the river and I have heard that the whole ordeal is nothing short of actually flying.
Now the park has other smaller attractions such as the Plaza Theater and Tommy Knocker Children’s Playland. But they also have one more thrill ride up their sleeve – the Royal Rush Skycoaster. This ride famously holds the title for “World’s Scariest Skycoaster”. Essentially, it straps 1-3 customers in a harness and sends them on a free-fall journey that will leave them hanging 1200 feet up in the air. Again, personally not a fan of such rides but the experience will definitely cause an adrenaline rush.
Personally, I think the best time to visit would be during the fall season as the weather will be just right and you can also see the leaves change color. Royal Gorge is definitely a destination you should add to your bucket list and trust me, you will not be disappointed. I have added the park’s website down below so please do check it out!
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