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Royal Gorge, Colorado


The Royal Gorge (also Grand Canyon of the Arkansas) is a canyon on the Arkansas River near Cañon City, Colorado. With a width of 50 feet (15 m) at its base and a few hundred feet at its top, and a depth of 1,250 feet (380 m) in places, the 10-mile-long canyon is a narrow, steep gorge through the granite of Fremont Peak. It is one of the deepest canyons in Colorado.

In the early 1900’s, Canon City wanted a different water source and built an 8 mile long water pipeline.  It was made from California redwood, and was used until the 1970’s.  The wood is still in such good shape that it has been declared a Historical Site to prevent people form taking it all.

This stretch of the Arkansas River is one of the busiest white water rafting areas in the country.  Couple that with many zip lines, some across the canyon and some connecting different areas, this is a very popular tourist attraction.  There are many ways to visit and see this scenic wonder— from a train in the canyon bottom, on a bridge (or gondola) at the top, or hiking along the rim.  The weather cooperated just enough so we could do all three.  And, if you are brave, you can take a zip line across the top of the gorge (no, we didn’t).

The train heads into the Gorge, starting in Canon City

The train heads into the Gorge, starting in Canon City

On the train, heading into the narrow part of the Gorge

On the train, heading into the narrow part of the Gorge (note water pipe on left)

Looking up, at the Bridge (can you see the gondolas?)

Looking up, at the Bridge (can you see the gondolas?)

A wide angle view of the bridge

A wide angle view of the bridge

The bridge, viewed from the south end

The bridge, viewed from the south end

Looking down the bridge itself

Looking down the bridge itself

Closeup of the gondolas

Closeup of the gondolas

Part of the wooden water pipe

Another part of the wooden water pipe.  All the tunnels were hand dug!

A black and white "art shot" of a tree burnt during the fire of 2013

A black and white “art shot” of a tree burnt during the fire of 2013

A view from the rim hike

A view of the bridge from the rim hike

Romola standing at the rim of the Canyon

Romola standing at the rim of the Canyon

  1. May 12, 2015 at 4:01 am

    Beautiful shots, and that water pipe is amazing!

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