One of the best birthdays of my life was when I visited the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park – which also happened to be my 30th birthday!
We didn’t plan it that way but because of work schedules that’s the way it happened and it was the BEST birthday I’ve had! We had such an amazing time!
Update – 2 days after we visited the Royal Gorge the entire place burned down due to a tragic wildfire. They have since rebuilt – please visit their website for the newest updates and realize these photos are some of the last taken before the original structures were destroyed!
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is located in Canon City, Colorado which is about an hour southwest of Colorado Springs.
It was very easy to find and left me plenty of time to fret about how high the bridge was that we would be crossing!
The Royal Gorge has one of the world’s highest suspension bridges dangling 956 feet over the canyon and is a quarter mile across.
I am quite terrified of heights so I actually had my husband drive to the gorge in case driving over the bridge made me nervous.
The great thing though is that you really can’t even see the bridge or the canyon until you are ready to drive onto it.
Since there was 11 of us we took two cars. As you can see the bridge is pretty narrow, and not only that but cars AND people go across the same bridge so you have to drive very slowly. Not to mention the wooden slats “clanking” as you drive across.
Nerves aside it was an absolutely astounding view from the car and wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be to drive across.
Walking across, however, was another story! Here is my sister and I at the Royal Gorge Bridge on my 30th birthday! Notice that we’re standing in the middle of the bridge – hah! It was the least scary place to stand.
If you look carefully at the wooden slats there are gaps between them…..so as you walk across this quarter mile bridge you can actually look straight down through the bridge 956 feet!
It’s enough to send the shivers down your spine but it was an incredible experience!
I did get up the nerve enough to take one photo down through the bridge slats! Maybe I’m just a scaredy cat, but everyone else LOVED it!
Across the bridge there were signs and flags for each of the states in the US which was pretty cool so we stopped for a brief moment to
crawl walk over and take a photo. The park is SO cute and has PLENTY of things to do.
We were there from 10:30am-5pm and STILL hadn’t seen quite everything! It definitely was worth the trip out there and we would love to go back again.
Included in the admission ticket is their Incline Railway, the Royal Gorge Bridge, the Wildlife Park, the Aerotram that actually takes you across the gorge, and more that you can see here. There is also several shows to watch and even a playground!
Two of the attractions are an extra cost but are totally worth it! The Soarin’ Eagle Zip Line and the Skycoaster are both extra but a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
I couldn’t work up the nerve to go on the Soarin’ Eagle Zip Line but my 6 year old son, his 6 year old cousin and both of their dads decided to give it a try! You can watch the video of them here.
Later I kind of regretted not going on it but even my husband was terrified! He said he won’t do it again even though it was amazing! Hah!
If you watch the video you can see that it takes you all the way across the canyon and back – and they got to do it twice! It was definitely worth the cost. The only thing “holding them in” is a seat belt – there’s not even a lap bar or anything!
The cousins had SO much fun together and I was thrilled for them to experience such a unique and beautiful canyon of nature. It was so stunning!
Not only did we walk around at the top of the gorge and cross the bridge several times but their Incline Railway (included in admission) is one of the world’s steepest incline railways and it actually takes you down to the bottom of the gorge in just a few minutes.
It was a very interesting “cage-like tram” that you stand in and ride down to the bottom of the gorge. It takes just a few minutes to get down there and it really puts things in perspective as you look up at the bridge we just walked across.
The Royal Gorge Bridge looks so tiny from below and you can’t even see the people or cars crossing it. It was so beautiful traveling down the canyon.
We saw butterflies, flowering cacti, and all sorts of really cool rock formations. It was a little disconcerting to hear the song “Live Like You’re Dying” play as we were traveling down into the gorge!!
The rapids below REALLY made we wish we had also take a rafting trip!! It was beautiful down there. I LOVE that most of the attractions are all included in the admission.
You can go down the Incline Railway and stay down there as long as you want. And it wasn’t scary at all!
At the bottom of the gorge there is a nice covered area for shelter from the sun which we REALLY appreciated since it was HOT when we went!
We had the five youngest cousins line up together for photos a lot!
And we were even able to squeeze in one family photo under the shaded shelter at the bottom of the Royal Gorge which I loved! It was a fantastic family outing to visit the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.
I HIGHLY recommend it! Our family are huge nature lovers so we thought it was amazing but I definitely recommend everyone to plan a visit to the Royal Gorge. It’s so beautiful and the hugeness of it is astounding.
Here you can see the Incline Railway as it’s coming down into the gorge.
We also took the Aerotram across the gorge which was probably the most nerve-wrecking thing for me. Standing room only in the Aerotram…….you can actually watch out the windows all the way around the tram as it carries you across the gorge.
We went when it was very windy but surprisingly it didn’t rock around like I was expecting. It was still scary to know that you were hanging by a cable 956 feet above the gorge rocking in the wind!
I carefully tiptoed to the side of the Aerotram and got this amazing photo of the Royal Gorge bridge and river below! You can REALLY see the vastness of the canyon! Just absolutely stunning.
Not only was it an absolutely beautiful and incredible experience to visit the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park but there were tons of great places to take photos with the kids. We were able to find shade pretty much everywhere we went which was nice for the kids to sit under.
If you’re too terrified to take the Aerotram across the gorge you can drive over there too.
The Skycoaster (not included in admission) is just terrifying for people like me but my 6 year old nephew went on it with his dad!
Basically they secure you in a harness, hoist you up sky-high and then you have to pull a cord to let you free-fall down!
My niece screamed the whole way down – it was so fun to watch! After the initial free-fall you swing over the gorge……yep, right over the plunging gorge! Talk about a breath-taking view!
After spending all day in the hot sun we were ready to sit down for a bit in the shade so we headed off to see the Magic Show with Christian Augustine. I have to admit – it was pretty awesome!
And my nephew was even chosen to participate with him on stage! The magician was pretty cool and I LOVED that my kids could chat with him before and after the show. AND he showed the kids extra magic tricks before and after the show too!
In fact the magic tricks intrigued the rest of us so much that both of our families decided to buy the beginner magic kit. Some of the tricks were pretty awesome and even our 6 year olds could do most of them! It was definitely worth going to see!
My kids were just jumping up and down at the birds that appeared out of nowhere!
After the Magic Show we decided to head over to the Cowboy Show which had plenty of opportunities for photo opps!
I loved that the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park had shows to watch throughout the day which really helped us chill out and cool off. It’s an amazing place to visit and if you ever get the chance it is totally worth the visit.
Disclosure: I received complimentary passes to visit the park.