Things to Do in Canon City

Things to Do in Canon City
Located west of Pueblo on US 50, Canon City, Colorado, has a mild climate and several stunning attractions. Perhaps the most notable is the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the world, rising 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River. While a walk over the bridge is a must, any trip to the Canon City area would not be complete without going down into the gorge.


The Royal Gorge offers excellent and difficult whitewater rafting, with rapids up to Class V. The season runs from May to August, with peak flows in June. Sometimes the river can be run in September. Royal Gorge is 10 miles long. Several commercial outfitters run trips through the gorge.

There are several other popular destinations on the Arkansas close to Canon City, including Browns Canyon, which offers Class III and Class IV rapids, and Big Horn Sheep Canyon, offering Class II and Class III rapids.


Check out nearby hiking in the San Isabel National Forest. Many loop hiking options are available from the San Carlos Ranger District. While Canon City is at an elevation of 5,332 feet, many of the hikes begin at a higher elevation of over 7,000 feet, so make sure you are acclimated before attempting them. There are also several hikes in the Royal Gorge and along the Arkansas River.

Pikes Pike, where "America the Beautiful" was written, is close to Canon City, just outside of Colorado Springs. You can hike, drive or ride a train to its summit 14,110-foot summit.

South of Canon City are some stunning 14,000-foot peaks in the Sangre de Cristo range, including Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak and Kit Carson Peak. These are three of the more difficult fourteeners in Colorado, and should only be attempted by experienced climbers.

Rock Climbing

In addition to the alpine rock climbs on Pikes Peak and in the Crestone group, Shelf Road, located about 30 minutes north of Canon City, offers a lot of excellent rock climbing. It features mostly hard, pre-bolted sport climbs. You can camp at Shelf Road, with individual sites going for $4 a night and group sites for $8.

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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