10 Things to do in Canon City Colorado – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

Welcome

Welcome to Canon City, Colorado, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. This charming town offers a plethora of exciting things to do in Canon City Colorado, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking adventure and natural beauty. From thrilling outdoor activities like whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River to exploring the stunning Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, there is no shortage of excitement awaiting you in Canon City. So pack your bags, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey filled with unforgettable experiences and breathtaking landscapes.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 4218 County Road 3A, Canon City, CO 81212
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
– Fee: $28 for adults, $23 for seniors, $23 for children
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Families, adventure seekers

Overview

The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park in Canon City, Colorado, is a must-see destination for those seeking a thrilling adventure in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Spanning the Arkansas River at a height of 956 feet, the Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the United States, offering breathtaking views of the rugged canyon below. Visitors can walk or drive across the bridge, feeling the exhilarating rush of wind and the stunning panorama of the surrounding landscape.

Aside from the iconic bridge, the park also features an array of attractions and activities to enjoy. From the thrilling aerial gondola ride that provides a bird’s eye view of the gorge to the zipline that lets you soar above the canyon, there is no shortage of excitement at Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. Families can explore the children’s play area, while nature enthusiasts can embark on scenic hikes along the canyon rim trails.

Whether you’re a daredevil seeking an adrenaline rush or a nature lover looking to admire the beauty of Colorado’s wilderness, a visit to Royal Gorge Bridge and Park promises an unforgettable experience that combines adventure, natural beauty, and awe-inspiring views.

Royal Gorge Route Railroad:

Essential Information

– Address: 330 Royal Gorge Blvd, Canon City, CO 81212
– Opening Hours: Varies, check website for schedule
– Fee: Prices vary based on class of service
– Visit Duration: Approximately 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Families, train enthusiasts, nature lovers

Overview

The Royal Gorge Route Railroad in Canon City, Colorado, offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors of all ages. As one of the most scenic train rides in the state, this historic railroad journey takes passengers through the breathtaking Royal Gorge, known for its towering granite walls and the Arkansas River flowing below. The train’s vintage cars provide a comfortable and nostalgic setting as you traverse the rugged terrain, offering unparalleled views of the surrounding natural beauty.

Whether you’re a train enthusiast, a family looking for a fun outing, or simply seeking a relaxing way to enjoy Colorado’s stunning landscapes, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad is a must-see attraction. The combination of history, nature, and adventure makes this experience truly unforgettable. So hop on board, sit back, and let the rhythmic chug of the train transport you through one of the most picturesque settings in the Rocky Mountains.

Skyline Drive:

Essential Information

  • Address: Canon City, Colorado
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 24 hours
  • Fee: Free
  • Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Ideal for: Nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

Skyline Drive in Canon City, Colorado, offers visitors a unique and breathtaking experience. This scenic drive along the ridge of a narrow hogback provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, making it a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The drive is easily accessible and free of charge, making it a convenient and budget-friendly option for those looking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Colorado.

As you navigate the winding road of Skyline Drive, you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas of rugged rock formations, lush forests, and the Arkansas River below. The drive is ideal for a leisurely afternoon excursion or a quick stop to take in the stunning scenery. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast capturing the beauty of the landscape or simply seeking a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Skyline Drive offers a serene and picturesque escape in the heart of Colorado.

Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience:

Essential Information

– Address: 44895 W US Hwy 50, Canon City, CO 81212
– Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily
– Fee: $12.50 for adults, $10.50 for seniors, $8.50 for children
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, dinosaur enthusiasts

Overview

Nestled in the heart of Canon City, Colorado, the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience is a must-see attraction for families and dinosaur enthusiasts alike. This prehistoric-themed park offers a fascinating journey back in time to the age of dinosaurs, where visitors can marvel at life-sized dinosaur replicas and interactive exhibits. From the towering Tyrannosaurus Rex to the gentle Brachiosaurus, the park showcases a diverse collection of dinosaur species that once roamed the earth millions of years ago.

One of the highlights of the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience is the opportunity to dig for fossils in the park’s excavation site, where visitors can uncover ancient treasures and learn about the process of paleontology. The park also features a state-of-the-art museum with informative displays and hands-on activities that educate visitors about the fascinating world of dinosaurs. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a fun and educational day out, the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience promises an unforgettable adventure for all ages.

Museum of Colorado Prisons:

Essential Information

– Address: 201 N 1st St, Canon City, CO 81212
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm
– Fee: Adults $8, Seniors $7, Children (6-12) $6
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History buffs, families, and those interested in law enforcement history

Overview

The Museum of Colorado Prisons in Canon City, Colorado, offers a unique glimpse into the state’s intriguing history of incarceration. As one of the oldest prison museums in the country, it showcases a collection of artifacts, exhibits, and stories that shed light on the evolution of the penal system. Visitors can explore the cells, gallows, and solitary confinement areas, gaining insight into the harsh realities faced by inmates throughout the years. From infamous outlaws to groundbreaking reforms, the museum provides a comprehensive look at the complex world of corrections in Colorado. A visit to this museum is a must for anyone curious about the intersection of crime, punishment, and justice in the American West.

Tunnel Drive:

Essential Information

– Address: Tunnel Drive, Canon City, Colorado
– Opening Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

Tunnel Drive in Canon City, Colorado, offers a unique outdoor experience that is a must-see for nature enthusiasts visiting the area. This historic trail, carved into the rugged cliffs along the Arkansas River, provides a scenic escape for hikers and outdoor adventurers alike. The highlight of Tunnel Drive is the series of tunnels that were blasted through the solid rock in the early 1900s to allow trains to pass through. Today, visitors can walk through these tunnels and marvel at the engineering feat while enjoying stunning views of the river below.

The trail is relatively easy, making it accessible to hikers of all skill levels. As you meander through the tunnels and along the river, you’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty of Colorado, with towering cliffs and lush vegetation creating a picturesque backdrop. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, Tunnel Drive offers a peaceful retreat where you can connect with nature and soak in the tranquility of the great outdoors. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this hidden gem in Canon City and experience the beauty of Tunnel Drive for yourself.

The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey:

Essential Information

– Address: 3011 E US Hwy 50, Canon City, CO 81212
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm
– Fee: Tasting fees vary, check website for details
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Wine enthusiasts, history buffs, and those looking for a unique tasting experience

Overview

The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City, Colorado, stands out as a must-see destination for wine aficionados and history lovers alike. This hidden gem in the heart of Colorado’s wine country offers a delightful blend of award-winning wines and a rich historical background. Visitors can indulge in a tasting experience that showcases the unique terroir of the region, with a variety of wines to suit every palate.

The winery’s picturesque setting, nestled against the stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, provides the perfect ambiance for a relaxing afternoon of wine tasting. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey offers a welcoming atmosphere and knowledgeable staff eager to guide you through their selection. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample their signature wines, including their renowned Cabernet Sauvignon and crisp Chardonnay.

In addition to its exceptional wines, The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey also boasts a fascinating history dating back to its origins as a monastery. This unique blend of tradition and innovation sets it apart as a must-visit destination in Colorado’s burgeoning wine scene. Plan your visit today to experience the charm and hospitality of The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey.

Garden Park Fossil Area:

Essential Information

– Address: 6688 Temple Canyon Road, Canon City, Colorado
– Opening Hours: Daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
– Fee: $10 per adult, $5 per child
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, history enthusiasts

Overview

The Garden Park Fossil Area in Canon City, Colorado, is a must-see destination for those intrigued by ancient history and paleontology. This unique site offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the prehistoric world, where dinosaur fossils dating back millions of years have been unearthed. Walking through the rugged terrain, you can imagine these magnificent creatures roaming the land, leaving behind their fossilized remains for us to discover today.

Exploring the Garden Park Fossil Area provides a rare opportunity to witness firsthand the incredible discoveries made by paleontologists over the years. From dinosaur bones to ancient plant fossils, the site offers a captivating insight into the Earth’s distant past. Whether you’re a family looking for an educational day out or a history enthusiast seeking to delve into the mysteries of the past, this attraction promises a memorable and enlightening experience.

Don’t miss the chance to step back in time and marvel at the wonders of the Garden Park Fossil Area. With its rich history and remarkable fossil finds, this hidden gem in Colorado is sure to leave you in awe of the ancient world that once thrived right beneath your feet.

Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours:

Essential Information

– Address: 45045 W US Hwy 50, Canon City, CO 81212
– Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
– Fee: Starting at $89 per person
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts

Overview

Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s stunning landscape, Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours offers an exhilarating experience for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. With a variety of zip line courses to choose from, visitors can soar through the rugged terrain and marvel at the breathtaking views of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Arkansas River below.

The thrill of zipping through the air at high speeds combined with the natural beauty of the surrounding area makes Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours a must-see attraction in Canon City, Colorado. Whether you’re a seasoned zip liner or a first-time adventurer, the knowledgeable guides ensure a safe and unforgettable experience for all participants.

Embark on an adrenaline-pumping journey as you zip across the canyon, feeling the rush of wind against your face and taking in the panoramic vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. So, if you’re looking to add a dash of excitement to your Colorado vacation, don’t miss the chance to experience the thrill of Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours.

The Abbey Events Complex:

Essential Information

– Address: 2951 E US Highway 50, Canon City, CO 81212
– Opening Hours: Varies based on events, check website for details
– Fee: Admission prices vary, check website for current rates
– Visit Duration: Depends on the event, typically 2-4 hours
– Ideal for: Event hosting, weddings, conferences, and special occasions

Overview

The Abbey Events Complex in Canon City, Colorado, stands out as a premier venue for hosting a variety of events. With its picturesque setting and versatile spaces, this complex is a must-see for those seeking a memorable location for weddings, conferences, and special occasions. The Abbey Events Complex offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern amenities, making it a popular choice among event planners and attendees alike. Whether you’re looking to celebrate a milestone or host a professional gathering, this venue provides a sophisticated backdrop for any occasion. Plan your next event at The Abbey Events Complex and create lasting memories in a truly special setting.

Food and Cuisine

Green Chili

Why is it so special:

Green chili is a beloved dish in Canon City, known for its spicy and flavorful kick. Made with roasted green chilies, pork, tomatoes, and a blend of spices, this dish offers a unique combination of smoky, tangy, and spicy flavors. It has a rich history in Colorado, influenced by Mexican and Southwestern culinary traditions.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic taste of green chili, head to local diners and cafes like The Owl Cigar Store or The Pantry Restaurant. For a more upscale experience, try the green chili at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, where it is served with a side of freshly baked bread.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Why is it so special:

Rocky Mountain Oysters, also known as prairie oysters, are a unique delicacy in Canon City. Despite the name, these are not oysters from the sea but rather deep-fried bull testicles. This dish is a testament to the region’s cowboy culture and adventurous culinary spirit, offering a surprisingly tender and flavorful experience.

Where to Try It:

To sample Rocky Mountain Oysters, visit local steakhouses like The Abbey Events Complex or The Owl Cigar Store. These establishments often serve this dish as an appetizer or a specialty item on their menus.

Bison Burger

Why is it so special:

Bison burgers are a popular choice in Canon City, offering a leaner and slightly sweeter alternative to traditional beef burgers. Bison meat is known for its rich flavor and nutritional benefits, making it a favorite among health-conscious foodies. The bison burger is often seasoned with local spices and served with fresh toppings.

Where to Try It:

To savor a delicious bison burger, visit local eateries like The Le Petit Chablis or The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. These establishments take pride in sourcing high-quality bison meat and crafting mouthwatering burgers that showcase the best of Colorado cuisine.

Events and Festivals

Music & Blossom Festival

The Music & Blossom Festival in Canon City is a beloved annual event that celebrates the arrival of spring with a variety of activities. Visitors can enjoy live music performances, a parade, carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors, and delicious food options. This family-friendly festival is a great way to experience the local culture and community spirit.

Colorado State Fair

The Colorado State Fair in Canon City is a major event that attracts visitors from all over the state. This traditional fair features livestock shows, rodeo events, carnival rides, live entertainment, and a wide range of food vendors. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the agricultural heritage of Colorado and enjoy a fun-filled day with family and friends.

Brew-Ha-Ha

Brew-Ha-Ha is a popular beer festival held in Canon City that showcases the best craft breweries in the region. Visitors can sample a wide variety of beers, enjoy live music, participate in fun games and activities, and savor delicious food truck offerings. This event is perfect for beer enthusiasts looking to discover new brews and enjoy a lively atmosphere.

Interesting Facts

– Canon City, Colorado is home to the Royal Gorge Bridge, which is one of the highest suspension bridges in the world, standing at a height of 955 feet above the Arkansas River.
– The city is known for its abundance of dinosaur fossils, with the Garden Park Fossil Area being a significant paleontological site where numerous dinosaur remains have been discovered.
– Canon City is nicknamed the “Climate Capital of Colorado” due to its mild climate, with over 300 days of sunshine annually, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

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