The Perfect Summit County Day Trip to the Royal Gorge
By Debbie Ware
Originally from Michigan, 35 years ago Debbie moved to Summit County for the winters and stayed for the summers. She married a Colorado native and they have raise their daughter on the mountain and the river loving every moment spent in the Rocky Mountain High Country.
My husband and I have lived in Summit County for many years and we wanted to check out a part of Colorado that we haven’t experienced before. So we hit the road south, down to the Royal Gorge area, with 2 of our favorite adventures on tap: whitewater rafting and mountain biking!
Our Scenic Drive South
With just under 2 hours from Breckenridge, we took off early in the morning for our drive south to the Royal Gorge area. On the way, we stopped in Fairplay at the Java Moose for their “world famous” breakfast burritos and some coffee. Yum! What a fantastic stop and a great way to start our day off to the Royal Gorge. Hopping back in the car, we headed south past some beautiful ranch land and scenery. The town of Hartsel was so cute and we made a mental note to check it out further on our way back home.
Some of the Best Whitewater Rafting in Colorado!
We arrived in plenty of time to check in at the Performance Tours Royal Gorge office and get ourselves ready for some of the best whitewater rafting in Colorado through the Royal Gorge! We met our guide Bundy and he was super professional, fun and very informative. We learned a ton about the Royal Gorge and the world’s highest suspension bridge that we literally floated under. The canyon was so beautiful and the whitewater was amazing and very thrilling! We have rafted before, and this section really got our adrenaline going with rapids such as Boateater and Sledgehammer. Bundy guided us through each one expertly every time.
Mountain Biking in Cañon City
After we said goodbye to Bundy and the Performance Tours rafting crew we headed out to the Royal Gorge Park area for some mountain biking. We really enjoyed riding near the rim of the gorge- especially after being down in the canyon just a couple of hours ago! Most of the trails are rated with a blue square from MTB Project and have stellar views into the gorge. The scenery was once again amazing! If hiking is more your jam, the trails here are also very hiker friendly.
Fueling up in Cañon City
After our adventure filled day we were pretty hungry. Since Cañon City is less than 15 miles away from the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park area we decided to check out Cañon City Brews and Bikes for some much needed nourishment and adult hydration. We really enjoyed the outside beer garden, which we noticed was dog friendly, and they have a good variety of Colorado Craft Beers on tap.
We can’t wait to go back!
We had such a fun filled day on our first tour through the Royal Gorge area, we are certainly making plans to go back soon. The super easy drive from Breckenridge makes a nice get away and it’s really fun to experience such a beautiful part of Colorado. We highly recommend this easy day trip!