Monday, May 11, 2015

Our trip to the Royal Gorge Bridge & FREE coloring & Activity Pack

One of the things I truly enjoy about homeschooling is the opportunity to take off and explore. Recently, we did just that. Our family took an amazing trip to Colorado. Eventually I will blog about all the different places we went and loved, but today I want to focus on the Royal Gorge. It was truly amazing and beautiful. We had all learned and read about the beauty of the Royal Gorge, but seeing it in person was way different.

As you probably already know, a June 2013 wildfire destroyed 48 of the 52 buildings and structures of the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park and 90 percent of the park on both sides of the gorge. The Royal Gorge Bridge was spared minus some boards that had to be replaced. They have since rebuilt – please visit their website for the newest updates. 

Upon arriving, our family walked into the new visitors center and immediately paid the admission, eager to see what laid upon the other side. We walked out the doors and made our way to a fence and peered over the edge. It was breathtaking in a literal since. It was kinda funny, because before we arrived one of my daughters and husband had talked about zip-lining across it. When we paid the admission a very nice lady working had let my daughter know that you had to be at least ten years old and weigh one hundred pounds or more to do it. Check and Check. She was a happy camper. 

Everything changed with that first peek. Neither one of them had an interest anymore.  I'm quite sure they were thinking that their very first zip-lining experience should probably be a much smaller adventure than the Royal Gorge. 

After taking a few pictures, we made our way to the new aerial gondolas. The gondolas glide 2,200 feet across the Royal Gorge and over 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River. Each car will hold up to 8 guests and they have a total of 6 cars traversing the gorge at one time. We were very happy to learn that the Gondola ride is included in the general admission price and you can ride it as many times as you please. 

I'm not going to lie. The Gondola ride was absolutely amazing, but also a bit terrifying as well. My oldest didn't quite enjoy it and was very eager to remove herself when we stopped. I was pretty nervous but managed to convince myself that there was no way it was going to break. It swayed a little with any movement from us, so we all tried to stay as still as possible all while trying to take in the marvelous views. 

At the other side, we opted to not take the Gondola back across, but instead to walk around and explore the park and then walk back across the bridge.  While walking around we discovered an observation area. It took a little hike to get there, but it was definitely worth it. The views from this area were wonderful. 

We eventually made our way down a little path and arrived at the Plaza Theater. Colorado history comes alive with original artifacts and photos in their historical displays. 

We were also able to buy some yummy slushies and settle in to watch a short film all about the Royal Gorge. It was a wonderful presentation. Below you can see the same film that is played. It is filled with history, fun facts, drama, and awesome scenery surrounding the park.

After watching the film, it was time to make our way across the bridge. I didn't know if I was quite ready for it. I secretly wished that I could just teleport to the other side. I'm not really a fan of heights and having to cross that bridge on foot, no matter how beautiful it was, seemed like a huge feat. I managed it though. I must say, I actually loved it. I did try to stay away from the edge though. 

The Bridge was built in 1929 and nicknamed "America's Bridge." It is still the highest suspension bridge in America. It hangs 956 feet above the Arkansas River and is 1,270 feet long and 18 feet wide. 

Since we are from Oklahoma, a couple of my daughters and husband wanted to take a picture next to the Oklahoma sign. They are much braver than I am. 

It was interesting to see the gaps in between the wooded boards on the bridge as we walked across. It was so far down and if you looked down while you were walking, you could see the bottom with every step that you took. 

We when arrived at the other side, we spent a little more time looking around and taking pictures. We then made our way back to the visitors center shop to buy souvenirs.

As you can probably already tell, we loved our trip to the Royal Gorge. It was a wonderful family experience and I'm so thankful we had the opportunity to bring our daughters. I hope that this is a trip they will remember forever. 

Check back soon for more stories and pictures from our Colorado vacation. 


I have searched for coloring pages and activity worksheets for the Royal Gorge and haven't found many, so I decided to create my own. 

Click here to download and Print Our 

Have you been to the Royal Gorge or are you planning a trip? 
We would love to hear your stories. 
Leave us a comment below. 

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