When you find yourself lodging in Westcliffe at The Lamp Post Lodge or close by at the Hillside Colorado Cottages, not only will the small town and its immense beauty find a permanent residence in your heart, but you’ll soon realize that you have the best of what Southern Colorado has to offer right in your backyard.

Ideal for mountain retreats with the family, a getaway with the love of your life, or fueling the adventurist inside of you, Westcliffe nearly unlimited options of places to see and things to do. As your online travel guide to Southern Colorado, our previous posts have recommended visiting the wolves at Mission: Wolf, witnessing the vast beauty of the cosmos at Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley, exploring the trails and becoming one with nature in the San Isabel National Forest, and marveling at the sheer will, creativity, and skill one man can have at the manmade Bishop Castle. In this blog, we’ll give you yet another reason why Southern Colorado is perfect for your next vacation— The Royal Gorge.

Merely 45 miles away from your room in Westcliffe, you’ll find a 10-mile long, 1,200-foot deep canyon that the elements of time have carved through millions of years by the Arkansas River. A testament to the power and beauty of nature, the Royal Gorge is one of the most popular destinations found in Southern Colorado.

Putting aside the breathtaking views found in the area, another reason that it is visited so often are the vast array of activities one finds at the canyon. Read on to learn more. We know you’ll be planning out your trip soon, so you might as well book your room now as well!

White Water Rafting

Looking to get your blood pumping and a smile that seems like it will last for days? One of the most popular activities in the area is whitewater rafting and for good reason! The Arkansas River is known to be #1 for beginner and expert rafters alike. You’ll never feel more alive as you will when you find yourself paddling through class III to v rapids surrounded by the immense 1,000 ft. walls of the canyon. Join a crew on your own, or have a bonding experience working together with your closest friends or family members. We promise you won’t regret it!

Ride the Train

If you’re looking for something a little bit more low-key, another great option for families or couples visiting the Royal Gorge is riding the Royal Gorge Route Train. Not only will you get an unforgettable scenic route through the Rocky Mountains, but you’ll also be treated to incredible meals, unparalleled service, and memories that will last a lifetime. Kids ride free and the trains run daily through the gorge. Be sure to buy your tickets now!

The Royal Gorge Bridge

Nature isn’t the only thing here that is jaw-dropping. Built in 1929, the Royal Gorge Bridge is a staggering 956 feet high, and spans the canyon 1,270 feet! It’s truly something special to witness, America’s highest suspension bridge. For those daring enough, look down as you cross it to understand just how high up you are, and for the selfie-enthusiasts and photographers, you’ll find some photo lookout areas that are unmatched and will help you to encapsulate the beautiful scenery found in Southern Colorado. But that’s not all that the bridge has in store.

Adventure Seekers’ Haven

For the adrenaline junkies, the bridge offers an array of hair-raising and smile-inducing rides and attractions. One of the most popular activities is the Cloudscraper Zipline, the highest zip line in America!

Is that not enough? Be sure to check out the Royal Rush Skycoaster which will surely make it feel like your stomach is in your throat (in the best way possible!). Known as the “World’s Scariest Skycoaster,” you’ll freefall through the air at an incredible 50 mph over 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River. Are you brave enough?

Discover SoCo

Packing your bags? As you can see, Westcliffe and all of Southern Colorado offer much more than just the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever see. If you’re ready for the trip of a lifetime, be sure to book your room now, and continue to follow our blog for even more things to put on your vacation itinerary. It’s time to explore!