Thanks to 3 million years of unrelenting flow by the once meager – now mighty Arkansas River, those living in the new millennium can experience the soaring cliffs of the Royal Gorge. These granite wonders tower more than 1,000 feet above the rushing Arkansas down below. More than 300 days of sun, a dry and dreamy climate and the protection of this narrow, winding, dramatic canyon draws some of Colorado’s most majestic wildlife, like big horn sheep, bald eagles and Blue Herons.
Adventure seekers and in-the-know travelers are also drawn to the Royal Gorge region for its beauty, warmth and southern Colorado charm. In some spots, you can’t even get a phone signal and visitors view that as a good thing. Could the Royal Gorge be the last place in Colorado where you simply have to unplug?
Up until 1999, the only way to experience the Royal Gorge, was by raft or to catch a glimpse from the City’s Royal Gorge Bridge. Then, in 1999, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad was resurrected by the same family that ran the famous Georgetown Loop Railroad until 2004.
The Royal Gorge Route Railroad ran its first passenger train through the Royal Gorge in May of 1999 with just 5 passenger cars and a cooler, which carried cold drinks for passengers. The train quickly grew, with added classes of service, first class cars, dining cars, and the addition of full-length dome cars. Classes of service expanded quickly from coach class, to vista dome, gourmet lunch & dinners, murder mysteries, 5-course wine dinners, along with our successful Santa Express Trains. They were the first scenic railroad in Colorado to lead the way in defining what “first-class” means, winning awards for their exquisite 3-course lunch and dinner trains. The Royal Gorge Route is run by a Colorado Company passionate about quality.