Things to do in Cañon City

Things to do in  Cañon City

White water in the wild west

The most popular base for exploring Colorado's Royal Gorge region, Cañon City is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise, served with a side of Wild West history. Thrill seekers can experience the gorge from the bottom on a white water rafting tour on the Arkansas River, while those who prefer to stay dry can cross with a gravity-defying walk across a suspension bridge. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad also tops the list of things to do in Cañon City, offering scenic rides through the canyon complete with wine and dining cars.

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All about Cañon City

When to visit

The best time to explore Cañon City is during the spring (April–June) and autumn (September–November) months. Spring has the best weather for hiking and white-water rafting, while autumn affords perfect foliage-filled views on the Royal Gorge. Don’t miss the annual Music & Blossom Festival in early May, a cute celebration of the town’s local school bands and blooming fruit trees.

Getting around

Getting around Cañon City is usually easy to do on foot, though the Cañon City Area Transit (CCAT) bus service is a convenient way to hop between key areas of the town. If you plan to explore nearby natural attractions like the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, consider renting a car—or rent a bike in town and explore the surrounding trails in eco-friendly style.

Traveler tips

There’s no better way to experience the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park than on a zipline ride, which offers incredible views (and an adrenaline rush) from above the Arkansas River. Back in town, stick close to the historic downtown district for antique shops, handmade crafts, and art galleries.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
MST (UTC -7)
Country Code

People Also Ask

What is Cañon City, Colorado known for?

Cañon City is primarily known for its proximity to the Arkansas River and Royal Gorge Bridge—one of the highest suspension bridges in the world and a popular destination for adventure travelers. The city is a great jumping-off point for activities like white-water rafting, kayaking, hiking, and rock climbing.

What is there to do in Cañon City at night?

Cañon City has plenty of fun bars and restaurants that will keep you entertained after the sun goes down—many even feature live music on the weekends. For something a bit out of the ordinary, book an overnight ghost tour at the Abbey, a former monastery shrouded in mystery and tales of the paranormal.

Is Cañon City worth a visit?

Yes, Cañon City is worth visiting, especially if you are seeking outdoor adventure in a beautiful setting. The city is less than an hour away from Colorado Springs by car, making it an easy day trip or standalone destination. Given its position on the Arkansas River, it’s a particularly great place to visit during the warmer months when rafting and kayaking are popular activities.

How many prisons are in Cañon City?

There are 11 prisons in Cañon City (seven state and four federal), including the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility, which is the oldest prison in the entire state. Cañon City is also home to the Museum of Colorado Prisons, a former women’s facility that now educates visitors about the history of corrections in Colorado.

How big is Cañon City?

Cañon City has an area of about 12.4 square miles (32.1 square kilometers). As of the 2020 census, it has a population of 17,141. It serves as the county seat of Fremont Count, which also encompasses the towns of Florence, Brookside, Coal Creek, Rockvale, and Williamsburg.

Why is Cañon City called Cañon City?

Cañon City is named after the Royal Gorge, a deep canyon formed by the Arkansas River (“cañon” is the Spanish word for “canyon”). It is one of only a few US cities with the Spanish ñ in its name, and the tilde has become something of a symbol of the town, appearing on store signs and souvenir T-shirts.

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