Canyon Rim Trail … stunning
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the Canyon Rim Trail, one mile before the entrance to the popular Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is a treat and filled with riveting views.
The best way to see Colorado, on a trail in hiking boots!
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You’ll start your hike on an easy, fairly flat trail through Juniper, Piñon and Cholla forest, lined with cacti until you come upon a short spur off the trail, and “whoa”, the Royal Gorge Canyon spreads out before you.
You’ll be stunned, spellbound and speechless at how deep the canyons are, how far the view expands, past the Wet Mountains, and as far as the Sangre de Cristos.
In the bottom depths of the canyon, you’ll hear the roar of the rapids of the Arkansas River echoing up the canyon walls.
Glimpses of the canyon can be seen as you hike alongside the rim. I try to have the right words, but never can quite catch the “true essence” of what is before us.
A must-do trail, easy enough for beginners, yet exhilarating enough for us crazies, who hike anything.
There is a Trail System mixed in with the Canyon Rim Trail and you can wander off in various directions. The “FAR Out Trail”, is a fun one and a bit more challenging.
Heading uphill, the FAR Out trail becomes a little more moderate, leading you to higher terrain, and will take you away from the canyon views and eventually lead you to views of Cañon City and beyond. This is where you can turn around and headed back to finish the Canyon Rim Trail.
A few mountain bikers passed on several occasions, one exclaiming, “this is a great trail, we love it”.
It’s early November and we saw a couple hikers and two small groups of mountain bike enthusiasts. Great time to come here, for a quiet hike on an Indian Summer day.
The Canyon Rim Trail ends at East Ridge Campground. Turn around here and head back the way you came.
Out and back it’s approx. 3.5 miles. We hiked about 6.5 miles going off the trail a bit to explore other trails.
The Trailhead is located on County Road 3A (turnoff for Royal Gorge Bridge and Park) off of Hwy 50, west of Canyon City, CO. Go about 3.5 miles, you will find a rest area (picnic area) on the right. Park here. The Trailhead is across the road. The trail splits at the beginning. Go to the left.
Free camping near Canyon Rim Trail and the Royal Gorge Park.
Rated: mild to moderate
Dogs welcome on a leash
Restroom & picnic facilities
Closest town: Canyon City
NOTE: many overlooks on the trail, hike with caution, no guardrails!
Canyon Rim Trail is one mile from the entrance to the “Royal Gorge Bridge and Park”
(You can drive into the parking area of the Park for Free and view the Bridge from an overlook) for the adventures inside the Park there is a fee.
You might also enjoy Newlin Creek Trail, another hiking adventure tucked in the Wet Mountains of Colorado that we loved.