When driving through the area of the Royal Gorge, you will certainly want to turn on to the Skyline Drive near Canon City, CO, for the breathtaking view over the area. This high road will give you opportunity to see tremendous views all along the drive and it is sure to give you many excellent camera shots.
Skyline Drive runs along Route 50 just above Canon City. It goes for three miles and rises to 800 feet above the city, giving travelers some beautiful views of the surrounding area and of the Sangre Mountains. Many people also like to walk the distance for a good workout.
The original road was built by prisoners in 1903, and there is a prison that can be seen on the way back down. Later, in the 1930's, the road was first paved. Because of the narrowness of the road in places, it only allows for one-way traffic. In places, there are steep drop-offs on both sides of the road, so care will need to be given while driving on this road.
The Skyline Drive is on top of what is called a hogback, which is simply a narrow ridge - like on the backs on some wild hogs. There are a number of pull-offs along the route so that people can have a perfect opportunity to just sit down and enjoy the view, or take pictures of the unforgettably beautiful scenery.
Along the drive, there is also a place where dinosaur footprints can be seen on the rockface. These were discovered by a student in 1999, who was walking along the Drive. The road was closed down for a few months while a team of archeologists and others performed research on them. These footprints can be viewed by stopping along the first parkway and then taking a short walk back. The rock layers there had turned sideways so that you can see them vertically, instead of flat on the ground.
Much of the rock in this area has been turned to the vertical position. Apart from this hogback, there are also other ones nearby. The vertical rock formations can also be seen at places like Garden of the Gods, Stonewall, and in the Roxborough Park.
While you are in this area, visitors will certainly also want to see the Royal Gorge, which is not far away. The Gorge has the world's highest suspension bridge and it traverses a chasm that is more than 1,000 feet down. The Arkansas River runs through the Gorge and a train runs along one side of it. Tickets can be purchased that will let you drive over the bridge - or walk across it. A tram car is also there which goes across it as well. Train rides are also available - with dinner or lunch - and they can be purchased as a package, letting guests see this amazing beautiful place from both the bridge and the train.
Other attractions are also in the area of the Skyline Drive at Canon City, CO, and you will want to see them all. This includes the Wapiti Western Wildlife Park, which will let the family enjoy seeing Rocky Mountain Elk, American Bison, and Big Horn Sheep.