The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is more than just your average theme park. It’s a part of Colorado’s history. Bridge construction started back in 1929, but the Gorge itself is millions of years in the making. And even the Royal Gorge Fire of 2013 couldn’t stop the fun and excitement from happening for years to come.

One day, about 3 million years ago, a trickle of water slowly began to carve out a canyon from the solid granite bedrock around it. Little by little, that tiny trickle became the raging Arkansas River, one of the United States’ longest rivers. And that canyon became the Royal Gorge. At approximately 10 miles long and surrounded by red granite walls towering over 1,000 feet, it’s no wonder some of the first American explorers referred to it as the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas.

The width at the bottom of the Gorge is only 40 to 50 feet across, but the Arkansas River continues to carve to this day, increasing the Royal Gorge’s 1,000+ foot depth by about one foot every 2,500 years. So, no matter where you are in the Park, you’re watching history in the making.

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