Just an hour's drive from Salida, you will find the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park - one of the areas oldest tourist attractions!
The bridge was built in 1929 by an American businessman named Lon Piper who had a vision to create the highest suspension bridge in the world and a unique viewing platform for visitors to see the beautiful gorge. Standing almost 1,000 feet over the Arkansas River, the bridge is still the highest suspension bridge in America.
The bridge itself is worth the visit alone, but it's only one of the many attractions at the park. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for kids and includes access to the bridge, aerial gondola and play area.
Walking across the bridge is a bizarre experience - almost like walking across the deck of a boat. The bridge gently undulates on windy days giving a sensation almost like floating. It's wide and has high guardrails so you never feel like you're in danger but still get a thrill looking over the edge at the rushing river below.
Aside from the bridge, there are a number of things to do in the park:
Zip-line: Soar across the canyon 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River for unforgettable views! The zip-line does close seasonally for maintenance so make sure to check the website before you leave. Reportedly, the Travel Channel's #1 bucket list item in Colorado! $48/rider
Skycoaster: Freefall over the gorge on a giant swing that travels at more than 50 mph! 1-3 people can harness together to experience this adrenaline rush. $35/rider, $78 for three riders
Aerial Gondola: The perfect way to see the Royal Gorge for those of us that aren't big fan of heights. Travel across the canyon 1,200 feet above the river with 360-degree views - all safely (and warmly) enclosed in a gondola with large windows. Included in price of admission
Tommy Knocker Playground: Kid-heaven! This playland has a ton of variety to keep the younger kids entertained for hours. The playland features a splash pad, a place to make wax casts of your hands and even an area to pan for gold! The playground looks very fun with tunnels, slides, nets and other fun features. Included in price of admission, check website for seasonal closures.