Royal Gorge history goes back tens of millions of years ago when mountain building forced the Arkansas River to erode its way through the dense rock of the Rocky Mountains, across the eastern plains and eventually into the state of Arkansas where it meets the Mississippi River. The Arkansas River is about 1,450 miles long from its headwaters to the confluence with the Mississippi River, which makes it the longest tributary of the Mississippi River.
While white water rafting in Colorado through the Royal Gorge you will float past some of the oldest exposed Precambrian rock in North America, ancient rock that is being exposed at a rate of about one inch every 210 years!
The first Anglo credited with discovering the Royal Gorge was Lt. Zebulon Pike, the explorer for whom Pikes Peak is named. The site of Lt. Pike’s 1806 camp while he explored the Royal Gorge area of Colorado can be viewed either by white water rafting in Colorado with Echo Canyon River Expeditions or by train ride on a Royal Gorge train.
The historic Royal Gorge Route Railroad offers interpretative descriptions on their train rides including history of the miners and trappers who initially brought civilization to this area. The Royal Gorge Route offers a variety of classes of service from Coach Class to Gourmet Lunch and Dinner Trains, and has numerous daily departures throughout the summer.
Located just a few miles from Echo Canyon River Expeditions, you can view this natural wonder, The Grand Canyon of the Arkansas as it was once known, from the Royal Gorge Bridge, a suspension bridge built in 1929, which looms nearly 1,100 feet above the river! The Royal Gorge Bridge offers a variety of family attractions as well as some high adventure rides like the Royal Rush Skycoaster bungee swing.
White water rafting in Colorado with Echo Canyon is the most exciting way to experience this amazing chasm. Between rapids your raft guide will tell you more about the Royal Gorge Bridge history and the still-remaining rock forts from the Royal Gorge Railroad War of the 1870’s. Book your reservation today and you’ll be on your to experiencing all the Royal Gorge has to offer!