Friday, April 18, 2008

Royal Gorge

This weekend we traveled to an area southwest of Colorado Springs and camped at the Mountaindale Campground . This is a great little campground with friendly staff that is in the foothills away from the highway, but very easy to get to.
It offers full hookups, cabins, showers, laundry facilities, a hot tub, free wi-fi, and a general store, and it is near many great tourist attractions including Colorado Springs where there is a wide range of entertainment and dining options. Our campsite cost was $26.91/night.

45 minutes from our campground is one of the must-see natural wonders in this area, the Royal Gorge and the world's highest (1,053 feet) suspension bridge that crosses it. This park also offers other tourist attractions including a small amusement park, theater, tram rides, petting zoo, and more.

The weather the day we visited was sunny but very windy, and walking across a suspension bridge in those conditions added an extra thrill as it swayed slightly in the wind. Royal Gorge Park also boasts the world's steepest inclined railway that offers breathtaking views of the steep canyon walls as you plunge (slowly) to the bottom of the Gorge.

Other things to do in the area include visiting the town of Florence and touring its opera house (in renovation) or shopping for bargains at many of Florence's antique stores. Once dinner time rolls around, we recommend the Gooseberry Patch Restaurant on Hwy 115 near Penrose. It is a warm and friendly no-frills restaurant with an all-you-can-eat country style buffet. For dessert, be sure to pick up one of their awesome pies and take the leftovers back to your campsite to enjoy around the campfire.