Cañon City History - Colorado Springs Vacation & Tourism Information

Cañon City History

Cañon City was founded in 1860 to excavate possible mineral deposits in the area.


Cañon City is the home of the Royal Gorge, a 10-mile long steep canyon carved in granite by the Arkansas River.

History Canon City

A History Built by Trains

No gold or minerals were found in the history of Cañon City but the discovery of silver and lead in Leadville, CO in 1877 prompted a race to build rail access to the area. In the 1890s, the Royal Gorge region was used as a passenger route for transcontinental rail travel. As many as four trains per day went through the gorge, though in time, the establishment of alternate routes through the mountains made the Royal Gorge fall from favor for transcontinental use, and passenger train service on the main line was discontinued in 1967.

The Royal Gorge Route Railroad, a leisure train, now follows the route through the gorge. In 1929, Cañon City authorized the building of the Royal Gorge Bridge, which stands at 1,053 feet above the river and is one of the highest suspension bridges over water in the world. The bridge forms the heart of Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, a theme park owned and run by the city.

History Canon City
Authentic Dinosaur Tracks on Skyline Drive

Ancient Dinosaur Bones

Other important elements in the history of Cañon City include the dinosaur bones discovered in the area in the early 1870s. Today you can see the world's most complete Stegosaurus and learn more about the dinosaur discoveries in the history of Cañon City at the Dinosaur Depot Museum.

Experience the history of Cañon City by visiting this historic town. Main Street in Downtown Cañon City, listed on the National Register of Historic Places is a great place to start. Don't forget to save with area discounts & deals on lodging, attractions, dining and more!


Thursday, Oct 17, 2019
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
High 80°
Low 43°
Chance of Rain 0%
Wind SW at 8 MPH
Friday, Oct 18, 2019
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
High 68°
Low 41°
Chance of Rain 12%
Wind NW at 9 MPH
Saturday, Oct 19, 2019
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
High 68°
Low 34°
Chance of Rain 2%
Wind SW at 8 MPH
Sunday, Oct 20, 2019
Dangerously windy in the morning and afternoon.
High 57°
Low 33°
Chance of Rain 8%
Wind NW at 14 MPH
Monday, Oct 21, 2019
Clear throughout the day.
High 55°
Low 30°
Chance of Rain 7%
Wind NW at 8 MPH
Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
High 69°
Low 28°
Chance of Rain 2%
Wind W at 6 MPH
Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019
Foggy overnight.
High 67°
Low 30°
Chance of Rain 12%
Wind at 10 MPH
Thursday, Oct 24, 2019
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
High 43°
Low 24°
Chance of Rain 38%
Wind at 5 MPH