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, Apr 18, 2019
Partly cloudy until afternoon.
High 60°
Low 37°
Chance of Rain 11%
Wind at 6 MPH
Friday, Apr 19, 2019
Clear throughout the day.
High 73°
Low 38°
Chance of Rain 1%
Wind SW at 1 MPH
Saturday, Apr 20, 2019
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
High 79°
Low 46°
Chance of Rain 1%
Wind SW at 4 MPH
Sunday, Apr 21, 2019
Light rain starting in the evening.
High 71°
Low 50°
Chance of Rain 43%
Wind at 3 MPH
Monday, Apr 22, 2019
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
High 54°
Low 43°
Chance of Rain 74%
Wind NE at 6 MPH
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
High 61°
Low 44°
Chance of Rain 52%
Wind E at 4 MPH
Wednesday, Apr 24, 2019
Clear throughout the day.
High 70°
Low 39°
Chance of Rain 3%
Wind at 1 MPH
Thursday, Apr 25, 2019
Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon.
High 76°
Low 44°
Chance of Rain 2%
Wind SW at 3 MPH