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!


Saturday, Jul 31, 2021
Rain starting in the afternoon.
High 73°
Low 62°
Chance of Rain 78%
Wind at 10 MPH
Sunday, Aug 01, 2021
Rain in the morning.
High 70°
Low 58°
Chance of Rain 77%
Wind SE at 6 MPH
Monday, Aug 02, 2021
Rain in the evening.
High 77°
Low 53°
Chance of Rain 55%
Wind S at 7 MPH
Tuesday, Aug 03, 2021
Possible light rain in the evening.
High 78°
Low 58°
Chance of Rain 62%
Wind at 6 MPH
Wednesday, Aug 04, 2021
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
High 82°
Low 57°
Chance of Rain 28%
Wind at 5 MPH
Thursday, Aug 05, 2021
Clear throughout the day.
High 88°
Low 55°
Chance of Rain 1%
Wind S at 5 MPH
Friday, Aug 06, 2021
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
High 88°
Low 59°
Chance of Rain 15%
Wind S at 6 MPH
Saturday, Aug 07, 2021
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
High 87°
Low 63°
Chance of Rain 23%
Wind NW at 5 MPH