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!


Sunday, Apr 18, 2021
Clear throughout the day.
High 54°
Low 24°
Chance of Rain 9%
Wind NW at 7 MPH
Monday, Apr 19, 2021
Rain (with a chance of 1–3 in. of snow) in the evening.
High 60°
Low 25°
Chance of Rain 47%
Wind at 9 MPH
Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
High 39°
Low 20°
Chance of Rain 39%
Wind E at 6 MPH
Wednesday, Apr 21, 2021
Foggy in the evening and overnight.
High 40°
Low 24°
Chance of Rain 52%
Wind SE at 7 MPH
Thursday, Apr 22, 2021
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
High 55°
Low 25°
Chance of Rain 35%
Wind SE at 6 MPH
Friday, Apr 23, 2021
Rain in the evening.
High 57°
Low 30°
Chance of Rain 45%
Wind at 5 MPH
Saturday, Apr 24, 2021
Clear throughout the day.
High 62°
Low 34°
Chance of Rain 13%
Wind S at 7 MPH
Sunday, Apr 25, 2021
Overcast throughout the day.
High 75°
Low 33°
Chance of Rain 2%
Wind SW at 6 MPH