Outdoor recreationalists flock to the Royal Gorge Region to play in its extensive and gorgeous landscape. Rock climbers praise the number and quality of routes at Shelf Road, boaters call the Gorge one of the best whitewater runs of the Arkansas River, and mountain bikers compare Cañon City’s Oil Well Flats with Moab’s Sand Flats Recreation Area.
Unfortunately, occasional rainy and cold days can put a damper on outdoor activities. If you’re visiting the Royal Gorge Region and have plans ruined by the weather, have no fear. There’s still plenty to do in the Royal Gorge Region when the weather doesn’t cooperate.
In poor weather, head first to the Pour House for a cup of coffee to warm your bones. Then, check out the Fremont Center for the Arts, the oldest privately-run art center west of the Mississippi. Founded in 1947, the art center now resides in Cañon City’s old post office, a 1933 building that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy permanent and rotating exhibits or jump into an art class if you’re feeling more adventurous.
Museums in the area are perfect places to spend a rainy or snowy day. Cañon City is home to the Colorado Museum of Prisons, the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center, and the Dinosaur Experience. Take a short drive from Cañon City into Florence for a peek at the Florence Pioneer Museum or to peruse the many antique shops the small town is famous for.
At the end of your day, relax with a wine tasting at the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, have a beer while bowling at Cañon City Lanes, or enjoy some nostalgia at the Owl Cigar Store, which isn’t a cigar store at all but an American diner filled with vintage paraphernalia.