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Starting May 1, you can drive across the Royal Gorge Bridge

The Royal Gorge Bridge is typically open to pedestrian traffic, but to maintain proper social distancing, vehicles are now allowed.
Credit: Amanda Kesting, KUSA
Walking across the Royal Gorge bridge just outside of Canon City.

CAÑON CITY, Colo. — The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park has been closed for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but on Friday it will reopen … with a twist.

The once pedestrian-only bridge will be open to drivers in order to maintain proper social distancing while offering people the amazing views afforded by the highest suspension bridge in the U.S. 

People haven't been able to drive across the Royal Gorge since 2013. It briefly reopened to vehicle traffic in March before closing again. 

Fun fact: it’s 955-feet above the Arkansas River, and while the title has now been usurped by bridges in China, the Royal Gorge Bridge was once the highest suspension bridge in the world.

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The bridge will be open to vehicle traffic between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day, according to the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park website. Driving across costs $20, and is open to passenger cars, motorcycles, SUVs and minivans that hold eight people or less.

“To comply with the State of Colorado’s Safer at Home orders, guests must remain in their vehicles with no stopping whatsoever,” the park’s website says. “There will be no access to buildings including restrooms.”

Tickets can either be purchased online or via credit card kiosks at the park.

The Royal Gorge is located 12 miles from Canon City and about an hour southwest of Colorado Springs.

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't the first natural disaster the Royal Gorge Bridge has weathered since it was completed in 1929. 

Most of the park's buildings were destroyed by a wildfire in 2013 (though the bridge was mostly untouched). The Royal Gorge officially reopened in 2015. 

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