Apparently It Takes a Natural Disaster to Shutdown Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge
Colorado's incredible Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is open seven days a week, 365 days a year. Does it ever close? If so, what has to happen in order for it to shut down?
Seriously, the bridge is open 365 days a year, including holidays. It's only on very rare occasions that it closes to the public. Given this is Colorado, and the fact the bridge is suspended 956 feet above the Arkansas River, it seems reasonable that Mother Nature would throw something at it so severe the park would have to close. Well, here's what it takes.
America's Bridge In Colorado
Colorado's Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is home to America's highest suspension bridge. Imagine walking one step at a time across 1,257 wooden planks supported by 4,100 steel cables, dangling 956 feet over a river.
According to the park's official webpage, Royal Gorge is ranked "Colorado's #1 Bucket List Zip Line." In addition, the park is home to various rides and a visitors center.
Open 365 Days a Year
Seriously, the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is open on Christmas, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Mother's Day, Groundhog Day, Arbor Day, William Shatner's Birthday, Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast Day, and any other day you can think of.
The Royal Gorge Bridge opens at 8 a.m. The Rides and Visitor Center open at 10 a.m.
What Has To Happen For The Royal Gorge To Close?
It happened just a few weeks ago. On Valentine's Day, February 14, 2023, the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park posted on their Facebook page:
⚠️WEATHER CLOSURE ⚠️ Due to predicted snow and cold temperatures, the Bridge & Park will be closed Wednesday, February 15th. Stay safe and warm!
The following day, February 15, 2023, they posted:
⚠️ UPDATE ⚠️ RGB will remain closed tomorrow Thursday, February 16th due to weather ❄️
On December 22 of last year (2022), the park sent out this message on Facebook:
Due to projected subzero temperatures, we will be closed Thursday, December 22, 2022. ❄️ This applies to both General Admission during the day, and the Bridge of Lights in the the evening. We apologize for the inconvenience. Stay safe and warm today!
Similar closers occurred last year (2022) on November 18 and 29.
The park's website adds, "We are open 365 days a year, weather permitting, including holidays. The bridge is typically only closed when there is snow that makes the road getting here unpassable."
Getting Up Colorado Road 3A
I spoke briefly with a rep from the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. According to her, the most likely cause for needing to close would be icy conditions on Colorado Road 3A. The road can become extremely cold and icy, in which case it is simply too difficult to keep up with.
Things To Keep In Mind 365 Days a Year
You'll find the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park at an altitude of 6,700 feet and in an arid region. With that, a word to the wise: Stay hydrated, and bring sunscreen.
The Royal Gorge is located in the banana belt of Colorado, and as a result, the Park is typically 8° to 10° warmer than Denver and Colorado Springs on any given day.
If you've been to the Royal Gorge before, then you're already aware there is always a breeze in the middle of the bridge, regardless of the time of year. Given that we're talking about Colorado, the weather can change at the drop of a hat. The park's website adds, "If rain, lightning, or strong winds roll in, temporary ride closures may occur."
An Amazing Place To Visit At Any Time
The Royal Gorge is a truly remarkable place to visit. You may find winter weather makes it all the more enjoyable. The fact the park is open 365 days a year is incredible in and of itself. The fact they close so rarely due to extreme Colorado weather is even more remarkable. You can monitor the area's weather at any time with live weather coverage.