Lt. Zebulon Pike and his men, who traveled through this area in November and December 1806, were the first American explorers to view the Arkansas River canyon now known as the Royal Gorge. A small party from the Maj. Stephen H. Long expedition visited the mouth of the canyon in 1820, as did members of Lt. John C. Fremont's expedition in 1845.
In 1878 a right of way through the Royal Gorge became the focal point of a bitter struggle between the Denver and Rio Grande and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroads, with the D and RG eventually winning the route through court action. Congress ceded the land comprising the Royal Gorge Park to Caņon City in 1906, and the world's highest suspension bridge spanning the Arkansas River 1053 feet below was built in 1929.
Elevation 6,626 feet.
Erected by the State Historical Society of Colorado