CANON CITY — In our exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.
The Royal Gorge is one of the most iconic places you'll find in Southern Colorado.
This week, we take a high speed, high altitude adventure with Colorado Jeep Tours to see it from a whole new perspective.
"All of our tours are very interpretive, so we talk a lot about history and geology and paleontology, on top of seeing all the great scenery," said Will Colon, owner of Colorado Jeep Tours.
He's been in business for almost 10 years, and has extensive knowledge of the Banana Belt Region.
After leaving the company's headquarters in Canon City, we travel more than 1,500 vertical feet as we start our tour on the Royal Gorge Loop.
"We go into the south entrance of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. We're the only ones that have access there," said Colon.
This allows guests a closer look at the Royal Gorge Fire burn scar, which devastated the area back in June of 2013.
VIP access to the Royal Gorge Park and surrounding trails is only part of what makes this tour so special.
You'll also get the chance to be driven across the Royal Gorge Bridge in your jeep.
"This was built in *1929*, and this used to be the world's highest bridge," said Colon.
* The on-air version mentions the incorrect date. The correct date (see above) is 1929. *
At nearly 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River, America's highest suspension bridge gives off spectacular views of the gorge.
Up next, the real off-roading begins as we make our way over to the neighboring Fremont Peak.
Here, we drive along a dirt road through pockets of deep snow that really puts our jeep to the test.
Colon says that winter-time is one of his favorite times to do a jeep tour, especially after a storm.
"It's absolutely gorgeous. It's just phenomenal," said Colon.
The higher we climb, the deeper the snow.
At first, we're fine.
But soon, we can't climb any higher.
From here, we hike a short distance to a scenic look out point, which offers incredible views of the Arkansas River Valley, the Wet Mountains and the Sangres.
Our last stop takes us to Skyline Drive.
On top of the stunning scenery, Colon shares some history about the dinosaurs that once roamed free in this area.
In addition to the Royal Gorge Loop, Colorado Jeep Tours offers several different half-day and full-day options throughout the year.
For more information and to book your tickets, visit Colorado Jeep Tours.
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