• Photo: Golasza | Dreamstime.com

Cañon City and Royal Gorge

From the glut of adventure tours that line U.S. 50 west of the city, to the nearby Royal Gorge—a dramatic crack that plunges more than 1,000 feet into the earth—to the strip mall veneer and juxtaposed revitalization of historic downtown buildings of Cañon City, the region is undeniably quirky. The Royal Gorge Region encompasses all of Fremont County, called "Colorado's Correctional Capital" by some. In Cañon City and nearby Florence there are more than a dozen prisons, including Super Max. While this may seem like a perverse source of income to court, the prisons have pumped millions of dollars into the local economy, but locals hope a host of new hiking and biking trails, and local businesses aimed at tourists, will overshadow the city's reputation as a prison town.

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