Nicknamed the Climate Capital of Colorado, Cañon City is the county seat and most populous city of Fremont County, Colorado, with a total population of 15,431 as of 2000. The third oldest city in the state, Cañon City is popular among tourists for rock climbing, whitewater rafting and sightseeing. It is also noted for being the home of four federal and nine state penitentiaries and prisons.
Cañon City has a unique geography and an elevation of 5,300 ft, safeguarding the city from bad weather conditions. Cañon City has an area of 31.2 sq km, of which 31.1 sq km is land. It sits in the high desert land in the southern part of Colorado. Though its elevation is higher than Grand Junction, its average daily highs are 14 degrees warmer in January. Overnight lows are warmer in the city than in Denver, with the average minimum temperature standing at 20 degrees in January. Average overnight low temperature is 59 degrees in July.
Cañon City is situated in a mountain bowl along the Arkansas River valley, flowing east from the Rocky Mountains and the Royal Gorge. Its residents take pride in its history, its community and its setting amid the majestic natural features.
One of the main attractions located near the city is the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the United States. The Royal Gorge Bridge also houses the SkyCoaster, a thrilling and fun swing that will literally swing you out over the canyon.
Another place of interest at Cañon City is the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, regarded as one of the world’s scenic railroads. The railroad was ranked by Trains Magazine as one of the top eight train rides in North America. It takes passengers on a 24-mi round-trip travel complimented with service from Vista Domes to three-course lunch and dinner trains. It is still the top destination attraction in the region due to the stunning views of the Royal Gorge as well as delicious food and outstanding services.
Tourists also frequent the Dinosaur Depot Museum and Colorado State Penitentiary, Whitewater Rafting, and Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. Together with other nearby attractions like the National Forest, the Arkansas River, and the natural beauty of the nearby land, the city attracts many tourists all year-round especially during summer. It is one of the few cities located along the Front Range that has mainly kept its small town feel.