Our RVing adventure began in 2017 when we sold our home in Buffalo NY, bought a 5th wheel and proceeded to traverse the country over the next 4 years.
50,000 miles later we pasted the 49th State plastic icon onto our travel map (along with 8 Canadian provinces) and decided we wanted to stay in one location. To be honest had it not been so far away, Alaska would have been our first choice. But Colorado was a close second.
We loved RVing and wanted to be around RVers, so decided to buy a park. After an intense search we found a location that provided all of what we desired: hiking and biking trails, nearby skiing, white water rafting, amazing mountain views, good restaurants, great weather and a small town not too far from a larger metropolis.
What we found was a…
Mountain View RV Resort, located 3 miles from the Royal Gorge and 7 miles from Canon City turned out to be an ideal location to live, work and play.
But why the Royal Gorge Region?
Oddly, we had spent several months in Colorado visiting various great locations – Colorado Springs, Durango, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Rocky Mountain National Park – but had never heard of the Royal Gorge.
The Royal Gorge is a thousand foot deep gorge cut by the Arkansas River. Views from both above and inside the gorge are spectacular. There is an abundance of wildlife in the area – deer, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain lions and bears.
Canon City operates a park which has the USA’s highest suspension bridge over the gorge. Gondolas and zip lines traverse the steep cliffs. White water rafters glide under the bridge in trips that range from relaxing to thrilling.
A train travels into the gorge offering birds eye views of millions of years of erosion with delicious meals to top off the experience.
Canon City hiking and biking enthusiasts have carved over 100 miles of trails around Canon City.
The Arkansas River is one of the most highly rated fly fishing destinations in the country.
There are large areas for ATVing in nearby BLM lands.
There is so much to do that I describe it in a separate post called “Top 25 Things To Do At Royal Gorge and Canon City“. In addition, the Royal Gorge is within easy driving distance to Monarch Mountain, Cripple Creek, Pikes Peak, and Garden of the Gods.
When to Visit a Royal Gorge RV Park
The major attractions of the Royal Gorge are open year round. The Royal Gorge train has special Christmas rides to the “North Pole” in December and the Royal Gorge Park and Bridge is open every day as well.
However, most people visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is when the weather is best and the crowds are heaviest. Generally, you will want to make reservations if you want to ride the train or go white water rafting during this time period. Although there are crowds, no way is this area as crowded as, say, a Yellowstone or Great Smoky Mountains. The Royal Gorge is still a hidden gem and not on most travelers’ radar.
Mid-week even in the high season is much less crowded and RV camping rates are generally cheaper.
Canon City is known as the “Climate Capital of Colorado” for good reason. The region is very arid and most days are quite sunny. Your chances of encountering rain or snow are very low.
Mountain View RV Resort is located on top of Eight Mile Hill (oddly, 8 miles from the center of Canon City) and weather systems typically go around the hill providing thrilling views of distant thunder storms. Snow is only likely in early spring and rarely in the fall.
Mountain View RV Resort is open April 1 until October 31 and we have only encountered one snow storm during our open season. That happened to fall the weekend before Memorial day. Over a foot of snow fell. Since we are on a major highway (US 50) the roads were always clear and driveable. Some people panicked and decided to drive home in the storm. But for those who waited, the roads were dry 24 hours later and the snow had completely melted in two days.
Temperatures are typically in the low 90’s on Eight Mile Hill (About 5 degrees cooler than your weather app will report in Canon City) and lows in the 60’s to 70’s during the high season.
September is the best weather month to visit as temps are in the mid 80’s with cool nights. In addition, there are no crowds at all in September. October is still a good month to visit although the white water rafting companies typically shut down by the end of September.
What Royal Gorge RV Resort to Stay At
When you visit Canon City or the Royal Gorge there are several options. The best choice is to use an RV of course, though there are options if you do not own one which I’ll explain later.
The big choice is whether to stay in the Royal Gorge area or east of Canon City. There are smaller parks 5 to 20 miles east of Canon City and it is cheaper to stay in these parks if money is your primary decision criteria. The downside is that most of the activities you will want to engage in are 8 to 20 miles west of Canon City, so you need to add extra time for traveling. Canon City can have a lot of traffic in the summer months. And, of course, if you travel an extra 40 miles a day to reach the activities of choice, there is the price of fuel to consider. Also, the RV parks in the east are fairly low quality – you get what you pay for there.
When you stay on Eight Mile Hill you will pay a small premium for an RV site. There are 4 parks to consider – a KOA and 3 independent campgrounds. All the parks have free WiFi.
If you are older and don’t like children the Royal View may be your best choice as it is a 55+ park.
The KOA and the Royal Gorge RV Resort are similar – dirt roads and sites and the sites are not quite level. Both have a pool, so if that is your major criteria, those could be good choices.
Mountain View RV Resort is a cut above all the other RV parks in the Royal Gorge region. First, it is an all gravel park. This keeps the dust down when it’s dry and eliminates mud on the occasions there is rain. Second, 90% of the sites have concrete patios, which none of the other parks have. All but 3 sites have fire pits. At Mountain View RV every site is a full hookup – so no searching for a dump station.
But what makes Mountain View even better are the amazing views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. In April and October these mountains are covered in snow. Sunrises and sunsets tend to be amazing as well.
At Mountain View RV Resort, there are 4 different types of sites available to choose from.
- The lowest cost Standard sites have no concrete patios and are up by the road. These are short sites as well, so no RV’s over 30 feet are allowed. Good for a van camper, these sites are closest to the highway.
- Deluxe sites are the next tier up with concrete patios, firepits and picnic tables. These are full hookup with 30/50 amp service. Typically these are 32′ wide and 65′ long. Most of these are pull through sites so you can keep your toad attached.
- Premium sites are where you start to get more elbow room. Sites are 40′ wide by 70′ long with concrete patio, fire pit and picnic table. There are trees or bushes between sites for a little privacy. These are all back-in sites
- At the top of the tiers are Premium Plus sites, These are the largest sites at least 70′ long and pull throughs are over 100′ long. They are more likely to be isolated from other sites and have upgraded patio furniture. Most importantly, these sites have terrific views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.
What if you don’t have an RV?
There are a few options to consider if you don’t have an RV. One option is a service called RV Share. This appears on our webpage when you book online. Someone else drives the RV to our park, sets it up and then takes it away when your stay is over. So you get all the adventure of RVing without some of the hassle
Other options include either renting a cabin or a glamping dome. Our cabins are furnished with two beds (bunk bed style), microwave, small refrigerator, table & chairs and coffee maker. There is also a picnic table and fire pit outside. Bath and showers are 50′ away. By the way, our showers are the best you’ll ever encounter in an RV park – pure luxury. Cabins can accommodate 4 guests. Both heat and A/C keep you comfortable.
Glamping Domes are more like a fancy hotel room except you get to experience the great outdoors. Located on elevated decks, you look over all the RV’s in the park and have magnificent unobstructed views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. These domes are suitable for two people. You’ll have a penthouse experience and at night an unobstructed view of the Colorado skies.
When traveling to unknown areas people are often concerned about their safety. At Mountain View RV Resort, we make sure your safety is our highest priority. Access to the park is controlled by an electronic gate and all visitors have to check in at the office before they can get on site. Managers and staff are on site 24/7 in case any incidents arise.
We have not had any incidents of theft in our park. The major danger is if someone’s dog gets loose. We enforce our leash policy to help reduce any potential problems with pets.
Off site, there are potential dangers that you might encounter. Wildlife is abundant – bears, mountain lions and rattlesnakes are found in this area. You are most likely to encounter the large mammals before dawn or after dusk. Snakes like to come out in the middle of the day.
For those coming from out of state, you should be aware that Colorado has an open carry law. That means it is likely you will see people walking around with guns openly displayed. Don’t be alarmed if you see this, there are no gun battles going on here.
Although we are out of range of TV broadcasts, there is good connectivity with AT&T and Verizon. Our park does offer 25 mbs internet. However, if you use T-mobile you are out of luck.
Traveling With Pets
A large fraction of our campers have pets. We do have a requirement to keep dogs on a leash and limit known aggressive breeds from the park. There are two dog areas on the west side of the park available. If you want to go some place not permitting pets, there are several options in Canon City and next door at Eight Mile Ranch. We also have dog watchers we can connect you with that can come to your RV and walk and feed your pet.
In the summer it can get hot so don’t lock your pet in a vehicle as it could be deadly.
Mountain View is located at 45606 West US Highway 50 6 miles west of the edge of Canon City. Make sure you put the “west” into your GPS otherwise you will end up in Pueblo.
We are located right on the major highway and you either come from the east or west. US 50 from Pueblo is a 4 lane highway and relatively flat until you get to Eight Mile Hill. The last 6 miles is a 1000′ climb. Mountain View is exactly 6 miles after you pass the prison on the sharp 90 degree turn on 50 and will be on your left. Watch for a large US flag.
If you are coming from Colorado Springs Route 115 is generally a two lane highway with occasional passing lanes. Lots of gravel trucks use this road and you won’t have a problem.
Some GPS units send its users past our park and back down the other side of Eight Mile Hill. We are right at the top. If you pass County Rd 3a you’ve gone too far.
When coming from the west the travel is more challenging. US 50 winds through Bighorn Sheep Canyon which follows the river and is a very winding road. Your speed will be quite slow through here.
Depending on where you enter US 50 on the west, you will probably go through a mountain pass. The travel is suitable for large RV’s but there is a lot of climbing.
As you approach us from the west you will pass County Rt 3a (the Royal Gorge Entrance) and go exactly one mile. We will be on the right just past a large firewood supply shop.
If you are coming from the Denver area, plan for traffic out of Denver or in Colorado Springs – especially on Fridays. Make sure you can reach us before dark.
Preparing For RV Travel
Unless you RV full time, your RV may not be ready without some prep work. I like to check my tires before every trip because nothing can ruin your day worse than a blowout or flat.
Make sure you have a threaded sewer connection fitting as that is required by law.
Don’t try to overdo your travel. Some folks like to take marathon trips and by the time they arrive, they are exhausted. Leave early with plenty of time to account for road construction, traffic accidents or vehicle malfunctions.
You will likely be traveling through mountainous regions, so make sure your vehicle can handle big climbs without overheating.
If you have never been to a desert climate, prepare to be hot during the day and cool at night. You’ll need plenty of sunscreen and water when you go out. The cool nights will help you sleep.
Finally, watch your awnings. Don’t leave them out when you go out for the day. It is not uncommon to experience sudden high winds on our mountain.
We hope you have found this information useful and wish you a most enjoyable stay at Mountain View RV Resort.