A once-cherished outdoor scene has new life in southern Colorado.
Where once trains ran along the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway, now there's an elevated, wooden boardwalk for travelers on foot and bike. Spanning nearly 2 1/2 miles, the loop features an overlook beloved by generations of Cañon City locals and tourists: Point Alta Vista, where a 1960s-era platform remains perched on a rocky cliffside, boasting views that some consider unparalleled.
"Ridiculous," is the description from Ty Seufer. "It's just a magical spot out there."
Now open for its debut summer, Point Alta Vista Trail traverses Seufer's property as well as city-owned land. The trail has been a shared vision between him and his hometown since 2018, when he acquired the grounds abandoned by the railroad and Buckskin Joe theme park.
In 2010, the Old West buildings of the former park were bought by billionaire Bill Koch and moved to his ranch outside of Gunnison. The train stopped two years later.
Seufer bought the 805 acres to be the Royal Gorge Ranch and Resort, a community of eco-friendly homes, miles of trails, fishing ponds, a climbing area and more. His plan blends private and public amenities.
Seufer, a 1986 Cañon City High School graduate, wasn't about to privatize Point Alta Vista.
"I used to go out there every summer, take the train out, and it was absolutely awesome. I didn't want that to go away," he said. "So we're really excited it's back."
The overlook showcases the river-cut gorge and surrounding mountains, rolling out to the distant Sangre de Cristo peaks. The view was previously reserved for ambitious mountain bikers and hikers covering about 9 miles on trails called Made in the Shade and One Track Mind.
While flat and consisting mostly of boardwalk, Point Alta Vista Trail can't be considered wheelchair-accessible due to some dirt stretches. Strollers should be able to handle the full loop. Dogs on leash are allowed.
The trailhead is along County Road 3A, the road to the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. The parking lot is reached about a mile after turning off U.S. 50, before the first big turn in the road.