Fortunately, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, some things are still free, or nearly so!
When you’re not splashing in Glenwood Springs’ hot springs pools, rafting the whitewater in Glenwood Canyon or having a screaming good time on the thrill rides at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, you might want to engage in some active downtime that’s as fun for your family as it is easy on the wallet.
1. Pay your respects.
It seems everyone knows about Glenwood’s most famous former resident Doc Holliday, if not from the history books, then from the movies made about him and his cohort Wyatt Earp. After the shootout at the OK Corral, Doc made his way to Colorado and eventually to Glenwood Springs. Some say he sought the healing hot springs and vapors caves to alleviate his advanced tuberculosis. They didn’t help. Doc died at the Hotel Glenwood which burned to the ground in 1945; the site is the current location of Bullock’s western store at the corner of Eighth and Grand. History buffs and kids of all ages consider a visit to his memorial marker in Linwood Cemetery an easy and scenic Glenwood Springs hike.
2. Go for an easy walk or riverside bike ride.
Glenwood Springs is home to miles of paved multi-use recreation trails including the Rio Grande Trail and the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail. For an easy afternoon of pedaling, try the 3-mile round trip Atkinson Canal Trail. Though the entry and exit points have an incline (just push or walk your bike in these sections), the trail is otherwise flat and ideal for all ages and abilities. This quiet trail also has plenty of places to stop for picnicking and wading. Didn’t bring your bike along? Glenwood Springs bike shops have rentals that include cycling options for the whole family, even electric-assist bikes!
3. Feed the fish.
Beat the summer heat with a trip to the Glenwood Springs Fish Hatchery. Located in a shady spot along Mitchell Creek in West Glenwood Springs, kids can feed the fish and learn all about the life cycle of trout. The hatchery raises several species of trout, including native Cutthroats, Rainbows and Browns. See the fish at their various stages of development in long water troughs called raceways. Eventually, these fish will go on to stock northwest Colorado’s many lakes and streams.
4. Putter around.
Spend some time playing the greens at Johnson’s Park Mini Golf in West Glenwood Springs. There are 36 holes on two courses. Both feature ample waterfalls, rock crossings and streams. At the end of the round try your luck at scoring a hole-in-one for prizes. For a fun-filled afternoon the cost is reasonable at $9 for adults and $8 for children and seniors. The Park also offers old-fashioned Skee-Ball for the bargain price of .25 cents for nine balls!
5. Dance the night away.
Get your groove on at the 2018 Summer of Music, one of Glenwood Springs’ most popular annual events. The weekly event that runs every Wednesday from June 27 to Aug. 1 in Two Rivers Park is free, although donations are gratefully accepted. In June, August and September, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park hosts Music on the Mountain. Bring a canned food item in exchange for a free ride to the Park via the Iron Mountain Tramway. Bands play everything from classic rock to bluegrass and country to New Orleans jazz. It seems the kids don’t care what genre is playing, they’ll boogie to any sound.
There’s always something fun to do in Glenwood Springs. Find out more about all the town’s activities including these budget-friendly options at visitglenwood.com.