“Colorado Experience: Fairy Caves” explores the magical Fairy Caves – once dubbed “The 8th Wonder of the World.” Hidden inside Glenwood Springs’ Iron Mountain, this living cave network inspires awe. But the caverns were nearly lost to time and were closed for more than 80 years – until an engineer who also happened to be a caver had a vision of how to return the magic to this fantastical place. Viewers are invited to watch and participate via YouTube or Facebook on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 7 p.m.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (April 8, 2021)
The Historic Fairy Caves, an attraction within Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, was a thriving tourist destination in the 1890s thanks to Charles W. Darrow, a pioneering Glenwood Springs attorney. Darrow and his family homesteaded the top of Iron Mountain, including the cave entrance. At that time, the known extent of the cave was about 800 feet, and visitors could get to the caves by walking up a trail, riding a horse or burro or in style in a horse-drawn carriage. To say that a lot has changed is quite an understatement.
Today, visitors travel to the top of the mountain in the new high-capacity Glenwood Gondola that offers panoramic views of the mountains and river valleys. In addition to touring the cave, which now has more than 16,000 known feet, they can enjoy thrill rides and family attractions, dine, shop and experience outdoor, mountain-top gatherings including Octoberfest, Winter on the Mountain and, hopefully soon, the return of live music.
Steve and Jeanne Beckley, current owners of Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves and Adventure Park, are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the first cave tour in a very 21st century, COVID-friendly style, and on Earth Day to boot. On Thursday, April 22, they’ll host a virtual discussion and streaming of Rocky Mountain PBS “Colorado Experience” Viewers’ Choice Episode about the Fairy Caves. Viewers can tune in at 7 p.m. Mountain Time
at YouTube.com/GlenwoodCaverns or Facebook.com/GlenwoodCaverns, where they can ask questions to be answered in the live discussion after the show concludes.
“We had worked with Rocky Mountain PBS to hold an in-person premiere of the episode last spring, but it was postponed twice and eventually cancelled when the pandemic hit. It was disappointing after all of the work our teams did to produce the episode to not be able to share it publicly with our community. Watching it air on Rocky Mountain PBS in our homes was nice, though,” Steve Beckley, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park co-owner said. “This year, we’ve decided to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the first tour of the Fairy Caves with an online watch party. Jeanne and I will be live to give some background and answer questions.”
“Colorado Experience: Fairy Caves” explores the magical Fairy Caves – once dubbed “The 8th Wonder of the World.” Hidden inside Glenwood Springs’ Iron Mountain, this living cave network inspires awe. But the caverns were nearly lost to time and were closed for more than 80 years – until an engineer who also happened to be a caver had a vision of how to return the magic to this fantastical place.
Beckley added, “In addition to the holding the celebration on Earth Day, this year is also the International Year of Caves and Karst. Protecting and preserving this incredible natural resource has always been our top priority, so tying these occasions together makes it even more special to us.”
Filming of the Fairy Caves episode primarily took place May 2019. The Beckleys are featured in the show along with general manager Nancy Heard, natural attractions manager Kathy Miller, executive director of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society Bill Knight, and cave historian and author of “Colorado Caves” Richard Rhinehart.
51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
glenwoodcaverns.com | 800-530-1635 | Facebook.com/GlenwoodCaverns | @GlenwoodCaverns | glenwoodcaverns.com/blog
Located in scenic Glenwood Springs, Colo., midway between Aspen and Vail, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park offers a one-of-a-kind mountain-top adventure. The Adventure Park features a gondola ride, walking and wild tours of Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves, dining, and year-round attractions including the new Haunted Mine Drop, Alpine Coaster, 4D Motion Theater and Laser Tag Arena. Seasonal offerings include the Giant Canyon Swing, Glenwood Canyon Flyer, Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, Wild West Express family coaster, a climbing wall, gemstone sluice box mining, a Ferris wheel ride and a holiday light display. Ideal setting for groups and birthday parties. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park operates the new Iron Mountain Hot Springs now open on the bank of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs.
Find out more about Glenwood Springs Lodging