Vacation Underground: Exploring Caves Around Glenwood Springs

Discover a whole new world by visiting and learning about caves in the vicinity of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Hidden away from view most of the time, these earthy wonders never cease to amaze. Round out the experience by shopping for a gem of a souvenir.

5 Diverse Caves Near Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Caverns

glenwood cavernsTwo spectacular cave tours you won’t want to miss are located at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The first, King’s Row tour is named for elaborate formations resembling chess pieces located in one of the most highly decorated cave rooms in Colorado. The other, the Historic Fairy Cave takes visitors on the route of the original tour from 1887, as well as newer sections that were added later. Highlights include beautiful examples of flowstone and cave popcorn, a reflection pool room, and a stop at Exclamation Point that overlooks Glenwood Canyon.

Hubbard’s Cave

Located on a high cliff, Hubbard’s Cave, also known as “the bat cave,” offers spectacular views of Glenwood Canyon The cave consists of three passages, each with a separate entrance—the Cathedral entryway is the largest of the three. Formations include cave coral, grapes, gypsum flowers, selenite needles and angel’s hair. The cave is currently closed to protect the flying mammals from white-nosed bat syndrome, a disease that has taken a devastating toll on bat populations in recent years.

Rifle Falls State Park

rifle fallsA quick and easy day trip from Glenwood Springs, this little state park is just 40 minutes away. In addition to picture-worthy triple waterfalls, visitors can explore shallow limestone caves. The hollows are kid-friendly and pose no chance of getting lost yet offer enough dark recesses to keep everyone in the family interested. Follow the Coyote Trail away from the falls to access the caves. The trail tops out on a skinny platform that overlooks the main water attraction.

Rifle Mountain Park

Caves are fascinating places and those at this Rifle park are truly unique. Formed by water melting and freezing from the cliffs above, the ice creates a series of “rooms.” There are four caves in total: Ice Palace, Soul on Ice, Stone Tree and The Final Curtain. The ice caves are a seasonal attraction best visited in the winter and spring. Minerals in the water give the frozen curtains of ice an ethereal turquoise blue hue. Follow signs and a well-marked trail to explore the ice caves.

Yampah Vapor Caves

Most caves are chilly; not this one! The Yampah Vapor Caves in Glenwood Springs range in temperature from 110˚ to 112˚F. The caves are comprised of three chambers heated by geothermal water that flows along channels in the floor. Vapor from the hot mineral water fills the enclosed space for an all-natural steam bath. Visitors can relax on marble benches in each cave room. When ready to cool off, retreat to the upstairs lounge, sit outside on the deck, or dump a tub of cold water over your head!rifle mountain and yampah vapor cave

Shopping that Rocks

Whether your vacation shopping preferences run more toward geodes or gemstones, Glenwood Springs’ rock shops and jewelry stores have an assortment of beauties from which to choose.

Rock hounds, be sure to stop by these shops for Colorado minerals, crystals, fossils, geodes, meteorites and local marble.

  • Crystal Tuning
  • High Country Gems & Minerals
  • Prebble’s Pebbles at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

If precious metals and high-quality gemstones are more to your liking, seek out local jewelers for handcrafted pendants of Mt. Sopris, birthstone gems, watches and engagement rings.

  • Fine Things Handcrafted Jewelry
  • Jewels & Gems
  • The Resident Goldsmith
  • Watkins Jewelers

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