facebook icon twitter icon instagram icon pinterest icon youtube icon
wild flowers overlooking Glenwood Springs

Come to Your Senses This Spring in Glenwood Springs

Embrace the full spectrum of sensations on your springtime getaway to Glenwood Springs where every sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch is an experience to remember!

Stop and smell the roses! An old-time phrase, more pertinent than ever in a 24/7, digitally driven world. It’s a charming invitation to slow down and engage all five senses—touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight—especially while on vacation in Glenwood Springs. Did you know when you tune into physical sensations, your experience becomes more indelibly imprinted in your mind? You are no longer operating on autopilot, but instead creating a multi-dimensional, one-of-a-kind topography of memories.

To help you craft an unforgettable Glenwood Springs vacation, we’ve curated ideas across each sensory category.

Photos: @caydenrose, @juliaalpern

Touch: Immersive Experiences Await

Perhaps the most intimate of the senses, touch generates long-lasting memories that leave a trace long after the physical sensation is gone.

Fortunately, Glenwood Springs offers a wonderland of tactile experiences to wake up the powerful sense of touch. Dive into your sensory-filled vacation, with a first stop at the town’s fabled hot springs attractions. The historic Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, with its two enormous pools, welcomes guests to unwind while submerged in the warm caress of the geothermal springs. To raise the temperature on relaxation, take a dip in the resort’s Therapy Pool, the warmer of the two; when you’ve reached your limit glide through the cooler, yet still balmy waters of the larger geothermal pool.

With an array of smaller soaking pools arranged on a bank of the Colorado River, why not slip into an aquatic embrace in the Legacy Pools at Iron Mountain Hot Springs? Let your senses loose to discover pools that tease out tension. For added sensory pleasure, look for river rock-bottomed pools that stimulate pressure points and in-pool waterfalls that effortlessly massage the head, neck, and shoulders.

On the WorldSprings side of the property, guests over 21, can take a jet-lag-free trip around the world in pools that replicate the mineral content of the most renowned waters across the globe. Feel the sensation of weightlessness as you float in the Dead Sea Pool, or the soothing minerals of the Romanian Pool go to work on aching joints. For something different, give your senses a jolt with a goose-bump inducing dip in the Cold Plunge Pool.

The pools aren’t the only way to experience geothermal goodness in Glenwood Springs. At Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves, in addition to touch-therapy treatments available in the spa, visitors can descend into the ethereal underground realm of the historic vapor caves. Steam from the hot spring seeps through cracks in the cave enveloping visitors in a misty all-encompassing hug. Feel free to venture through the cave environs and recline on the smooth marble benches that line the rough-hewn rock walls.

Uniquely Glenwood: In addition to hot springs, the great outdoors provide ample opportunity for a sensational day. Feel the sun on your face, the chill in the air, and the wind in your hair on thrill rides like the Alpine or Defiance Coasters and the Giant Canyon Swing at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Touch: Historic Tales & Teddy Bears

As you explore Glenwood Springs’ tactile wonders, don’t overlook the opportunity to delve into its rich history and cultural offerings. Step back in time at Hotel Colorado, where the legend of the teddy bear comes to life. According to folklore, the hotel was the birthplace of the teddy bear, the plush toy that has become a favorite collectible. Reportedly, when President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, an avid big game hunter and frequent guest at the Hotel Colorado, returned from a hunting excursion empty-handed, the hotel’s maids sought to cheer him up by making him a stuffed bear from scraps of fabric. The president’s daughter was delighted by the toy and coined the name “Teddy” for the bear. It stuck and entrepreneurs quickly latched onto the idea and created teddy bear toys for sale. The tale and the toy endure at Hotel Colorado where visitors can run their fingers through the furry softness of bears of all types, including bears that bear the likeness of Teddy Roosevelt himself!

collage of local food and beverage products
Photos: @donut_or_donot, @denver_craftbeer, @themayorofheiditown, @caseybrewingtaproom

Smell & Taste: A Gastronomic Adventure

When it comes to evoking memories, smell is among the most powerful of the five senses, with taste coming in a close second.

Aromas and flavors have the power to transport us to another time and place. In Glenwood Springs, stimulate your olfactory senses with the delectable fragrances emanating from restaurants throughout the town’s diverse dining scene.

Catch a whiff of something delicious at Sweet Coloradough. This local donut shop exudes the sweet scent of happiness. Owners get up extra early to make fresh, homemade confections daily and customers line up for the mouth-watering treats. Favorites include fritters, raised and glazed donuts, croughnuts, crojones and specialty varieties.

For hoppiness of a different sort, slake your thirst at Glenwood Canyon Brewpub, Glenwood’s original craft brewery! From sprightly blonde ales to creamy, rich stouts, give your tastebuds free rein to explore. Alternatively, enjoy a pull of what’s on tap Casey Brewing Taproom. The award-winning brewer has a knack for palate-pleasing sour beers that feature locally grown, picked-in-season fruit that has been aged in oak barrels!

Add spice to your vacation at Slope & Hatch. No ordinary taco shop, this local favorite piles on the flavor with exotic offerings sure to make your mouth water. Tiny in size, this little restaurant just off Bethel Plaza under the Grand Avenue Bridge is a gastronomical powerhouse serving everything from chorizo hash tacos to classic Chicago hot dogs and lamb curry poutine!

Uniquely Glenwood: The smell of sulfur is distinctly associated with Glenwood Springs’ geothermal waters. In times gone by, visitors to Glenwood Springs wouldn’t just soak in the mineral springs pool, they would drink the water as well! An acquired taste, the drinking spring has been a historic part of the property since its opening in 1888. For those daring enough to imbibe the mineral-laden waters, the drinking spring will reopen when the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool remodel is completed this summer.

bicycling, fishing and hikingHear: A Glenwood Springs Playlist

After indulging your taste buds, let the sounds of Glenwood Springs’ vibrant arts scene captivate your ears. In Glenwood Springs, the sense of hearing takes center stage amidst a backdrop of live music and natural beauty.

Throughout the year, there are countless opportunities to take in live shows at venues around town. Some to check out include Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, Hotel Colorado, Bethel Plaza downtown, Music on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and Glenwood Springs Summer of Music.

The call of nature provides its own symphony of sounds. Listen up as you explore some of Glenwood’s most iconic outdoor attractions. As a two-river town, whitewater rafting is a summer highlight activity you won’t want to miss, but you can relish the sound of the river anytime, from the thunderous tones at the Shoshone power plant and raft ramp in Glenwood Canyon to the softer riffles of the Roaring Fork River.

Hanging Lake offers a classic duet pleasing to both the eyes and the ears. The triple waterfall surrounded by a boardwalk is the showstopper with the staccato sounds of fish jumping and birds chirping. To enter deeper into the natural harmony of the area, take a short walk to Spouting Rock just beyond the famous falls. Shooting through a hole in the rock, a torrent of water offers an exhilarating and strident musical counterpoint.

Restful quietude has its own melodious appeal. For low-key notes that soothe, take a hike to Linwood Cemetery where Glenwood’s pioneer residents are laid to rest, Doc Holliday among them. Close your eyes and tune into the rustling of leaves, the scurrying of squirrels, and the soprano-pitch interludes of songbirds.

Yet another source for auditory delights is pedaling the biking trails in and around Glenwood Springs. The Rio Grande Trail traverses the Roaring Fork Valley all the way to Aspen. The Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path rolls through Glenwood Canyon following the Colorado River. If you tune in, you’ll not only hear the whirr of spinning tires, you’ll also hear the whoosh of fly fishermen casting for trout in the rivers, the sound of dogs and children splashing along the riverbanks, and friendly conversation as you pedal past pedestrians. More than background, these ambient sounds bring the landscape of Glenwood Springs to life!

Uniquely Glenwood: One of the best venues for surround sound is Glenwood’s own Strawberry Days festival. Held annually in June, the fair which takes place in Two River Park is a cacophony of tunes that reverberates throughout the town to create an upbeat experience filled with laughter and memory-making moments for all ages.

Wide angle view of Hanging Lake
(c) @purplemacaron

See: Mountain Town Visual Arts

Images are powerful tools to invoke memories; it’s the reason we take selfies, photos, and videos, especially while on vacation. Looking at those images, we can instantly call to mind the precise details of “being there.”

Pretty as a picture, Glenwood Springs is a photogenic destination. Home to such visual splendors as Hanging Lake with its triple waterfalls and emerald green lake, snow-capped Mt. Sopris to the south of town, Glenwood Canyon with its sheer cliffs and roiling rapids, and the expansive Flat Tops in the White River National Forest, home to herds of elk and deer. These are just a few of the spectacular sights sure to mesmerize on your next visit to Glenwood Springs.

Uniquely Glenwood: While landscapes in and around Glenwood are a visual treat, keep your eyes open for unexpected close-ups that will also delight and trigger fond vacation feels. Stroll around downtown for fun family photos with the “Wings of Glenwood Springs” art collection or take stunning snaps of historic structures including the historic train station on Seventh Street.

Come to your senses in Glenwood Springs. Learn more about how to make the most of your vacation in Colorado’s favorite hot springs town today!

bell icon


Visit Glenwood Springs

Hanging Lake winter hiking reservations are  available through April 30, 2024. The US Forest Service has scheduled a rebuild of the Hanging Lake Trail that is set to begin this spring and last throughout the summer months. Reservations will be available at the discretion of the US Forest Service, continue to check this page for updates. Visit the Hanging Lake page HERE for more information and the booking portal.