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Hiking with friends

Know Before You Go: Planning Your Glenwood Springs Adventure

Glenwood Springs, Colorado is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, from whitewater rafting to off-road adventures. While general guidelines apply across the activity spectrum, having the right gear for each sport helps ensure you have an amazing experience from launch to landing.

As you prepare for your Glenwood Springs adventure, it’s helpful to know what you need and what you don’t before heading out. Whichever activity you choose, this handy list of do’s and don’ts will set you up for a great time.

Rafting the Colorado River

rafting on the Colorado RiverWhitewater rafting is a thrill-a-minute adventure down the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon. The waterway offers a mix of splash-worthy rapids for all experience levels. Be ready for it. Glenwood’s rafting outfitters provide all the essential gear such as personal flotation devices (PFDs) and helmets, all you have to do is show up in the right attire.

What to Bring:
• A swimsuit, plus a quick-dry shirt and shorts. Avoid wearing heavy fabrics like denim.
• Strap on some sturdy water shoes so you don’t stub your toes.
• Bring along waterproof sunscreen to share among your crew.
• Rafting companies will take your picture as you paddle through churning whitewater, but if you want to take photos, choose a waterproof camera or phone case with a lanyard to attach to your PFD.

What Not to Bring:
• Expensive electronics.

Exploring Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Roller coaster with view of Mt. Sopris in the backgroundFor a blend of natural beauty, breathtaking views, and adrenaline-pumping action, there’s no place like Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. America’s only mountaintop theme park features stunning cave tours, spectacular views that go for miles, and exhilarating thrill rides—including Defiance rollercoaster—the latest to join the roster of over-the-edge rides.

What to Bring:
• Comfortable trainers or walking shoes that will stay on your feet while you enjoy the Park’s high-flying rides. They’re also the ideal footwear for navigating the Park’s paved and unpaved surfaces, and the steps on cave tours.
• Other items to bring include a light jacket for warmth on cave tours,
• Sunglasses and sunscreen,
• A hair tie if you have long locks,
• And a camera to capture the views and all the day’s adventures.

What Not to Bring:
• Though lockers are available, large backpacks and bags can be cumbersome,
• Any items that can’t be securely fastened (these rides are intense!).

Paragliding Over Glenwood Springs

paraglidingExperience Glenwood Springs from a bird’s-eye view with a tandem paragliding adventure that launches from the summit of Red Mountain. This exhilarating activity offers magnificent views and an unbridled sense of freedom. Adventure Paragliding in Glenwood Springs will bring all the essential gear for a lofty, above-it-all experience. Be sure to book in advance as these tours are intimate and sellout quickly.

What to Bring:
• Most flights occur in the morning when it’s cooler, so check the weather and dress appropriately.
• On your tandem flight, you’ll be in a harness so long pants are often the most comfortable.
• Gliding at a rate of anywhere from 14 to 30 mph, sunglasses will keep the wind out of your eyes.
• For a smooth landing, closed-toe shoes are required.

What Not to Bring:
• Loose items that could fall during flight.

Horseback Riding in the High Country

horseback riding at Bair RanchGiddy-up for adventure! Spend some time in the saddle on a guided horseback riding trip exploring the trails on a real working ranch in Glenwood Canyon. A fun outing for the whole family, this equine adventure is a fantastic way to make memories together and enjoy the tranquil beauty of Glenwood Springs.

What to Bring:
• It’s best to wear pants and a light, long-sleeved shirt. Closed-toe shoes are a must. If you have cowboy boots, now’s the time to break them out of the closet!
• Don’t worry about a hat, Glenwood Adventure Company provides riders with helmets.
• A handy tip, if you think holding the reins will irritate your fingers, try wearing leather gloves.

What Not to Bring:
• Open-toe shoes or sandals.

Off-the Beaten-Path Off Road Adventures

OHV Tours at Bair RanchFor a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) experience with a whole lot of get-up-and-go, let the throttle out in the backcountry around Glenwood Springs. Climb aboard a 2- or 4-passenger side-by-side RZR to explore Bair Ranch. Follow experienced guides to little-known remote locales on the private ranch for awe-inspiring views you won’t forget.

What to Bring:
• Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are a must, as is comfortable, rugged clothing.
• Wear a bandana to keep from breathing in dust.
• Although UTVs have windshields, wearing sunglasses for eye protection is always a good idea.

What Not to Bring:
• Open-toe shoes, flip flops or sandals.

General Tips for a Fun-Filled Adventure

• Plan Ahead. Make reservations for these popular Glenwood Springs activities in advance.
• Stay Hydrated. At 5,700 feet, Glenwood’s altitude can be dehydrating, so drink plenty of water.
• Be Weather-Wise. Mountain weather can change quickly. Check forecasts and be prepared for sudden changes.
• Embrace the Spirit of Adventure. Whether you’re soaring high above Glenwood Springs or cantering through an alpine meadow, for the best experience, approach each activity with a sense of fun and excitement.

Plan your Glenwood Springs Adventure Today!

With proper planning, the right gear, and a bring-it-on attitude, the sky’s the limit for adventure in Glenwood Springs. Learn more and make your plans to visit this summer.

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Visit Glenwood Springs

Reservations to hike Hanging Lake are released on a weekly basis every Tuesday at 8:00 am MDT. 

 Visit the Hanging Lake page HERE for more information and the booking portal.