Top Attractions in Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Hot springs flow into it, two rivers run through it, the world’s largest hot springs pool sits in the middle of it, a spectacular lake with waterfalls hangs high above it. Glenwood Springs is a recreational paradise courtesy of H2O.
Glenwood Hot Springs
Established in 1888, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is home to the largest mineral hot springs pool in the world, approximately the size of a football field. It was first used by Native Americans and is still considered by them to be a sacred place. The thermal waters are 90°– 93°F (32°– 34°C) in the large pool and 104°F (40°C) in the smaller therapy pool. Features like two water slides, a diving board and bubble chairs bring out the child in everyone. Other amenities include the award-winning Spa of the Rockies, a 107-room lodge, an athletic club, a retail store and restaurant.
970-947-2955 | 800 537 SWIM (7946) | visitglenwood.com/things-to-do/glenwood-hot-springs
Iron Mountain Hot Springs
Visitors to Glenwood Springs have another option for enjoying the area’s geothermal wonders. Iron Mountain Hot Springs features 16 mineral hot springs soaking pools that range in temperature from 99° to 108°F (37 – 42°C). These smaller thermal spring pools are surrounded by a quiet zone to enhance relaxation. With kids and families in mind, the large freshwater pool is heated to a comfortable 90°F (32°C). Resting at the edge of this family pool is an elevated jetted spa with a perfect soaking temperature of just over 100°F (38°C). Parents can enjoy the hotter water while supervising their children below. The views, which vary from pool to pool, include the Colorado River as it winds through the valley, Iron Mountain, Red Mountain, the Flat Tops and majestic Mt. Sopris to the south. Other amenities include the Sopris Café, a retail shop and a bathhouse with men’s, women’s and family changing rooms.
970-945-IRON (4766) | visitglenwood.com/things-to-do/iron-mountain-hot-springs
Glenwood Springs is located at the confluence of the Colorado and the Roaring Fork Rivers. That means visitors have access to top fishing, rafting, kayaking and even a world-class whitewater activity area from one central location. Rafting in Glenwood Canyon is unparalleled—amid breathtaking scenery, it offers a combination of whitewater and leisurely floats with stops at in-river hot springs. Further downriver, the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Activity Area is the destination for the paddling community. The site of the 2009 U.S. Kayaking Team Trials, a G-wave provides kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders with ever-changing challenges depending on river flow. Flowing from the south, the Roaring Fork River is noted for its designated Gold Medal fishing opportunities.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
The caverns were formed over millions of years by the erosive power of water. Today, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is home to USA Today’s 2017 Best New Amusement Park Ride—the Haunted Mine Drop, as well as a host of thrill rides that includes America’s highest elevation roller coaster—the Cliffhanger, the Giant Canyon Swing, the Alpine Coaster and the Glenwood Canyon Flyer. The Western-themed park is primarily noted for its pristine cave formations with several tours offered. In addition to warm-weather fun, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has added Winter on the Mountain. From mid-November through December, the park is decorated with miles of twinkling lights. Other highlights include lighted thrill rides, fire pits for roasting s’mores, mountain-top dining and a giant Christmas tree playing a musical light show.
970-945-4228 | 800-530-1635 | visitglenwood.com/things-to-do/glenwood-caverns-adventure-park
Yampah Vapor Caves
Thermal spring water that contains 34 minerals and trace elements flows through the cave floors via narrow channels at a simmering 125°F (52°C) to create the underground geothermal steam sauna. The Ute Indians used the vapor caves for purification rituals when they inhabited the area. Many people claim a steam in the vapor caves has the uncanny ability to ward off impending colds and other minor illnesses.
970-945-0667 | visitglenwood.com/things-to-do/yampah-vapor-caves
For many people their first experience of Glenwood Springs is driving though spectacular Glenwood Canyon along Interstate 70. While their focus is on the spectacular scenery, the highway’s design and construction is a marvel in itself. The work took 12 years, 300 engineers and hundreds of construction workers to drill, blast and tunnel through the canyon. Completed in 1992, the final cost of the highway was approximately $490 million. The project, still considered one of the great engineering achievements of the U.S., also created a recreational paradise by providing access to the Colorado River and trails. The non-motorized Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail is a paved surface that connects each of the Interstate exits with the town of Glenwood Springs. It is ideal for cycling through the rugged beauty of Glenwood Canyon. | visitglenwood.com/things-to-do/glenwood-canyon
A geological wonder and one of the most popular hiking trails in Colorado, Hanging Lake Trail is located in Glenwood Canyon. Though just under a mile in length, the trail is rocky and steep; go prepared with proper gear and plenty of hydration. Parking is limited. If possible, choose off times to visit, such as early in the morning or during the spring and fall shoulder seasons. To preserve the pristine and fragile lake environment and trail, beginning in the fall of 2018, visitors will be required to purchase a hiking permit and, from May to October, ride a shuttle bus to the National Natural Landmark. The best views for photos are from the boardwalk surrounding the lake. After making it to the top, don’t miss Spouting Rock, just a short walk along a marked trail, where water barrels through a hole in the cliff face. | visitglenwood.com/hanginglake/
Sunlight Mountain Resort
With 67 trails covering over 680 acres of skiable terrain and a vertical drop of over 2,000 feet, Sunlight Mountain Resort is exceptionally diverse. The topography features everything from cruisers to heart-stopping steeps all at family-friendly prices. Sunlight Mountain’s Extreme challenges all experts. With a pitch of 52 percent, the Heathen is one of the steepest trails in the state. Sunlight is also home to one of the longest trails, Ute, a beginner slope that winds more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the summit to the base. For boarders, there are two terrain parks. Base facilities house a restaurant, bar, equipment rental, retail shop, children’s center and a ski and snowboard education center.
970-945-7491 | 800-445-7931 | visitglenwood.com/things-to-do/sunlight-mountain-resort
Rio Grande Trail
One of the most popular cycling routes in Colorado, the Rio Grande Trail is mostly paved and ideal for road biking enthusiasts. It meanders along the Roaring Fork River and links Glenwood Springs with Aspen, Colorado, gently gaining 2,129 feet (649 meters) over 42 miles (68 kilometers). While enjoying the trail look for bald eagles soaring above the river, herds of elk in the wide-open meadows south of town and majestic views of Mount Sopris in the distance. During the summer months, cyclists can hop aboard the specialized Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) Bike Express bus which gives riders a lift to Aspen; from there they can pedal along the trail north to Glenwood Springs. | visitglenwood.com/things-to-do/trail-guide/rio-grande-trail
Roaring Fork River
Some people consider fly fishing a passion, even a spiritual experience. Whatever your level of interest, the area’s Gold Medal waters harbor an astonishing number of brook, brown, cutthroat and rainbow trout. Although there are plenty of places between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs for wading and shore fishing, this section of river is best experienced by floating. Enlist the help of a local guide to direct you to some of the best fly fishing in the state. | visitglenwood.com/things-to-do/fishing/roaring-fork-river
Glenwood Vaudeville Revue
Located in the historic Springs Theater, the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue is the place to go for side-splitting laughter after a day of playing in or near the water. The dinner-comedy show features a cast of professional actors, singers, dancers and musicians. Each season the cast reinvents the show with new, original material. In addition to hysterical, family-friendly Vaudeville shows, the venue also hosts special events including comedy shows and concerts. Check the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue schedule for current shows and special events.
970-945-9699 | visitglenwood.com/things-to-do/vaudeville