Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is a charming and picturesque destination that offers a myriad of activities for travelers of all kinds. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a relaxation seeker, this beautiful town has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the top things to do in Glenwood Springs, making it the perfect destination for your next adventure.
1. Soak in the Glenwood Hot Springs
Glenwood Springs is renowned for its therapeutic natural hot springs, which are the largest in the world. A visit to the Glenwood Hot Springs is an absolute must. Here, you can relax and rejuvenate in the healing mineral waters, surrounded by stunning mountain views. The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool and the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves offer an indulgent experience that’s perfect year-round.
2. Explore Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
For those seeking a mix of adventure and natural beauty, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is the place to be. This unique theme park sits atop Iron Mountain and boasts thrilling rides, cave tours, and spectacular views of the surrounding area. Don’t miss the guided tours of the Fairy Caves and King’s Row, which take you deep into the heart of the mountain.
3. Raft the Colorado River
Glenwood Springs is situated on the banks of the Colorado River, making it an excellent starting point for a white-water rafting adventure. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rafter, there are tours available for all skill levels. The exhilarating experience of navigating the river through stunning canyons is a highlight for many visitors.
4. Visit the Historic Hotel Colorado
The Historic Hotel Colorado is a grand landmark in Glenwood Springs and has a rich history dating back to 1893. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you can still explore its elegant architecture, dine at the exquisite Italian restaurant, and learn about its storied past. Legends like Teddy Roosevelt and the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown have stayed here.
5. Hike to Hanging Lake
Hanging Lake is a hidden gem in the White River National Forest, just a short drive from Glenwood Springs. This natural wonder is known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and is a sight to behold. The moderately challenging hike to Hanging Lake is around 1.2 miles and rewards you with an unforgettable view. Be sure to make a reservation, as access to Hanging Lake is regulated to protect its pristine environment.
6. Stroll Downtown Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs’ charming downtown area is brimming with boutique shops, art galleries, and excellent dining options. Take a leisurely walk along Grand Avenue, and you’ll discover unique souvenirs, local crafts, and a warm and welcoming community. It’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening.
7. Relax in Iron Mountain Hot Springs
If you’re looking for a quieter and more intimate hot springs experience, head to Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Located right along the Colorado River, these mineral pools offer relaxation and serenity in a peaceful setting. The pools are naturally heated and offer different temperatures to suit your preference.
8. Go Mountain Biking and Hiking
Glenwood Springs is surrounded by miles of hiking and biking trails that cater to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you want a leisurely stroll or a challenging mountain bike ride, the Roaring Fork Valley and the nearby trails have you covered.
9. Attend a Live Performance at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue
For a dose of laughter and entertainment, catch a show at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue. This charming and family-friendly theater offers a night of live music, comedy, and fun that will leave you in high spirits.
10. Sip Wine at Local Wineries
Glenwood Springs is also home to some delightful wineries, where you can sample locally produced wines while enjoying the scenic beauty of the region. Be sure to visit some of the excellent vineyards and tasting rooms to savor the flavors of Colorado.
11. Visit the Glenwood Railroad Museum
For history buffs and train enthusiasts, the Glenwood Railroad Museum is a fascinating stop. This museum showcases the rich history of the region’s railways, with informative exhibits and vintage train memorabilia.
12. Enjoy Winter Activities at Sunlight Mountain Resort
During the winter months, Sunlight Mountain Resort offers fantastic skiing and snowboarding opportunities. With 700 acres of skiable terrain, it’s an excellent destination for winter sports enthusiasts. The resort also has a friendly, laid-back atmosphere and affordable prices, making it a great alternative to larger, more crowded ski areas.
13. Experience Paragliding and Hang Gliding
For an exhilarating adventure, consider trying paragliding or hang gliding over the stunning landscapes of Glenwood Springs. Professional guides can take you on a tandem flight, providing you with a unique perspective of the mountains and valleys.
14. Go Horseback Riding
Exploring the mountains on horseback is a classic Colorado experience. Several local stables offer guided horseback riding tours, allowing you to connect with nature while enjoying the serenity of the wilderness.
15. Discover the Frontier Historical Museum
Learn about Glenwood Springs’ intriguing history by visiting the Frontier Historical Museum. The museum showcases the region’s past, including stories of early settlers, the Ute people, and the construction of Glenwood Springs’ iconic landmarks.
16. Attend the Glenwood Springs Art Festival
If you happen to visit during the summer, don’t miss the annual Glenwood Springs Art Festival. This event brings together talented artists and craftsmen who display and sell their works. It’s a great opportunity to appreciate and purchase unique art pieces.
17. Explore the White River National Forest
The White River National Forest is a vast playground for outdoor enthusiasts. You can camp, fish, hike, and explore the breathtaking wilderness in this beautiful national forest. Make sure to check the local regulations and acquire any necessary permits for your chosen activity.
18. Experience Fly Fishing
Glenwood Springs offers fantastic opportunities for fly fishing. With the Colorado River running through the area, you can enjoy a day of casting lines, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of nature. Guided tours are available for those new to the sport.
19. Take a Scenic Drive
The Glenwood Canyon Scenic Byway offers a stunning drive along I-70, winding through Glenwood Canyon. The views of towering cliffs and the Colorado River are simply spectacular. Be sure to stop at designated scenic overlooks to capture the beauty with your camera.
20. Picnic at Two Rivers Park
Enjoy a relaxing day at Two Rivers Park, a lovely riverside park that offers picnic areas, playgrounds, and a picturesque setting for a leisurely meal with family and friends. It’s a great spot for a peaceful afternoon in nature.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is a true gem of the Rocky Mountains, offering a diverse range of activities and experiences. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural enrichment, this town has it all. Plan your visit to Glenwood Springs, and you’ll create lasting memories in this beautiful corner of Colorado.
We hope this guide helps you make the most of your trip to Glenwood Springs. Enjoy your adventure in this picturesque mountain town!