From Relaxing Hot Springs to Whitewater Thrills: 10 Can’t-Miss Experiences in Glenwood Springs

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If you’re looking for adventures for all seasons, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is the place to be. Tucked away in a narrow Rocky Mountain valley, this Colorado gem is home not only to fantastic winter skiing but also summer hiking trails, scenic drives, relaxing hot springs, and charming town festivals.

Check out these ten can’t-miss experiences the next time you’re in Glenwood Springs.

Relax in the Hot Springs

Soaking in the Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Photo Credit: Visit Glenwood.

Nirvana awaits in the many local hot springs – in fact, these steamy vessels of geothermal water put Glenwood Springs on the map. Glenwood Hot Springs Pool is the largest mineral hot springs pool in the world—the size of three Olympic swimming pools. While adults relax in the 104° water, kids can play at the onsite water park— the Sopris Splash Zone, frolicking under waterfalls and plunging through exhilarating rapids on the river tube ride. For a more intimate spot, submerge in the 32 pools at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. The pools vary in size, from lap pools to hot tubs. And if you’re looking for adult-only fun, enjoy a dip in the WorldSprings area. Each pool has a unique mineral blend formulated to recreate various global hot springs like Iceland’s Blue Lagoon.

Don’t miss a trip to the Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves. Here, vapor from the Yampah Spring fills three underground caverns with 34 natural minerals and elements, creating a natural sauna experience. For maximum bliss, book a body wrap or massage.

Hit the Slopes at Sunlight Mountain Resort

Skiing at Sunlight Mountain Resort. Photo Credit: Visit Glenwood.

Only ten minutes south of Glenwood Springs, Sunlight Mountain Resort offers snow-covered adventures for the whole family! Feel the thrill of skiing down 72 distinct trails – perfect for beginner or intermediate skiers. Seeking a challenge? The resort’s double-black diamond runs are sure to get your adrenaline pumping. Beyond the slopes, Sunlight offers free cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through the snow-covered pines of Babbish Gulch and backcountry snowmobile tours.

Feel the Rush at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Adrenaline-pumping rides at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Photo Credit: Visit Glenwood.

Thrills come fast at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, America’s only mountaintop theme park. Ride heart-pounding roller coasters perched atop the mountain, and take in the views from the Glenwood Gondola with stunning vistas across Roaring Fork Valley. Challenge friends to an exciting game of laser tag, and don’t miss out on an opportunity to pose with Chantico and Halvor – two massive troll statues. When you’re done on the mountain, head under the mountain to tour King’s Row, an enormous cavern decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, and more.

Hike and Bike the Great Outdoors

A foggy day at Hanging Lake. Photo Credit: Visit Glenwood.

Immerse yourself in the beauty surrounding Glenwood Springs with a hiking or biking adventure! Enjoy mountain views, seasonal wildflowers, and even local art in Carbondale by biking on the Rio Grande Trail, a 42-mile path between Glenwood Springs and Aspen. For a shorter ride, try the 16.3-mile Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path. This family-friendly trail follows the Colorado River through the canyon, with fabulous views of the surrounding mountains and the river below. When it comes to hiking trails, the 1.2-mile hike to Hanging Lake is well worth the challenging terrain. You’ll be rewarded with views of a crystal-clear lake fed by cascading snowmelt waterfalls (a hiking reservation is required). For a more leisurely trek, visit the Doc Holliday Memorial in the Linwood Cemetery, the supposed resting place of the famous gunslinger.

Savor Sweet Strawberry Days

Artisans selling their wares at the Strawberry Days festival. Photo Credit: Visit Glenwood.

Since 1898, Glenwood Springs has celebrated summer with the Strawberry Days festival. Each June, this free festival in Two Rivers Park includes a charming community parade and entertainment ranging from live music to aerial artists and fire dancers. Indulge in free strawberries and ice cream and wander the artisan market showcasing handmade goods like jewelry, pottery and artwork.

Experience Thrills by Air or by Water

Whitewater rafting through Glenwood Canyon. Photo Credit: Visit Glenwood.

See Glenwood Springs from new heights with a tandem paragliding experience. Strapped to an experienced pilot, you’ll launch from the peak of Red Mountain before gliding to the valley below. The thrills continue on the Colorado or Roaring Fork Rivers. Book a whitewater rafting excursion and feel the rush as you paddle the rapids through the spectacular Glenwood Canyon!

LOL at Glenwood Vaudeville Revue

A fun-filled performance at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue. Photo Credit: Visit Glenwood.

Relive the glory days of Vaudeville and prepare to laugh the night away at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue. From hilarious skits to slapstick humor, audience participation and even barbershop music routines, this revue is fun for all ages. Enjoy pub-style grub catered from local restaurants during the show, or grab a drink from the bar.

Reel in a Big Catch 

Casting a line fly fishing. Photo Credit: Visit Glenwood.

Glenwood Springs is a world-renowned hotspot for fly fishing. Two stretches of the Roaring Fork River have Gold Medal status, and depending on the season, you may find rainbow, brook, and brown trout—no need to bring your rods, flies, and waders. Local anglers offer guided trips with everything you’ll need (except a fishing license)! 

Take a Pleasure Cruise by Car or Rail

A gorgeous mountain view in Glenwood Springs. Photo Credit: Visit Glenwood.

Nothing beats a scenic drive, and the mountains and valleys around Glenwood Springs offer a variety of landscapes to take in, no matter the time of year. Drive on the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway stretching from Mt. Sopris to the craggy Black Canyon of the Gunnison. You’ll pass over an incredible aspen grove at McClure Pass along the way. Independence Pass is a popular route in the fall, where scenic overlooks showcase the changing of the leaves. Or, board the California Zephyr Amtrak line and relax on a leisurely trip from Denver to Glenwood Springs – the ever-changing landscape from towering mountains to rocky valleys is a real treat.

Soak Up Live Music All Summer

A crowd enjoying a summer concert in Glenwood Springs. Photo Credit: Visit Glenwood.

Get your groove on during the summer when Glenwood Springs hosts multiple music events. In late June, Two Rivers Park’s Summer of Music series livens up the week with Wednesday night concerts. Pack a picnic and discover emerging artists from around the country. On Saturdays throughout the summer, Music on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park hosts Colorado performers for toe-tapping performances. Bethel Plaza’s Music on 7th series offers free local performances on early Friday evenings and Tuesdays during the Market on 7th from late June through September. At Hotel Colorado, lounge in the hotel’s lush courtyard or Polo Lounge on Thursday evenings and sing along with talented musicians as you sip wine and cocktails.

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