The town of Glenwood Springs is offering more than skiing at nearby Sunlight Mountain Resort. The local ski area is an easy place for the family to visit, but there is much more to do after your day of skiing.
The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool is the big one. It started in the 1880s when the natural hot springs was discovered along the Grand River, now known as the Colorado River. The Hot Springs Pool opened on July 4, 1888. The Hotel Colorado was opened five years later, followed by the Vapor Caves.
Glenwood Springs became known as the "Spa in the Rockies" and attracted the rich and famous of the day, including President Teddy Roosevelt, President William Taft, and the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown. Glenwood Springs also attracted infamous gangsters such as Al Capone and Diamond Jack Alterie. Gunman-gambler-dentist John Henry "Doc" Holliday came to Glenwood Springs in hopes of curing his advanced tuberculosis by soaking in the hot springs. The mineral-rich waters couldn't help him, and he died in Glenwood Springs in 1887. His memorial is located in the Linwood Pioneer Cemetery, just a short hike from historic downtown Glenwood Springs.
Another added attraction are the Fairy Caves, which first opened for public tours in 1895. This thriving tourist destination brought many visitors to the area in the late 1800s. Visitors had to hike to the caves up a trail, or ride a horse or burro, or catch a lift in a horse-drawn carriage.
The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which manages the Fairy Caves, is open all year now. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Monday. Today, visitors travel on the Iron Mountain Tramway, to tour the Fairy Caves, which now have more than 16,000 feet of winding caverns and rooms. The 10-minute ride is in a fully enclosed gondola with views of the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys, Glenwood Springs, Mt. Sopris, and parts of the Maroon Bells range on a clear day.
At the top, visitors can also ride the longest Alpine Coaster in Colorado, play laser tag, watch films in the 4D Motion Theater, have lunch, and visit the gift shop.
A Funday Pass is offered, which includes the tram ride and unlimited access to the Alpine Coaster, laser tag, and theater for $30 per person. Add a cave tour for $5 more.
All of these unique attractions are resulting in the Glenwood Chamber touting itself as the “Most Fun Town In America,” according to Lisa Langer, VP of Tourism Marketing. “The world is catching on to what we’ve known all along: Glenwood Springs is a happening town. We’ve got a very creative core of local businesses with an aptitude to make exciting things happen. So whether it’s in the area of adventure sports, attractions, dining or entertainment, it always spells Fun!”
Glenwood Springs is located 40 miles north of Aspen, and 60 miles west of Vail, Colorado.
For information on the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, call 800-530-1635.