Glenwood Springs Colorado

When people think of Glenwood Springs, the first image they get is splashing in the hot springs pool. But that is changing, fast. In addition to pools, and spas, you can enjoy caves, gondolas, rafting, hiking and historic hotels.

When people think of Glenwood Springs, the first image they get is splashing in the hot springs pool. But that is changing, fast. In addition to pools, and spas, you can enjoy caves, gondolas, rafting, hiking and historic hotels.

The history of Glenwood Springs is the history of hot water. From the beginning it was always a tourist town and never a mining camp. For centuries The Utes would visit the valley of the “Big Medicine” to take the waters. They believed that hot waters had magical healing powers both mentally and physically.

Glenwood springs from Iron Mountain

It was no surprise that the town would become world famous as “The Spas of the Rockies”

By the 1890’s it was a growing respectable community. The Hot Springs Pool, Bath house and lodge was build on the banks of the Grand River. Soon the rich and famous from around the world began to visit the area.

Glenwood Springs Hot springs

The Colorado Hotel became the summer white house for President Teddy Roosevelt during his many hunting trips to the area.

Tourism, transportation and farming became the economic engines for the little valley on the confluence of the Roaring Fork and the (renamed) Colorado rivers. The Fairy Caves on Iron mountain north of town became the first tourist attraction, and then the pool was developed and tourism boomed.

The world’s largest mineral Hot Springs Pool

For me, Glenwood has always been a fun town. There are a lot of unusual things to see and do:

The major attractions

You can splash and soak in the world’s largest outdoor mineral hot springs pool. I prefer the pool after the stars come out. The crowds and kids are having dinner. It is quite and more romantic, it just adds to the mystic of “taking the waters”.

Actually there are two pools, one hot at 104 degrees and one warm at 92 degrees. After you have been in the warmer therapy pool, the larger pool seems cool by comparison. Once you have experienced the pool, you will be eager to return. Glenwood Hot Springs 970-945-6571.

The Vapor Caves

You can enjoy a subterrian steam bath in the mountain next to the hot springs pool. Hot mineral water has been percolating though the rock fissure to the cave for centuries. You can relax on marble benches lining the walls. In addition to the stean bath you can have a massage, facial and body treatment up stairs or take a cold dip in the water tubs. Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves, 709 E. 6TH Street. 970-945-0667 Yamphspa.com

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Do you want to ride an aerial tramway and have a little fun spelunking? Well, the area around town has the highest concentration of caves in the state. One Cave, called The Fairy Cave is now part of the Adventure Park. You reach the cave, the restaurant, the alpine coaster and all the other mountain top amusements by The Iron Mountain Tramway, a 4300 foot long Gondola ride from the city. The Adventure Park, 5100 Two Rivers Plaza Road, 970-945-4228 Glenwoodcaverns,com.

Ride a Segway

Don’t want to ride a tramway? Try out a Segway. The Sacred Grounds Coffee shop will teach you how to glide through the streets of town and take you to up a mountain to a panoramic view of the valley. The Sacred Grounds Coffee shop 725 Grand Ave 970-928-8804

The Hotel Colorado

The legendary hotel was built in the Italian renaissance style in 1893 in hopes of creating the foundation of a world class spa in the Mountains. The hotel has had a history like no other. It has been a mountain resort, a Western White House, a military hospital, and a gangster hideout. It is also the birthplace of the teddy bear. If you want to know what western hospitality was like in the 1890’s walk though the hotel and listen to the walls talk.

Golf

If you have golfing on your mind, Glenwood Spring is the right place for you. It has eight golf courses within 40 miles of town. They include some of the most challenging and scenic courses in Western Colorado.

Hanging Lake Trail

Hanging Lake is a hidden gem. If you only have time for one hike, this is it. It is the most popular and rewarding. The Hanging Lake Trail climbs up the sheer walls on the north side of Glenwood Canyon. It is a good workout, 920 feet in 1.2 miles. It is worth every step. Your reward is a crystal clear lake perched on a cliff fed by a beautiful cascading waterfall. The lake is teeming with trout, but they are just there to entertain you. No Fishing.

If you have any energy left, hike above the falls to Spouting Rock. The trailhead parking lot is 10 miles east of town in Glenwood Canyon on I-70.

Doc Holiday’s Grave Trail

This trail is a ½ mile hike up the steep trail to Linwood Cemetery and the marker of Doc Holiday’s grave. I’ll let you in on a little secret, the exact location is unknown. See if you can also find the grave of Harvey Logan. Legend has it that he is Kid Curry of the Hole in the wall Gang. But that’s questionable. The trailhead starts at corner of 12th Street and Bennett Ave.

Getting to Glenwood Springs

The Train

Just getting to Glenwood can be an adventure, on the Train. The Railroad and the Hotels have a special weekend Package with includes transportation on the California Zephyr two nights in a hotel and breakfast, plus a pass to the pool. Is a scenic trip and makes a great three day weekend. Once you get to Glenwood Springs, everything is within walking distance, so you will not need a car.

Driving

Glenwood Springs is three hours west of Denver (160 miles) and two hours east of Grand Junction (90 miles) and one hour from Vail and Aspen. Take I-70 is the only direct route to Glenwood Spring from both Denver and Grand Junction. Glenwood sits in the middle.

Air Travel

If you are looking for flight to Glenwood Springs, Denver is an international hub, with United Airline is the dominate provider for the Colorado mountains. Vail-Eagle County airport (EGE) is 30 miles east. The Aspen Airport (ASE) is only 40 miles up the Roaring Fork valley. Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) is 90 miles to the west.

Shuttle

There is a shuttle Service from the airport to Glenwood Springs. Colorado Mountain Shuttle offers transportation from Denver International Airport (DIA) and Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) to Glenwood Springs. It is a 3.5 hours ride from Denver for $100.00 OW/ and $200.00 RTN. 45 minutes from Eagle. 1-800-525-6363 or 970-926-9800