Haunted Mine Drop Rides In Strawberry Days Parade

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Parks’ Haunted Mine Drop was a featured float in Glenwood Springs’ Strawberry Days Parade.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado celebrated its 120th annual Strawberry Days Festival June 16 -18; the oldest continuously held civic celebration west of the Mississippi. In addition to an artisan fair, food vendors, a beer garden, live music and a carnival, there was also the tradition of the Saturday morning parade down Grand Avenue, Glenwood Springs’ main drag.

The spectacle included marching bands, fire trucks, rodeo queens and over-the-top floats. This year, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park went all out with a float that highlighted the soon-to-open Haunted Mine Drop ride, one of the most highly anticipated theme park rides of 2017.

Atop a trailer, the float rolled down the parade route to cheers from the crowd.  An approximation of the Haunted Mine Drop building, it took the Caverns crew two days to build. The float was bedecked with creepy skulls, spiders and spider webs. Wearing “Dare to Drop” t-shirts, the float riders simulated the experience of falling 110 ft. by throwing their arms up and screaming! Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s creation took third place in the highly competitive commercial float category.

The Haunted Mine Drop will be the first drop ride in the world to go underground, plummeting riders 110 feet down inside Iron Mountain. It will also be Glenwood Caverns’ first themed ride. Upon entering, riders will be seated, strapped in and entertained as ghostly miners appear telling tales of a mining tragedy from long ago. They won’t realize that the floor has slid out from underneath them until they drop deep inside the mine shaft. At the bottom, more ghosts appear to continue the tale before riders return to the surface.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is busy getting the ride ready for its mid-summer debut. For the most complete up-to-date information about the Haunted Mine Drop including the opening date, follow Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on Facebook.

New Melodrama at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Part ghost story, part mystery and part romantic comedy, “Trouble Bubbles at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs” at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is an updated version of the American melodrama that’s sure to delight the whole family.

You can catch a performance at the Adventure Park all summer, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at noon and 2:30. It’s free with admission to the park.

The story follows Sheriff Warren Peace, newspaperman Avery Braveman and plucky Hotel owner Jenna Rossity as they unravel the evil plot of Professor Thaddeus Mack, all in the midst of ghostly shenanigans. As the show unfolds, the colorful characters of the Old West are brought to life by a troupe of young actors who hail from the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond.

Benefits of a Family Vacation

Family at Glenwood Caverns
Glenwood Caverns is hiring


As ordinary life gets busier and busier, the benefits of taking a family vacation become more important for each member of the family as well as for the group as a whole. From the planning and travel to the experience and the memories, vacations promote a sense of connection, relaxation, adventure, excitement, spontaneity, and affection that lasts long after the return to the routine.

Parents remember the importance of vacations in their own lives and relationships. In a 2013 poll conducted by Harris Interactive for the U.S. Travel Association, nearly two-thirds of adults said family vacations form their earliest memories, even more than birthdays and school events. Two-thirds of the young people surveyed expect to have the same fond memories, and more than half said the experiences bring their family closer together. Bonus: when grandparents went along, more than three-fourths of the children reported enjoying quality time with the older generation.


Planning a vacation together, including research on destinations, provides a special opportunity for cooperative conversation, mutual responsibility, and shared expectations that boost the chances for a successful trip. Children and teenagers who feel included and respected, rather than told what to do, are less likely to complain if parts of the common plan aren’t as convenient or exciting as expected. Everyone is expected to exercise patience when the agreed-on road trip feels long.

Encountering new people, places, and experiences on a vacation is an important educational experience for children (adults too!). It expands their horizons, gives them new material for reflection and understanding, and even stimulates positive chemical reactions in the brain. Some recent neuroscience studies suggest that vacations can be an important way to develop the “play” and “seek” systems that release compounds associated with warm feelings and stress reduction.

Coaster Enthusiasts Celebrate 40th Gathering in June

American Coaster Enthusiasts, a 5,000-member international club that promotes and preserves roller coasters will hold its 40th Coaster Con June 18-22 in Texas. The group formed when coaster lovers found each other at a coaster-riding marathon in Virginia tied to the release of the movie Rollercoaster in 1977. They held their first convention the next year.

The all-volunteer not-for-profit has participated in refurbishing the oldest roller coaster in the world, Leap-the-Dips, built in Altoona, Penn., in 1902, and the Giant Dipper, built in San Diego in 1925, the wooden roller coaster heyday when some 2,000 operated in the United States. That figure has dropped to about 125. Overall, amusement parks have faced challenges across the generations, from competing forms of entertainment to spiraling land costs, and many have closed.

“While steel roller coasters seem to proliferate and a few new wooden roller coasters are built each year, the classic wooden roller coaster is still somewhat of an endangered species,” according to the organization’s website (aceonline.org). “ACE believes that wooden roller coasters are an integral part of the fabric that is Americana. The organization represents the talents of the most ardent park enthusiasts, amassing a collective historical perspective unmatched by any other group, anywhere. It is ACE’s goal to save or relocate endangered coasters through education, awareness, and promotion.”

The group launched the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives in 2001 to develop preservation and display space for its collection of thousands of historical items, including roller coaster cars, and donated items. It owns an 8,000-square-foot storage facility in Plainview, Texas, with plans to expand.

ACE publishes Guide to Ride, listing every operating roller coaster in North America with detailed statistics and lavish photographs, It also publishes the RollerCoaster! quarterly magazine and a bimonthly newsletter, ACE News. An ACE book series profiles important roller coaster designers.

The 2017 Coaster Con will be at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld San Antonio, both in San Antonio, and ZDT’s Amusement Park in Seguin, Tex. ACE also holds smaller events at various parks throughout the year, including special off-hour rides for club members only.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit a Show Cave

The National Caves Association recently declared June 6, National Caves and Karst Day. Reporter, Matt Renoux highlighted the rock star event at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with a 9News feature story.  Fortunately, visiting a commercial show cave in Glenwood Springs, Colorado or anywhere else is not calendar-limited; in fact, spelunking is a perfect any-time-of-year activity. Here’s why:

1. Explore a rare environment.

No two caves are exactly alike. Sights on a cave tour include formations, millions of years in the making, such as stalagmites, stalactites, aragonite crystals, flowstone and cave bacon. There are also many caves with water features, such as underground rivers, lakes and waterfalls. At Bluespring Caverns and Indiana Caverns, both in Indiana, visitors can explore via boat tours; at Natural Stone Bridge Cave and Park, in New York, the adventure tour invites brave guests to float through the caves wearing a life jacket!

2. Spend time with family & friends.

Some of the best family memories are made during summer vacations and staycations. Exploring caves with kids can spark an interest in science and nature that could last a lifetime. Photos enable you to relive those great vacation memories time, so take plenty. Also, consider professional souvenir cave photos that often note the date of your visit as well as the smiles.

3. Learn something new.

Guided tours teach guests about the history of a particular cave and the surrounding area, as well as its geology, the positive impacts of bats and the importance of cave conservation.  Cave science is fascinating. In 2000, seven previously unknown species of bacteria were discovered inside Glenwood Caverns. Scientists are currently exploring how they might be used in developing new medicines to fight disease.

4. Improve wellbeing.

Multiple studies show that nature boosts our mental and physical health. Benefits include restored mental energy, better vision in children, improved concentration, sharper thinking and creativity. Spending time in natural spaces has been linked to increased energy, improved cognition, reduced anger and stress, lower blood pressure and slower heart rates.

5. Have fun!

Exploring and spending time in caverns makes everything more interesting. Visitors can watch live concerts broadcast by PBS or camp out at Tennessee’s Cumberland Caverns; and listen to the Great Stalacpipe Organ, the world’s largest musical instrument, at Luray Caverns in Virginia. At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, getting to the caves is part of the fun. Guests take a scenic tram ride from the valley floor to America’s only mountain –top theme park, the launch pad of some of the world’s the most exciting thrill rides including the Haunted Mine Drop and the Giant Canyon Swing.

Find out more about guided tours, cave history, thrill rides and attractions at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Beautiful Colorado Weather Will Rock Your Summer

Canyon Flyer - Glenwood Caverns

Summer in the Rockies offers ideal Colorado weather for healthy, fun, and memorable activities – pretty much anything except, of course, skiing. The high elevations and thinner air make for significant swings in temperature between day and night while keeping humidity low and letting in plenty of sunlight.

The climate numbers are all in your favor:

  • Sun. Days are bright with rare clouds. Brightest sunlight most shortwave solar energy reaching the ground) is June 17. Late June days enjoy almost 15 full hours of sunlight.
  • Rain. Likelihood of a rainout is low – about an inch a month in June and July, 1¼ inch in August. June 15 has the lowest chance of summer rain, 13 percent, but the highest chance is just 24 percent, on July 31.
  • Wind. Summer winds are from the west, almost never above 4 mph. Calmest is August 7 – 2.5 mph.
  • Thunderstorms. Weather in the Rockies can be unpredictable, but when afternoon thunderstorms do roll in, they move through quickly. We recommend taking shelter, either waiting it out or as an opportunity to experience our indoor attractions like the 4-D Theater and laser tag.
  • Average temperatures (Fahrenheit): June – high 84°, low 45°. July – high 89°, low 52°. August – high 87°, low 51°.

This means visitors should pack a variety of clothing in addition to the usual summertime shorts, short sleeves, and swimsuit – light jackets for some days, hiking attire if you’re hiking, warmer garb if you’re camping out. Also bring a hat for personal shade, plenty of sunscreen, and water, lip balm, and lotion to make up for the low moisture in the air.

Because safety is always our number one priority, we sometimes temporarily close the tram due to weather conditions like high winds or lightning. If that happens, we will provide alternate transportation to and from the Park via our new adventure vehicles.

To find out more about the weather in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and what to pack for a day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.