10 Ways to Keep the Summer Fun Going in Colorado

Colorado is cool in the summertime. Keep the fun going with these 10 outside activities you can enjoy across the state.

In addition to the high-flying summer fun at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, America’s only mountain-top theme park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, the entire rest of the state is a playground of outdoor adventures!

    1. Go wild. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Also giraffes, rhinoceroses, elephants, wolves, and alligators are waiting for you at major zoos. Check out the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, and the Colorado Gators Reptile Park in Mosca.
    2. Take a hike. Smell the wildflowers at Yankee Boy Basin near Ouray, Shrine Pass near Frisco, or Lake Isabel near Colorado City. Enjoy the waterfalls at Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs, Seven Falls in Colorado Springs, or Bridal Veil Falls in Telluride. Retrace history on the Santa Fe Trail’s Sierra Vista Overlook near La Junta, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Pueblo dwellings in Montezuma County, Skyline Drive dinosaur tracks near Cañon City. View elk at Horseshoe Park in Rocky Mountain National Park, bighorn sheep and mountain goats at Mount Evans Wilderness Area near Idaho Springs, and moose at State Forest State Park near Walden.
    3. Camp out. Find cabins and yurts at Golden Gate Canyon State Park near Golden; wilderness backpacking at West Fork Campground near Pagosa Springs, Trappers Lake near Meeker, and Ansel Watrous Campground near Bellvue; and lakeside tent and RV sites at Elk Creek Campground near Grand Lake, Cherry Creek State Park near Aurora, and John Martin Reservoir State Park near Hasty; and amazing views at Silver Bar Campground near Aspen and Moraine Park Campground near Estes Park.
    4. Ride a bike It’s summer, so you can pedal down the ski slopes on Vail Mountain, Purgatory, and Keystone Resort, with a ride-up on the gondolas. You’ll find bike parks at Winter Park Resort, Lory State Park near Fort Collins, and Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, and paved routes in Glenwood Springs, Denver, Vail, and Golden. Mountain biking was invented at Crested Butte, where you can find a great singletrack rides.
    5. Float your boat. Waterski at Navajo State Park, Jackson Lake State Park, and Blue Mesa Reservoir; canoe at Lake Granby in Granby, Gross Reservoir near Eldorado Springs, and the Colorado River near Palisade; fish at Grand Mesa Lakes near Cedaredge, Lake Pueblo State Park, and Steamboat Lake State Park; sail at Lake Dillon in Dillon, Grand Lake, and the Ruedi Reservoir in Basalt.
    6. Swing your club. Golf at mountain courses such as Pole Creek Golf Club, Copper Creek Golf Club, Breckenridge Golf Course, among rock formations at Arrowhead Golf Course and dinosaur footprints at Fossil Trace Golf Club, or on the highest course on the continent at Mount Massive Golf Course.
    7. Go underground. Get out of the sun at Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs, Rifle Falls State Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Whit4e River National Forest and our own Glenwood Caverns.
    8. Eat & Drink. As the fruit ripens across the season, check out the peach, cherry, and apple orchards and the wineries on the Western Slope, especially around Palisade, Grand Junction, Paonia, Hotchkiss and Cedaredge.
    9. Paddle whitewater. Go for the fast water in the Arkansas River Headwaters near Salida, Gunnison Gorge near Gunnison or Browns Canyon National Monument near Buena Vista. Take it a little milder at Glenwood Canyon near Glenwood Springs, Ruby Canyon near Grand Junction, or Eagle River near Gypsum. Take it easy at Cottonwood Lake near Buena Vista, Pearl Lake State Park, or Barr Lake State Park. For whitewater, hit Confluence Park in Denver; Clear Creek Whitewater Park, Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park, or Gunnison Whitewater Park.
    10. Get festive. Join the celebrations at the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival July 6-15, the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo July 14-15 in Steamboat Springs, the Denver Underground Music Showcase July 26-29, the Vail Dance Festival July 28-Aug. 11, the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo Aug. 28-Sept. 3, and A Taste of Colorado in Denver Aug. 31-Sept. 3.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Update on Wildfire in Basalt, Colorado

America’s only mountain-top theme park in Glenwood Springs continues to welcome visitors for a summer filled with thrills and adventure. Due to visitor inquiries, however, we are providing guests with this update about the Lake Christine wildfire in Basalt.

We’ve recently fielded some questions about our proximity to the Lake Christine fire in Basalt, Colorado. We’d like to inform anyone planning to visit Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Glenwood Springs more broadly, that with the exception of some smoke in the area, the fire has had little impact on our operations. The Park, including all the rides and attractions, is 100-percent open for visitors to enjoy.

The town of Basalt, where a wildfire has been burning since July 3, is approximately 25 miles southeast of Glenwood Springs. The Lake Christine fire is currently 39 percent contained.

Though most days have been clear at the Park, due to shifting wind patterns, visitors can expect to see and smell some smoke on occasion in the vicinity of Glenwood Springs. Because our guests’ health and safety is always a top priority, those with medical issues may wish consult this interactive map for air quality information.

All roads to Glenwood Springs are open including I-70 through Glenwood Canyon and continuing west toward Grand Junction. Highway 82, which connects Glenwood Springs with towns up-valley, including Carbondale, Basalt, El Jebel, Snowmass and Aspen are also all open, with normal traffic patterns.

The latest update on the fires is that crews continue to make great progress on the western flank of the fire. Additional hand lines as well as dozer lines were established and the objective in the coming days is for all of these to unite. In the northwest corner, crews will continue to build direct fire line and utilize burning operations to reduce the fuel load and secure the fire line. The southern perimeter remains quiet. Swing shift crews are patrolling this edge and assisting other divisions with operations.

For more information and regular updates on the Lake Christine fire, please visit InciWeb.

10 Souvenirs to Take Home from the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Gift Shop

Souvenirs play an important role in travel. They help us recall special moments long after our vacations are over. These 10 mementos from the General Store will help you remember all the fun you had at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Ever wonder why on vacation we’re lured into shops that sell trinkets emblazoned with the name of a place or attraction? Bringing home a little bit of the place we’ve been is not only fun in the moment when we’re shopping, that cute t-shirt or kitschy coffee cup can also bring us a mini-dose of happiness every time we put it on or fill our mug.

Kristen Swanson studies merchandising and what people buy when they’re vacationing. “Research has shown that all tourists, or most tourists…there’s always that one exception, are predisposed to shop for souvenirs as part of the activities they’re going to do when they go traveling,” Swanson said. “A souvenir is a remembrance of an experience. They have emotional value attached to them that ordinary objects don’t have.”

Souvenirs also happen to be excellent conversation starters. When you wear that Glenwood Caverns t-shirt, you never know who might ask you about your experience at America’s only mountain-top theme park. Break out your set of Glenwood Caverns shot glasses and regale your friends with stories of how you screamed like a little baby on the Giant Canyon Swing or Haunted Mine Drop. Smile as your kids re-enact exploring make-believe caves while wearing their toy caver’s helmets.

Stopping at the gift shop to peruse the merchandise and select something special to take home is part of the pleasure of vacationing.  A visit to the General Store at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is no exception. Favorite souvenirs that guests like to take home from the park include:

  • Pressed pennies. It’s an inexpensive keepsake you can tuck in your pocket.
  • Yummy cake mixes packaged in wine and beer bottles. Not only do these travel well, they make great gifts for that special person back home watering your plants and watching your dog.
  • Wooden signs. These fun signs have sayings focused on hiking, camping and Colorado living.
  • Kid-sized caver’s helmets. After the cave tours, encourage their spelunking dreams with child-sized caving gear.
  • Logoed merchandise like t-shirts, coffee mugs and shot glasses. Among the most practical souvenirs, these items can be worn or used again and again.
  • Saw-cut wooden bears. These cute critters like hanging out on fire place mantles and front porches after they leave Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
  • A bag full of polished rocks. Let the youngsters mine for their favorite polished rocks to take home in a drawstring bag.
  • Old fashioned toys. Keep kids entertained with retro-toys like popguns, slingshots and boomerangs.
  • Adorn yourself with something pretty and sparkly.
  • Fudge. Even locals and staff members can’t get enough of this treat. It’s made daily from fresh ingredients and comes in a mouthwatering variety of flavors. Top-sellers are Rocky Road, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate.

Of course, this is just a sampling of what’s in store at the gift shop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, stop in at the General Store to find your own perfect souvenir to take home.

Kids Happy Hour Only at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Who says Happy Hour is for adults only? At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, it’s not just grown-ups who can kick back and relax with a cool beverage.

As a family-friendly theme park destination, we really understand where kids are coming from. It’s not fair that Happy Hour is the exclusive domain of the 21 and over age group. At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, we’ve rectified that disparity by creating our very own Kids Happy Hour.

At the Lookout Grille, every Monday – Thursday (through Labor Day), from 5 p.m. to closing time, kids 3 – 12 can get a beat-the-heat ICEE drink in a variety of fruity flavors for half price. ICEEs are an iconic part of summer. The frozen, carbonated drink was created by Omar Knedlik in Kansas in 1958 and it’s been a hot weather treat ever since.  Moms and dads don’t have to worry about being left out either because we’ve also got Happy Hour for the big kids with $4 drafts of Fat Tire, Blue Moon, Coor’s Light and our favorite—Adventure Park Ale, a locally-brewed IPA.

If you’re looking for some delicious eats to go with your suds and sodas, the Lookout Grille has plenty of belly-pleasing choices. Favorite appetizers include Mountain Nachos, a sky-high plateful of cheesy chips with all the fixings; and Loaded Fries, French fries topped with cheese sauce, onions and bacon. Yum!

The Lookout Grille’s main menu also has a little something for everyone. There are beef or veggie burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches, all with the option of a regular or gluten-free bun. Health-conscious options include chicken wraps and garden salads with or without chicken. A favorite that goes particularly well with sporting events is our plate of boneless chicken wings and fries. For kids choose a burger or chicken nugget meal that comes with a fountain drink and kid’s choice of kettle chips, applesauce or French fries.

Other places to grab some good eats are the Snack Shack where slices of pizza, brats and hot dogs are just the thing to satisfy growling tummies. When it’s time for a cold treat, indulge in an ice cream or a sno-cone. Our Popcorn Wagon is chock-full of theme park goodies like funnel cakes, cotton candy, corndogs, chips and cinnamon glazed nuts, as well as stocked with all your favorite drinks. For a truly mouthwatering treat, stop by the General Store to peruse the display case of fudge—all made by hand daily—and pick whatever is most tempting.

Stop in for Happy Hour—kids welcome—and stay for the fun of it! Find out more about Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and how to plan your day and your vacation to Glenwood Springs.