Theme Park Gear: What to Bring to the Adventure Park

Just as there’s an art to packing for a week-long vacation, packing the right gear for a day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park can greatly enhance your experience at America’s only mountaintop theme park.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is unique among theme parks. First off, the Adventure Park is located on top of a mountain at an elevation of 7,100 feet above sea level. To get to the entrance, you climb aboard a Glenwood Gondola cabin which whisks you from the valley floor to the mountaintop where there are thrill rides, family attractions, a restaurant, snack huts, general store, entertainment and more depending on the season and time of day. As the name implies, the Adventure Park is also home to Glenwood Caverns and offers two spectacular cave tours.

Understanding what to expect is key to packing the right gear for a top-notch day of fun at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Read on or check out our video that gives a rundown of what to bring.

Gear Guide: Come Prepared, Have More Fun

Comfortable shoes.  Be prepared to do a fair bit of walking at the Adventure Park by wearing comfortable footwear. Also, skip the flip flops if possible. Instead opt for sandals with secure straps that will stay on while you ride the Glenwood Canyon Flyer, the Flying Eagle Zip Ride and the Giant Canyon Swing. Sun protection. Be sun smart. Wear protective clothing including a brimmed hat and sunglasses. You can store these items in the provided cubbies while you ride the rides. Also, be sure to lather up regularly with sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF. If you forget yours, our complimentary sunscreen is available at the Guest Services gazebo in the plaza.
 

Hydration. It’s a good idea to have a water bottle handy to sip throughout the day. Bring one from home or purchase one of our refillable water bottles. Free ice water as well cold drinks are available all day long at the Lookout Grille and the Snack Shack.

Cool off. Though lines for rides tend to move quickly, having a battery-operated hand-held fan can take the edge off on a hot summer day. Another way to beat the heat is to take a break under the misters located outside of the 4-D theater and the Alpine Coaster. Afternoons are also a perfect time to go underground with one or both of our cave tours. The caverns stay a cool 52°F year-round and provide a refreshing respite from summertime temperatures.

A light jacket. The weather in the Colorado mountains is predictably unpredictable. Normal summertime temps range from the mid-70s to the upper 90s. Because you never know when a cold front or thunderstorm might blow through, it’s best to be prepared. If you’re prone to getting chills, a light jacket is also nice to have along on cave tours.

Hand sanitizer. Keep your crew healthy with a periodic squirt of hand sanitizer or use wet wipes as needed throughout the day.

Quarters. If you want to stash your stuff while you go on a cave tour or would rather not carry it around with you all day, coin-operated lockers are scattered throughout the Park. Lockers are just 50 cents.

Having the right gear will set you and your family up for a great day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Now get packing and we’ll see you on the mountaintop!

Pro Tips for Navigating Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

You wouldn’t visit the Magic Kingdom without a having plan; similarly, for a 5-star experience, use these strategies for navigating Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park during the peak summer season.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a top activity choice for visitors to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It rates right up there with soaking in hot springs, rafting in Glenwood Canyon and hiking to Hanging Lake, all of which reach the pinnacle of visitation during the summer months when kids and families take time off to travel. Having a strategy for navigating our theme park will help ensure a satisfying experience.

Our Best Insider Advice for Navigating the Park

Purchase tickets in advance.  Buying tickets ahead of time is convenient and you’ll spend less time waiting in the line to take the Glenwood Gondola to the mountaintop theme park. You can also save 5 percent using promo code BUYONLIN5P.

The best value. Our Funday Pass hands-down offers the biggest bang for your buck. It includes everything—the Glenwood Gondola, unlimited turns on rides and attractions and both cave tours.

Know height requirements. All of the thrill rides require riders to be a minimum height  to ensure safety and we’re sticklers about it. Family attractions also have restrictions. We’d rather see you back next year when your child easily meets the height requirement than have to tell you sorry after you’ve stood in line on a hot day.

Check for ride closures. For a variety of reasons, we sometimes we have to close rides. Sometimes it’s a short delay, perhaps due to a thunderstorm passing through. In the event it’s a longer closure we let guests know by posting it to the website under Park Info>Rides & Attractions Status. If you’ve been dreaming about riding the Alpine Coaster, rather than be disappointed that it’s closed, we recommend checking the status page before arriving.

Dress code. Wear comfortable clothing and non-flip-flop shoes; bring a light jacket for cave tours and a hat and sunglasses for sun protection.

Visit early or late. To avoid the crowds, come when the park opens at 9 a.m. and head straight for the rides you most want to enjoy. The Park stays open until 9 p.m., seven days per week, until August 11 when we will start closing at 6 p.m. on weekdays. Until then, evenings after 5 p.m. are another great way to miss the midday traffic.

Eat early or late. Avoid the lunch rush hour at the Lookout Grille by eating before 11:30 a.m. or after 1:30 p.m.  Alternatively, enjoy a lighter meal outside at Snack Shack.

Beat the heat. The sun’s rays are strongest in the afternoon. Cool off with midday cave tours.  On a hot summer day, the caverns internal temperature is a refreshing 52°F. Other ways to beat the heat include attending a 4-D Theater show which takes place every 15 minutes. The misters will cool you off outside while the air-conditioned interior of the theater will keep you comfortable inside.

Use our free stuff. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is located at an elevation of 7,100 feet. At higher elevations like ours the chances of getting sunburned or dehydrated increase. Complimentary sunscreen is available at the guest services shack in the plaza, and there is free ice water available at the Lookout Grille. We encourage you to use both as often as necessary.

Rain, rain, go away. Afternoon thundershowers are a regular part of summers in the high country. The good news is they roll through quickly. Many people choose to leave when it starts raining, but we advise sticking it out as the storms tend to pass quickly.

Leave it outside. Caring for our caves is another top priority at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Contact with the outside air, detritus, food, drinks, bumping or dropping things inside the caves can create irreparable damage. That’s why we ask you to leave your backpacks, handbags, snacks, water bottles, toys, strollers, etc. outside the cave entrance. If you’re not comfortable with that, we offer lockers where you can store your belongings.

Now that you have a handle on navigating Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, make plans to visit today.

24 Things-to-Do in 48 Hours in Glenwood Springs

From low-key to high-energy and family-friendly to romantic, with so many things to do, Glenwood Springs is a vacation destination that lets you relax any number of ways.

With a couple of days to spend in the hot springs and adventure town, you’ll be able to check off several of these iconic things to do in Glenwood Springs. Start at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and work your way down the list!

  1. Get your thrills at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Rides fling you out over Glenwood Canyon, drop you into darkness and speed you down a mountain! During summer, evenings are an ideal time to visit with fewer crowds and cooler weather.
  2. Soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Sixteen soaking pools along the river are hard to beat for relaxation.
  3. Raft in Glenwood Canyon. Cool off, have fun and see the amazing scenery as you paddle the Colorado River.
  4. Hike to Hanging Lake. This beauty is the gem of Glenwood Canyon. Make reservations to hike it in advance.
  5. Summit to Red Mountain. For views of Glenwood Springs to Mt. Sopris above Carbondale and beyond, this hike is easily accessible from town.
  6. Lift off with aerial adventures. To feel free as a bird, try tandem paragliding.
  7. Pedal the Rio Grande or Glenwood Canyon Trail. Cycle miles of paved paths and explore at your own pace.
  8. Attend a mountaintop concert. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park hosts music six nights per week. Check out the events calendar to listen to music by talented artists.
  9. Take in a Glenwood Vaudeville Revue show. This hilarious show is family-friendly and keeps everyone in stitches from start to finish.
  10. Play a round of golf. For the love of the game, tee off on Glenwood Springs courses.
  11. Go underground. Explore the fascinating subterranean world with cave tours at Glenwood Caverns.
  12. Schedule a massage. As a wellness town, Glenwood’s spas offer a range of blissful treatments for the ultimate relaxation experience.
  13. Stroll the pedestrian bridge. Connecting downtown with North Glenwood Springs, the bridge is perfect for people watching and a post-dinner evening walk.
  14. Sample craft beer. Glenwood Canyon Brewpub makes award-winning beer. Try a flight and find your favorite!
  15. Zumba downtown. Join the crowd to shimmy and shake under the bridge on Friday nights.
  16. Eat a Coloradough donut. The best donuts in town, these are made fresh daily. Bet you can’t stop at just one!
  17. Shop for souvenirs. Wander through unique boutiques for take-home treasures to remember your visit to Glenwood Springs.
  18. Visit Doc. Gunslinger, gambler and Western icon, hike to Doc Holliday’s grave and visit the museum dedicated to his life and times.
  19. Take a history tour. Learn all about the history and the many mysteries surrounding the Hotel Colorado on weekly tours led by local characters.
  20. Try Rocky Mountain Oysters. A delicacy and reputed aphrodisiac, find these deep-fried treats at the Doc Holliday Tavern.
  21. Dine outdoors. You’ll find al fresco dining just about everywhere you go in Glenwood Springs. Eat on rooftops, in courtyards and along the river.
  22. Stop by the Farmers’ Market. Held on Tuesday during the summer, Glenwood’s Downtown Market is a weekly mini-festival with food, artisans, music and cooking demonstrations.
  23. Bridge patrol. A shady summer spot under the bridge in Bethel Plaza is a gathering place on Friday afternoons for music, magic, face painting, movies and more.
  24. Educate your palette. From wine to whiskey, every Friday and Saturday evening, Cooper Wine & Spirits holds tastings.
Kids learn about cave science on cave tours

Make Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park your first stop for fun things to do in Glenwood Springs, then explore further.

Ten Cool Facts About Caves

We are fascinated by caves and continue to learn about, explore and map our own at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Every cave is unique and caves around the world and in the U.S. vary from place to place. If you’re curious about caves, check out these weird and interesting cave facts.

  1. While most caves are formed by the action of acidic water on karst, a landscape of limestone, dolomite, and gypsum, some are formed by lava tubes from volcanos or from meltwater in glaciers.
  2. In most caves, the dissolving of the karst takes more than 100,000 years to make enough space for one person.
  3. Ancient people were painting patterns and figures on cave walls more than 40,000 years ago. Scientists believe that Neanderthals might have painted on caves in the Iberian Peninsula up to 64,000 years ago and a figure of an animal on Borneo more than 40,000 years ago.
  4. Mayans built temples over caves or built them to look like caves because they believed that caves were the entrance to the underworld. Other ancient people also considered caves to be sacred spaces.
  5. Arthropods, fish, amphibians, and insects that have evolved to live in caves are called troglobites. The first troglobite identified, in the 1700s was the eyeless white amphibian called the olm. Some, such as the blind wolf spider of Hawaii, the Devil’s Hole pupfish of Death Valley, and the Texas Blind Salamander, are found in only one location.
  6. Sulfur is the basis of nearly all life forms in the Cuevo de Villa Luz in Mexico. Single-celled organisms called Snotties oxidize the sulfur from underground springs.
  7. Humans have used caves for shelter, food storage, mushroom farming, hideouts from the law, and many other activities. The Reed Flute Cave in China was an air-raid shelter during World War II.
  8. The caves in Paradise Glacier on Mt. Ranier in Washington were world-famous for most of the 20th The caves have disappeared as the glacier melted.
  9. Some of the largest natural crystals ever found were formed in the Cuervo de los Cristales 1,000 feet under Naica Mountain in Mexico. Translucent gypsum beams are up to 26 feet long and weigh up to 55 tons. Temperatures in the cave reach 138˚F. It has been re-flooded since exploration.
  10. Three million wrinkle-lipped freetail bats live in Deer Cave in Mulu National Park on the island of the Borneo, one of the world’s largest known cave passages.

Learn more about caves and explore them for yourself at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs. Make plans to visit today!