Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is home to a mountaintop of thrill rides and amusements, but it’s the caverns that continue to draw and dazzle visitors year-round. A veteran cave tour guide tells us his top reasons to take a cave tour at the Adventure Park.
Cole Newton has been crawling around caves for longer than he can remember—literally—at just two months of age, his parents who are both avid spelunkers took him along on their caving adventures. The joy and wonder of exploring the underground world have not worn off, in addition to leading cave tours at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Newton has traveled the globe to pursue his passion. “You could say caving is in my blood,” he said. He has visited multiple continents to go caving and hopes to check off all 7 one day. With that in mind, Newton shares his top seven reasons you should take a Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park cave tour on your next visit.
Cave formations. Stalactites, stalagmites, cave bacon, popcorn, flowstone and more! You can see close-up, pristine examples of all of these formations on either the King’s Row or Historic Fairy Caves Something unique to King’s Row is the presence of a type of red quartz that gets it coloring from rust—iron oxide. Its occurrence is proof that it was geothermal water that formed the caves.
- Exclamation point. One of the most spectacular views in Glenwood Springs, Exclamation Point is a highlight stop on the Historic Fairy Caves tour. From a rocky outcropping (with a guard rail of course) visitors are treated to unparalleled aerial views of Glenwood Canyon with the Colorado River below.
- Phosphorescence. Otherwise known as Glenwood Caverns’ glow-in-the-dark rocks, visitors can see this phenomenon on both tours. Phosphorescence is a type of photoluminescence where a mineral continues to glow even after the light source has been extinguished. The glow, which appears blue or purple, slowly fades to black after several seconds.
- Evaporimeters. Look carefully at the underground landscape and you and you’ll notice small, plastic tubes placed throughout the caves. The devices are prefilled to a fixed level and monitored for moisture loss or gain. They measure humidity levels inside the caverns—a reliable indicator of cave vitality—and are checked by local cavers every three months. In case you’re wondering, the data show Glenwood Caverns caves are rated as “very healthy.”
- The Barn. Bet you didn’t know there was a barn inside Glenwood Caverns! As its name indicates, this cave room is enormous. It’s just 15 feet short of a football field and 65 feet high at its tallest point! It is, in fact, Colorado’s largest cave “show room,” a designation that indicates it is also splendidly decorated with cave formations. Overall, it’s the second largest cave room in the state.
- Magical Creatures. Not solely inhabited by typical cave dwellers such as bats, packrats and spiders, Glenwood Caverns is also home to a wonderland of fantastical creatures that includes dragons, giants and fairies! Fickle by nature, these beings can be moody and unpredictable, so stay alert as you travel into their underground realm. However, not every dwelling creature has remained aloof. Cave troll, Halvor Flowstone, became curious about the humans aboveground and left the cave world for good. A friendly troll, you can visit him on the Iron Mountain Trail, take photos and learn his story.
- Cave Kisses. Along with thrill rides and family attractions, cave tours are among the top things-to-do at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Visitors love the caves and sometimes the caves love them back! Cave kisses, also known as fairy kisses, are a special unexpected treat that some guests experience. Considered good luck, you’ll know you’ve gotten a cave kiss by the sudden, cold, wet feel of it!
Take a Glenwood Caverns Cave Tour on Your Next Visit!
For the best value tickets, the Funday Pass includes the Glenwood Gondola, cave tours and unlimited turns on Park rides and attractions. Visitors also have the option to purchase admission that only includes the gondola and cave tours.