Inclement Weather: Riders on the Storm

Into every theme park, a little rain must fall. Depending on their location and attraction mix, theme parks respond to inclement weather with tips on toughing it out, partial closings, or, in the worst case—temporary attraction shutdowns. Don’t forget the silver lining in those clouds: showery days can mean shorter lines and a more relaxed visit overall.

Different venues manage weather differently depending on prevailing weather conditions in their location. Walt Disney World builds more sheltered space, including covered queues, than Disneyland because South Florida gets more storms than southern California (not to mention that the Florida parks have published cancellation policies in the even of hurricane or tropical storm warnings). The extra shade can help ease heat wave discomfort as well as protect from rain.

Check the rules online before you make the trip to avoid disappointment. Dollywood published a detailed list of the temperature at which each ride closes. Disneyland list the outdoor attractions that close temporarily during rain or lightning. At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, storms come and go quickly. Rain checks are issued when Alpine Coaster, Cliffhanger Coaster, Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, Giant Canyon Swing, and Glenwood Canyon Flyer are ALL closed for an hour or more.

Visitors should also pack more prudently than destinations’ stereotypes might suggest – you might need a light jacket or long pants to stay comfortable in a Southern cold snap. Theme Park Insider Robert Niles recommends taking a rain jacket, but not an umbrella; making reservations at indoor eateries; and checking packages so you don’t have to carry souvenirs around when rain is predicted at Disneyland. “Embrace the rain and ride anything outside that’s a short wait time instead of huddling with the crowds trying to stay dry inside,” he says. “The upside to bad weather often is smaller crowds.”

Learn more about Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, America’s only mountain-top theme park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Alpine Coasters: Letting Nature Take Its Course

Alpine coasters, including the one at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, follow the terrain for scenic rider-controlled downhills.

Alpine coasters have become a popular attraction at ski resorts and amusement parks since they were developed in the mid-1990s as a rail-riding successor to Alpine slides that had been around since the 1970s. Alpine coasters have been built in 12 countries, from Switzerland to New Zealand and Jamaica to Vietnam, as well as 16 states. The longest is Tobotronc in Naturlandia in Andorra—5.3 kilometers with a drop of 400 meters and a ride that can last nearly 10 minutes. The highest is at Glacier 3000, a one-kilometer ride that starts at 2,970-meter elevation and can reach speeds of 25 mph on its two-minute descent.

Unlike traditional roller coasters that build their own hills, Alpine coasters take advantage of the natural terrain’s slope, usually built close to the ground except for bridging. Alpine coasters are the only amusement park ride controlled by the rider. One or two people sit in the car, and a hand brake regulates the speed. The settings often offer breathtaking views—Tobotronc runs through the La Rabassa forest—and some riders prefer to take a more leisurely sightseeing pace.

The one-kilometer Alpine Coaster at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, ranked No. 1 by, was the first of its kind in the United States. Colorado’s slopes naturally make it a leading site for Alpine coasters, with highly-ranked rides in Vail and Steamboat Springs. In addition to Rocky Mountain states such as Wyoming and Utah and Appalachian Mountain states from Vermont to Georgia, Alpine coasters are found in South Dakota, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Missouri.

Showcaves of the Midwest

From the Black Hills to the Ozarks and the Wisconsin Dells to the Texas Hill Country, identifies 32 showcaves. They include the longest underground navigable river, the ultra-rare black alabaster, species of sightless cave-dwelling creatures and breathtaking formations of size and beauty. Here are some highlights:
  • Rushmore Cave near Keystone, S.D., is in a limestone formation encircling the granite core of the Black Hills. Its four rooms are the Post Office, where early visitors carved their initials; the Image Room, with face-shaped formations; the Floral Room, with helictites on stalactites in leaf and floral design; and the Big Room, with numerous stalactites, flowstone, and cave bacon.
  • Cave of the Mounds near Blue Mounds, Wis., discovered in 1939, is considered the most significant cave in the upper Midwest by the Chicago Academy of Sciences. It has a high number of colorful crystal formations on paved lighted pathways.
  • Bluespring Caverns in Lawrence County, Ind., contains 21 miles of surveyed passages and the longest U.S. subterranean river with 3 navigable miles. It is home to crayfish, salamanders, crickets, spiders, beetles, bats and the rare sightless Northern Cavefish.
  • Sights on the Kings Row Cave TourMarengo Cave in Crawford County, Ind., discovered in 1883 and open to the public from the beginning, has almost five miles of known passageway.
  • Spook Cave near McGregor, Iowa, opened in 1955, is explored entirely by boat on the underground water.
  • Crystal Lake Cave near Dubuque, Iowa, was discovered in 1868 and contains crystals including aragonite, travertine, satin stalagmite, stalactite and calcareous spar.
  • Alabaster Caverns near Freedom, Okla., has the largest natural gypsum cave in the world, including, pink, white and rare black alabaster, otherwise found only in China and Italy.
  • Mark Twain Cave near Hannibal, Mo., was discovered by hunters about 1820 and contains tools of earlier Native Americans who used the cave. Mark Twain visited the cave and based a scene in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on his experience.
  • Meramec Caverns near Stanton, Mo., is the largest commercial cave in the state that has more than 6,000 surveyed caves. The system is 4.6 miles long.
  • Bluff Dwellers Cave near Noel, Mo., was used by the ancient peoples known as Bluff Dwellers. It was open to the public in 1927.
  • Talking Rocks Cavern in Stone County, Missouri, was named Fairy Cave by its early developer for its glittering crystals. (Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs also has a cave with the same name and offers tours of the Historic Fairy Caves)
  • War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake near Rogers, Ark., contains unusual domes, rimstone dams, and underground streams and waterfalls. It was used by moonshiners before the lake was built in the 1960s.
  • Exploring caves in a fun family activityMystic Cavern and Crystal Dome Cavern are less than 400 feet apart near Harrison, Ark. Mystic has a Pipe Organ calcite formation 30 feet tall and 12 feet thick as well as helictites, shields and spherical stalactites. Crystal has a 70-foot dome and other dripstone formations of pure while calcite.
  • Cave Without A Name near Boerne, Tex., has six rooms with formations of stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, cave drapery, flowstones and rimstone dams. Concerts are held in the Cave Throne Room.
  • Caverns of Sorona near Sorona, Tex., is in a limestone formation at the frontier of the Hill Country and the Chihuahuan Dessert. It was discovered in the early 1920s and opened to the public in 1960.
  • Inner Space Cavern near Georgetown, Tex., was discovered in 1963 and opened to the public in 1966. Mammoth and saber-tooth cat bones have been discovered in the ancient cave.
  • Natural Bridge Cavern near San Antonio, Tex., has a 60-foot limestone bridge. It was discovered in 1960 and opened in 1964.
  • Longhorn Cavern in Burnet County, Tex., was used by Native Americans, Confederate soldiers, outlaws, and, during Prohibition, as a speakeasy with musical performances. It was explored, cleaned and improved by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Musicians started performing in the cavern again in 2006.
Learn more about our nation’s show caves and plan to explore some of them soon, including Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado which, in addition to its spectacular show caves, is home to America’s only mountaintop theme park.

Top 10 Showcaves in the US

If you go deep enough, each cave has its own special attraction. Beautiful rock and crystal formations. Water features. Music. Cavern-dwelling creatures. History. Here’s a subjectively-selected Top 10 list drawn mostly from a review of highlighted caves on

  • Luray Caverns in Virginia. Hear the largest musical instrument in the world, the Great Stalacpipe Organ, that taps stalactites with rubber mallets across a 3.5-acre expanse and fills the whole place with sound. As if that weren’t enough, the Geology Hall of Fame is here.
  • The Lost Sea in Sweetwater, Tenn. This place is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest underground lake in the United States. It is 4.5 acres at the surface, but more than 13 acres have been mapped and the work is incomplete.
  • Bluespring Caverns in Lawrence County, Ind. Speaking of water, the longest underground navigable river in the United States makes this a superlative destination. In addition to the three miles of flowing water, this place has a fascinating selection of creatures including salamanders, crickets, spiders, beetles, bats and the rare sightless Northern Cavefish.
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Monument in Eddy County, N.M., explored in 1898 and declared a national monument in 1923, includes Carlsbad Cavern and Lechuguilla Cave. Carlsbad Cavern has 23 named rooms – the biggest covers 357,469 square feet. Lechuguilla Cave, one of the most popular in the world for spelunking, is 1,640 feet underground, extends for 120 miles and has spectacular features such as 20-foot gypsum crystals and 50-foot calcite columns.
  • Alabaster Caverns near Freedom, Okla. When there are only three places to see black alabaster, and only one in the United States, it’s worth a trip to the largest natural gypsum cave in the world, with pink, white and rare black alabaster as well as crystal formations of selenite, another kind of gypsum.
  • Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Named for its own size rather than the wooly prehistoric beast, the world’s longest cave system—more than 400 miles—is worth a visit. Right next door, you can see Diamond Cavern’s drapery deposits of naturally colorful calcite.
  • Cave Without A Name near Boerne, Tex. You can see formations of stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, cave drapery, flowstones and rimstone dams in six rooms and hear concerts in the Cave Throne Room.
  • Meramec Caverns near Stanton, Mo. This 4.6-mile system has irresistible history. Natives used the caves for shelter, a French miner visited them in 1722, and Confederates destroyed a Union saltpeter plant in the caves during the Civil War. Meramec was one of the first attractions advertised by bumper sign when it opened to the public in 1935.
  • Grand Caverns in Grottoes, Va. Speaking of history, the oldest continually operated show cave in the United States was discovered by a trapper in 1804 and opened to visitors in 1806. More than 200 Confederate and Union soldiers from nearby battles signed their names in the caverns.
  • Longhorn Cavern in Burnet County, Tex. This one’s got music and history. It was used by Natives, Confederate soldiers, outlaws, and, during Prohibition, as a speakeasy with musical performances. Really—a tavern in a cavern. It’s been hosting musical performance since 2006.

Of course, Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs is a Colorado stunner. Exquisite underground landscapes include rooms that are among the state’s largest— “the Barn,” and the most highly decorated—King’s Row. Glenwood Caverns offers two cave tours—the Historic Fairy Caves and King’s Row—both are included in the Park’s Funday passes. Learn more and plan a visit to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Explore Showcaves of the Eastern U.S.

The geological history of the eastern United States has created dozens of caverns and cave systems, mostly along the Appalachian Mountains with some in the limestone and sandstone layers of Ohio and Kentucky. has highlighted 13 of the 31 identified in the region as among America’s Best Showcaves.

  • Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves in Kinsman Notch, New Hampshire, was formed by glaciers after the last Ice Age. The river flows beneath the surface before it joins the Pemigewasset River. It was discovered by boys fishing in 1852 and bought by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests in 1912.
  • Mammoth Cave in Kentucky is the world’s longest cave system – more than 400 miles explored since it was rediscovered by Europeans in the late 1700s.
  • Diamond Cavern next to Mammoth Cave has illuminated the drapery deposits of naturally colorful calcite in its halls with state-of-the-art lighting. Tourists have visited the site since the late 19th
  • Ohio Caverns in West Liberty has more than two miles of surveyed passages from 30 feet to 103 feet under its 35-acre park.
  • Seneca Caverns in Bellevue, Ohio, was discovered in 1872 and opened for visitors in 1933 after previously-unknown passageways, rooms, and an underground river were discovered.
  • The Lost Sea in Sweetwater, Tenn., is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest underground lake in the United States. It is 4.5 acres at the surface, but more than 13 acres have been mapped and the work is incomplete.
  • Cumberland Caverns is a system of more than 32 miles of caves and underground passageways with rock formations, waterfalls, and pools in McMinnville, Tenn. It hosts headliner music events in the Volcano Room 333 feet below the surface.
  • Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, Tennessee, named for the wife of Leo Lambert who in 1928 discovered the underground waterfall more than 1,120 feet under the surface of Lookout Mountain.
  • Raccoon Mountain Caverns, a cave system near Chattanooga, offers campsites and panning for gemstones in sight of Lookout Mountain and Raccoon Mountain.
  • Shenandoah Caverns in Virginia has an elevator for easy cavern exploration. It offers a one-hour guided tour of the geology including crystalline formations.
  • Luray Caverns in Virginia hosts the Geology Hall of Fame and offers guided tours on lighted, paved walkways through rooms 10 stories high. Its Great Stalacpipe Organ is the largest musical instrument in the world—tapping stalactites with rubber mallets across a 3.5-acre expanse.
  • Grand Caverns in Grottoes, Va., the oldest continually operated showcave in the United States, was discovered by a trapper in 1804 and opened to visitors in 1806. More than 200 Confederate and Union soldiers from nearby battles signed their names in the caverns.
  • DeSoto Caverns in Childersburg, Ala., was explored by Native Americans, mined by Confederate soldiers, and used to hide moonshining during Prohibition.

The National Caves Association divides the country’s showcaves into four regions: West, Mid-West, East and Off-Shore. The caves at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park are part of Western region.

Top Trend:Theme Park Weddings

For a fairytale wedding, a head start on the ups and downs of life or a hope of living happily ever after, some couples choose amusement parks for their destination nuptials with the promise of fun for family and friends.

Spectacular Settings

Many parks are already set up to host group events, and some promote the added value of private marriage ceremonies and receptions. Disney offers an elaborate set of services, including professional and online planning, with options for travel to Florida, California, Hawaii, or an ocean cruise far from the roller coaster of life. Or you can tie the knot in the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel that has three ballrooms, a gazebo and event planners on staff. Couples get use of a reception room, a wedding cake and a champagne toast.

Outstanding Service

Some Six Flags locations highlight their service. Six Flags St. Louis hosts ceremonies and receptions for groups of at least one hundred. Six Flags Great Escape offers its Mohican Lodge for a country-style banquet hall that holds up to 275 people as well as a courtyard for outdoor ceremonies. The happy couple gets a free bridal suite for the night.

A Special Day to Remember Forever

At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, couples looking for a fresh, casual event can wed in a beautiful mountaintop setting on our covered restaurant patio or viewing deck or find deep commitment in the caves. Caverns wedding packages include the tram and meal and, if desired, upgrades to the attractions.

Trend: Theme Parks Aim For Broader Demographic

This is not your father’s amusement park industry. 

Theme parks today are attracting more visitors and earning more money by reaching beyond – but not leaving behind – the “family-friendly” focus that has driven their success since Disneyland opened in 1955 to help the parents of baby boomers entertain their growing families. That model, which has proliferated around the world, suffered a downturn in the United States in the 1970s when the birth rate dropped after the boom, then revived with new venues such as Universal Orlando in the 1990s as the millennial population was growing up.

Today, facing another slowdown in the population of families with children, parks have adopted savvy marketing strategies to keep the customers coming. Attendance grew to 390 million in 2017 from 343 million in 2011, and receipts are expected to grow from $22.6 billion in 2017 to $27.2 billion in 2021. That’s driven largely by millennials, whether or not they have kids. In a survey, three-fourths of childless millennials said they were interested in visiting a theme park in the next year, just three percentage points less than millennial parents and far above the 59 percent of all parents. While about half of all parents consider theme parks a good value for the money, nearly two-thirds of millennials hold that opinion.

It’s the reward for smart marketing, industry observers say. Disneyland branded its Pixar Festival last year “Celebrating Friendship and Beyond,” suggesting that groups of friends as well as families should attend. The park’s new Toy Story section is a direct appeal to millennial nostalgia for the 1995 movie.

Those friend groups aren’t all millennials, though. Some parks are also aiming for wealthier people and older adults by holding upscale food and wine festivals and offering upsale premiums such as skip-the-line passes.

“I’ve heard from several people in the industry that they expect elderly visitors to outnumber toddlers in the very near future,” Robert Niles, founder of Theme Park Insider, wrote in the Orange County Register.  “Other than maybe Legoland, parks can’t aim just at families with small children and expect to keep growing anymore. Theme parks need to find ways to keep fans visiting after they grow up, even they don’t have children of their own to bring to the parks.”[1]

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is family-owned and America’s only mountain-top theme park. Visit Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park to learn more about our park and theme parks in general.

The World’s Oldest Amusement Parks

The Guinness Book of World Records holder, Bakken in Kampenborg, Denmark, opened in 1583 near popular fresh-water springs as a pleasure garden with live entertainment, fireworks, dancing, games and some early rides. That was common in European cities then, but most had closed by the 18th century. Bakken, “The Hill,” is short for Dyrehavsbakken, “The Animal Park’s Hill,” and was a private royal hunting ground until 1756. Its first roller coaster, built in 1932, is still operating.

The second-oldest, Wurstelprater, also known as Prater, in Leopoldstadt, Austria, was also a hunting ground before it opened to the public in 1766. Its top attraction now is Wiener Riesenrad, a Ferris wheel, a Vienna landmark.

The third-oldest, Tivoli Gardens, opened in Copenhagen in 1843 and became so famous that it inspired Walt Disney’s design of Disneyland in 1955. Today, it operates one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters, the Rutschebanen, built in 1914, among its 31 attractions.

The oldest amusement park in the United States, Lake Compounce in Bristol, Conn., opened on Oct. 6, 1846, when the public was invited to witness a scientist’s experiments in electricity. It was a picnic ground before attractions were added two years later. Lake Compounce now has 44 rides, including five roller coasters.

Other historic amusement parks ranked by age are:

  1. Hanayashiki in Tokyo, which was a flower park in 1853 and added amusements in 1872. It now has 20 rides and a popular Ninja training class.
  1. Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, opened in 1870 as a public bathing beach and added its first roller coaster in 1892, the start of its reputation as Roller Coaster Capital of the World. It now has 16 roller coasters, including five above 200 feet, among its 72 rides.
  1. Idlewild and Soak Zone, opened as a public campground in 1878 in Ligonier, Pa. It now has 40 rides and a special section inspired by Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
  1. Gröna Lund in Stockholm still operates the Circus Carousel and Fun House from its opening in 1883 among its 31 rides. It is also famous for concerts headlined by such celebrities as Jimi Hendrix, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Bob Marley and ABBA.

National Roller Coaster Day: An Up-and-Down Day

National Roller Coaster Day is Thursday, August 16, a great day to scream at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park where we’re celebrating with Cliffhanger Roller Coaster thrill rides, free cake and amazing prizes.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is home to the world’s highest elevation roller coaster. The Cliffhanger Roller Coaster is situated at an elevation of 7,160 feet above sea level and to make it even more thrilling, the Cliffhanger overlooks a 1,450 foot cliff with views of the Colorado River below.

On Thursday, August 16, we’ll be observing National Roller Coaster Day along with theme parks across the county. The celebration festivities include free cake for park guests, prize giveaways and an annual thrill pass to the Park for two lucky winners—our 100th and 300th riders on the Cliffhanger Coaster. For a screaming good time, make plans to join us for a day of topsy-turvy fun. Read more about the history of this unusual national holiday below.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.When roller coaster enthusiasts in the 1980s decided to establish a National Roller Coaster Day, they looked back to Aug. 16, 1887, when Gnonen H. Chadeayne of Buffalo, N.Y. received a patent for “a new and useful Improvement in Toboggans…which are mounted upon rollers, and designed more particularly for coasting indoors or during the summer months.” He had come up with guide rollers to keep the toboggan from hitting the sides of the track.

Cliffhanger Roller Coaster

It wasn’t the earliest patent for a coaster-related ride—that was in 1869 for an “artificial sliding hill”—and the first commercial roller coaster in the United States (not counting the coal-carrying Mauch Chunk Gravity Railway in Pennsylvania that had been turned into a joyride) had been running on Coney Island since June 16, 1884. LaMarcus Thompson built that coaster based on designs by Richard Knudsen, who got his patent for the “Inclined-Plane Railway” on Jan. 1, 1878. But Aug. 16 became the date.

“A lot of people say, ‘Why don’t you change it to a Saturday?’ It’s Aug. 16,”  explains Roy Brashears, who manages a National Roller Coaster Day website, Facebook page, and Twitter. He also designs a new commemorative T-shirt every year.

“This event doesn’t belong to any one group,” says Brashears, one of four founders of the American Coasters Enthusiasts that has grown to more than 5,000 members since 1977. He is semi-retired after working for 22 years at Hersheypark in Pennsylvania. Some parks participate by offering a free, discount or charity-related admission to their park on Aug. 16. Others might give a prize for riding all of their coasters. The Facebook page keeps track of activities, and its 3,000 members can indicate where they’ll celebrate the day.

At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, National Roller Coaster Day is a great day to scream. Regular park admission applies on Aug. 16, National Roller Coaster Day.

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.