Historic Fairy Cave Tour

Fairy Caves

The Historic Fairy Cave Tour is a 40 minute guided walking tour that is appropriate for most fitness levels. This tour leads you on a quarter-mile-long underground stroll through narrow, winding passages, to natural water features and includes a stop at Exclamation Point—a viewing balcony with magnificent panoramas.

What to expect. While there is no need to bend or stoop on this tour, some visitors may feel claustrophobic by the narrowness and low ceiling in places. Though tempting, visitors may not touch the walls or cave formations. This is to protect the living cave environment. Also, there are 19 steps, with a stop at the half-way point, which visitors will need to be able to climb. Once the tour has started, plan to follow your guide to the end as the lights behind you are turned off as you progress through the tour. See more details below.

Souvenir Photos are taken when you go on the Kings Row Cave Tour!

A little history. Named by C.W. Darrow who began giving tours in April 1896, the Fairy Caves was one of the first caves in the U.S. to have electric lighting installed. Today’s cave tour includes a historic lighting section called History Lane, which is illuminated with replica Edison and Marconi-style light bulbs. On your tour, you will experience a portion of the Fairy Cave just as a visitor would have viewed it over 100 years ago.

Darrow had hoped his venture would be a huge commercial success, drawing visitors from nearby Glenwood Springs. To reach the cave entrance, customers had to climb a steep trail to the mountain-top. Ahead of his time, Darrow proposed an electric tram to take people more efficiently to the attraction. Unfortunately, the town leaders were not as enthusiastic and refused to fund it; his project floundered and tours ceased in the mid-1910s.

With special permission from the Darrow family, caving groups continued exploring and mapping the extensive caverns. Over the years, new discoveries were made including areas not previously accessible except to a few hardy cavers willing to crawl and wiggle through them. The property remained in the Darrow family until 1961 when Peter Prebble and his partners bought it.

The current route of the Historic Fairy Cave Tour was two years in the making with close to 1,000 tons of rocky debris removed by hand with buckets and in wheelbarrows. Thankfully visitors don’t have to inch their way through tight spots anymore to appreciate the beauty of the caverns.

We were honored to have Rocky Mountain PBS film a Colorado Experience special of the Historic Fairy Caves at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Descend into the magical Fairy Caves – dubbed “The 8th Wonder of the World.”

Highlights of the tour include:

  • The Cloud Room with a subaqueous calcite ceiling
  • The Head Office, where deeply penetrating tree roots are visible
  • The Eternal Towers underground canyon
  • A trip through the Darrow Tunnel, which took three years to build, starting in 1897
  • Briefly exit the tunnel to visit Exclamation Point, with panoramic views of Glenwood Springs, Glenwood Canyon and the Colorado River
  • The Pendant Room with its bulbous formations, carved by air and water
  • History Lane historical lighting section, with lighting design based upon Glenwood Springs Historical Society archival photographs
  • A candle-lit side trip into the Back Passage Room
  • The magnificent Register Room with it’s brilliantly-rich saturated colors created by interaction with hot springs waters
  • The Reflection Room with formation-reflecting pools reflecting stalactites, stalagmites and soda straw formations
  • Views of Jam Crack Passage with rich colors, popcorn-covered stalactites, and beautiful flowstone

Learn more about Cave Science and History >

Accessibility:

  • This is a walking tour designed for persons wearing regular street clothing and street shoes. As in our other cave tour, flip-flops are not recommended
  • The packed fine pea-gravel floors are generally level, though there is one very gradual short slope with a handrail
  • There is one short section containing two sets of 9 steps with a connecting level platform
  • Passageways between cave rooms average approximately 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide
  • There are three narrow sections (smallest = 25 inch or 63 centimeters, only at shoulder height) which take only a brief second to step through
  • There is one reduced headroom of 5.5 feet (1.7 meters) portion which is well-lit and requires briefly ducking your head underneath it
  • 80+ year old visitors with canes have walked this tour without difficulties
  • Our apologies, this cave tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Learn more about our Accessibility Statement >

The most highly decorated cave room in Colorado!

40 min guided walking tour suitable for most fitness levels.

For those seeking an authentic cave adventure.

Learn more about the rich history of our caves!

Check Out Our Guest Reviews!

  • Fun even in a pandemic. Take a gondola to the top of a mountainside. Grab a pound of fries and a souvenir cup of Sprite… read more

    R Cusick Avatar
    R Cusick
    10/15/2020

    4 star ratingMost Unique Amusement Park Who would think that you could enjoy an amusement park on top of a mountain? In terms of the number of rides it has… read more

    MichaelLong1963 Avatar
    MichaelLong1963
    10/06/2020

    Probably the most anxious I’ve ever been in my life to ride the canyon swing and it was so fun. Would have rode again if… read more

    Lisa Brummett Avatar
    Lisa Brummett
    10/05/2020
  • 5 star ratingUnique Adventure Park There are many reasons this place is unique. First, the park is perched on top of a mountain which has amazing views all around…. read more

    dngrockstar Avatar
    dngrockstar
    9/16/2020

    We had an awesome time at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park! We took a last minute trip and were able to book a gondola and… read more

    Lindsay Sunshine Avatar
    Lindsay Sunshine
    8/21/2020

    5 star ratingMaybe the most fun ever This place is the bomb – if you are looking for thrill rides. My husband and I are both 52 and our daughters are… read more

    debradefreyn Avatar
    debradefreyn
    8/05/2020
  • 4 star ratingCave tours We wanted something educational for our kids to do during our vacation and stumbled on the cave tours. We all really enjoyed it. We were… read more

    Mojave_5489 Avatar
    Mojave_5489
    7/13/2020

    5 star ratingWe had so much fun! The fairy caves were amazing but our guid Parker definitely elevated our experience and laughter.

    Emily P. Avatar
    Emily P.
    6/23/2020

    5 star ratingThis is a not to be missed adventure in the Roaring Fork Valley I have been in many caves around the country. The Fairy Caves at the Glenwood Springs Adventure park is world class. There are… read more

    zgshaw Avatar
    zgshaw
    3/05/2020