Caves and coasters are a combination you don’t expect to find on top of a mountain. The unusual location makes a visit to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park all the more thrilling!
Caves: Rock of Ages
The name says it all, before the rides and attractions, the primary appeal of Glenwood Caverns was the opportunity to explore the vast network of caves inside Iron Mountain. The caves—King’s Row and the Historic Fairy Caves—at the park were created by receding waters that were slightly acidic and dissolved into soluble rocks like the limestone found at Glenwood Caverns. Over time the corrosive properties of the water left behind cave rooms of varying sizes that, to this day, are a marvel to behold.
Prior to the purchase of the property by the Beckley’s, the caves were off-limits to the public. The founding couple went to great lengths to ensure the fragile cave environment was protected, and at the same time welcomed visitors to learn about the fascinating subterranean world beneath their feet. They installed airlock doors on the cave entrances to prevent the caves from the drying effects of the Colorado climate and added other measures to monitor cave health. Ensuring safety was another top priority. Hard surface walkways, handrails and lighting throughout were implemented to help guests maintain good footing during guided tours.
Curious visitors can enjoy two cave tours—King’s Row and the Historic Fairy Caves—led by educated guides at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. A Funday Pass includes full access to all the park has to offer including cave tours. For guests interested only in seeing the caves, the Gondola & Caves Pass is an alternate option.
Coasters: Taking it to the Limit
Eventually, cave tours at Glenwood Caverns became so popular the Beckleys decided to provide activities for visitors to do while they waited for their tour time to arrive. Their idea was to add rides and attractions to help visitors pass the time, and they haven’t stopped since. The first coaster debuted almost 20 years ago, and the newest will open this summer.
The Alpine Coaster which opened in 2005 was the park’s first thrill ride and it’s still the most popular ride at Glenwood Caverns. The crowd-pleasing attraction is a ground-level ride. Visitors ride independently, or depending on weight in tandem with a child, and race down 3,400 feet of track, coming to a gradual stop before being towed back up to the starting point. Riders have control over their experience and can let the throttle out for maximum thrills or apply the brakes as they like for a more leisurely ride.
Cliffhanger Roller Coaster
The second coaster to grace the mountaintop came in 2012 with the arrival of Cliffhanger, so named because it skims the edge of Iron Mountain with views that extend down 1,450-feet to Glenwood Canyon below. At an elevation of 7,160-feet above sea level and approximately 50-feet tall, the Cliffhanger is the highest elevation roller coaster in North America. A small footprint coaster ideally suited to the terrain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the ride features non-stop thrills that include cliff-sweeping curves and heart-pounding drops offs. Cliffhanger is one of the Glenwood Caverns’ seasonal rides; it will reopen in spring. Keep an eye on our ride status page for more information.
Defying the imagination and gravity, Glenwood Caverns is adding a third coaster to its roster of thrill-inducing rides. Set to open in the summer of 2022, the newest coaster is named Defiance. It will be the first ride that visitors see as they approach the park entrance aboard the Glenwood Gondola. The German-made thrill machine will feature a 110-foot record-breaking 102.3-degree free-fall drop, claiming the U.S. title of the steepest coaster in the country. Other thrills include the “twisted top hat,” “banana roll” and the “zero-G heart line roll.”
Under the ground or up in the air, from caves to coasters, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is full of surprises. Learn more and plan to visit Colorado’s only mountaintop theme park today!