Caves are fascinating and mysterious places worth exploring. These ten surprising facts are just the tip of the stalactite! Learn more at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park where we’ll be celebrating National Caves and Karst Day on June 6.
For the second year in a row, the National Caves Association (NCA) is celebrating National Caves and Karst Day on Wednesday, June 6. The goal is to raise awareness about the crucial roles both play in our lives and encourage vacationers to add a cave visit to their Colorado summer vacation itinerary.
“Almost everyone knows about caves, but only a small percentage of people have even heard of karst,” said Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne. “Karst is terrain that’s typically characterized by sinkholes, caves, underground rivers and barren, rocky ground. Caves and karst are rich in resources, including 175 different minerals, a few of which have only been found in caves. Forty percent of the drinking water in the U.S. comes from karst aquifers!” That just scratches the surface of how caves and karst impact our daily lives.”
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has some special things planned on this day for its guests that are designed to pique their interest in caves and geology. A CaveSim, an electronic cave simulator, will be setup for guests to crawl through. The CaveSim simulates 60 feet of passageway complete with reproductions of real formations and challenges for sim-spelunkers. “It’s a lot of fun, even for experienced cavers, and is a great opportunity for kids too young to go on one of our Wild Tours to experience the fun of caving,” Kathy Miller, manager of natural attractions for the Adventure Park, said.
The first 50 people to go through the CaveSim will receive a free National Caves and Karst Day poster. In addition, there will be prizes inside three gemstone bags at the new sluice box that can be exchanged for Funday Passes.
While you’re planning your visit to Glenwood Caverns, why not bone up on some cool cave facts before you arrive. Did you know…
- Speleology is the study of caves. Our free speleobox mimics what it’s like to crawl through narrow cave passageways.
- Glenwood Caverns is one of the few caves that is located on top of a mountain.
- The caves were created by the mixing of ascending hot springs water and descending surface water. The combination of the two created an acid that dissolved the rocks and created miles of cave passageways and chambers.
- There are 127 steps (with platforms for viewing and resting) down to King’s Row which is the most highly-decorated cave room in Colorado. A light show highlights the spectacular cave formations.
- Many critters call the caves home. The creatures that spend their entire lives underground are called troglobites and include insects and spiders.
- Active, living caves are extremely fragile environments. To keep the atmosphere friendly to underground life, the Beckleys installed airlocks to reduce airflow, and technology that monitors temperature and humidity.
- In 2000, a two new species of troglogbites were discovered. Both are currently known to live only in Glenwood Caverns.
- A student and former tour guide discovered not one, but seven previously unknown forms of bacteria, some of which may have applications in fighting disease!
- Glenwood Caverns has a marvelous array of cave formations including snowflake-like aragonite crystals, flowstone that resembles frozen waterfalls, colored bands of cave bacon, mounds of cave popcorn and delicate soda straws, as well as a multitude of stalactites and stalagmites.
- The caves were always the main attraction at Glenwood Caverns, thrill rides were installed to give visitors something to do while they waited for the cave tours. Glenwood Caverns now offers three different cave tours and multiple thrill rides including the new Haunted Mine Drop.
There’s no doubt about it; caves are intriguing. Explore Glenwood Caverns this summer. Whether you choose the easy-to-walk Historic Fairy Cave Tour, the popular King’s Row tour or the crawling adventure of the Wild Tour, our expert tour guides will shine a light on the fascinating world of caves. Join us on June 6, for the National Day of Caves and Karst or visit us anytime. To learn more about Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park visit www.glenwoodcaverns.com.
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