For knock-your-socks off vistas, there’s no place in town like the Viewing Deck at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
Located on the uppermost level of the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Visitor Center, the Viewing Deck overlooks the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys. With Glenwood Springs in the foreground, the views are spectacular at any time of year. From a vantage point of 7,100 feet, the Viewing Deck is the ideal spot to appreciate the jaw-dropping local landscape.
Views to the South
To the south is Mt. Sopris, named for Captain Richard Sopris who came to the area in 1860 on a gold prospecting expedition. Except for a few weeks in the summer, the peak is usually snowcapped year-round. At 12,966 feet, the 12-mile ascent is a popular destination for warm-season hikers. More of the Elk Range’s rugged peaks of the Elk Range can be spotted just beyond Mt. Sopris which include such famous fourteeners as the Maroon Bells and Capitol Peak.
Also visible from the Viewing Deck is the Roaring Fork River which skirts Glenwood Springs from the south. This cold, clear river is a favorite for fishing. Whether casting from shore or aboard a dory, its waters are rife with rainbow, brook and brown trout. Following the Roaring Fork River from Glenwood Springs to Aspen is the Rio Grande Trail, a multi-purpose recreation trail. Built along a defunct railroad corridor, the trail’s a gentle incline and paved surface are especially suited for biking, walking and rollerblading.
Flowing through Glenwood Canyon and past Glenwood Springs is the mighty Colorado River. Over millions of years, the constant flow of water sliced through the limestone rock in Glenwood Canyon creating breath-taking sheer cliffs and one of the state’s most scenic sections of roadway. It wasn’t until 1992 that construction of this final link in the interstate highway system was completed at a cost of $490 million. It is considered a marvel of engineering because of the care taken to incorporate the interstate improvements into the fragile canyon environment.
Rafting the Colorado River through Glenwood Springs is a summertime mainstay activity. Soaring cliffs walls, bumpy whitewater rapids mixed with laid-back sections for floating and in-river hot springs offer visitors a uniquely Colorado outdoor experience. Unspooling along the river like a concrete ribbon, the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path, is another paved trail. It traverses the entire length of the canyon with convenient stops at each of the scenic rest areas.
Spot These Glenwood Springs Landmarks from the Viewing Deck
- The Hotel Colorado
- Seventh Street (Glenwood’s Restaurant Row)
- Iron Mountain Hot Springs
- Glenwood Hot Springs Pool
- Glenwood Springs Whitewater Activity Area
Views that Help Us to Never Forget
The newest addition to the Viewing Deck is informative signage about two historic local wildfires, one of which caused a tragic loss of life.
The Storm King Fire, also known as the South Canyon Fire, was ignited by a lightning strike. It killed 14 brave firefighters on July 6, 1994. Visitors can pay their respects to these fallen heroes at the Storm King 14 Monument at Two Rivers Park. They can also pay tribute by hiking the Storm King Fire Memorial Trail, the hallowed ground upon which they died when they were trapped by the fire.
Several years later, the Coal Seam Fire burned over 12,000 acres in 2002. The wildfire was sparked by a burning underground coal seam fire and fueled by high winds. The fire swept through West Glenwood Springs and destroyed 20 homes. Remarkably, there were no serious injuries or lives lost.
Remember to Stop at the Viewing Deck
On your next visit, enjoy the whole park including thrill rides, family attractions and cave tours, but make a point to stop at Glenwood Caverns Viewing Deck before you leave. Learn more and make reservations to visit Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park today!