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Iron Mountain Tramway Celebrates 15 Years!

It’s our Tramiversary! April 26th marks 15 years since Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park opened the Iron Mountain Tramway, giving visitors a scenic lift to a mountaintop of fun.

Big changes for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

On April 26, 2003, a crowd of hundreds cued up at the base of the Iron Mountain Tramway, waiting patiently to be among the first to ride the newly opened gondola from the valley floor to the top of Iron Mountain. It was a historic moment for Glenwood Springs and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.  Owners, Steve and Jeanne Beckley, along with local dignitaries marked the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and news outlets covered the event. Going forward, instead of spending 30 minutes taking a dusty passenger bus up a rough road, visitors could now board a sleek, modern mode of transportation that would whisk them up and away to America’s only mountaintop theme park and cut the travel time down to approximately 15 minutes.

Construction of the Iron Mountain Tramway, as well as the gift shop and restaurant began in 2002.  Helicopters were used to pour the concrete pads and place towers—taking great care to preserve the scenery and disturb as little of the mountainside as possible. It was not uncommon for crowds to gather to watch the aerial acrobatics. An 8,400 foot steel cable was spliced into a continuous loop to carry the gondolas up and down the mountain. At the time it was installed, the pulse gondola designed by Poma-Leitner was the first of its kind in the US. The six-person, fully enclosed cabins travel 4,300 feet up the mountain and provide visitors with magnificent views of the Roaring Fork Valley, Mt. Sopris, Glenwood Springs and the Colorado River.

Gondola at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

To commemorate our 15 year Tramivesary, we are giving away daily and annual tram passes with our “Celebrate 15 Years with 15 Winners in 15 Days” Facebook Contest which starts April 11 and runs through April 26. Be sure to participate for your chance to win. Daily tram passes are valued at $16 and annual passes at $32.

More changes to come

It’s been fifteen years since the first riders stepped inside the bright orange cabins as the inaugural part of their Glenwood Caverns experience; now it’s time to update and move forward again.  The current Iron Mountain Tramway will be retired in November of this year and replaced with a faster, more modern version.

The new tramway will be comprised of 44 detachable, six-passenger cabins with a capacity to convey up to 1,000 people per hour. For comparison, the current tram, with 18 cabins, transports 300 visitors per hour. The new tram will cut the travel time in half, from 15 to approximately seven minutes, effectively eliminating customer wait times. It will also be less susceptible to inclement weather. Fewer slow-downs and closures will enhance guest experiences, especially during the busy summer season and major park events such as Music on the Mountain. It will take approximately four to five months to install the latest iteration of the Iron Mountain Tramway, during which the park will be temporarily closed.

Take a ride with us and enjoy all that Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has to offer — cave tours, thrill rides, attractions and great views. It all starts aboard the Iron Mountain Tramway!

To enter:

On Facebook, please post a photo or drawing of the tram in a comment of the main “Celebrate 15 Years with 15 Winners in 15 Days” Post. It can be of people inside the tram, the views from the tram or the tram from a distance.

The contest starts on Wednesday, April 11, and will run through Thursday, April 26. There will be a winner chosen from that post everyday until the grand prize, which will be picked on the 26th at 1 p.m. The first day winner will be chosen on Thursday, April 12. The contest ends on Thursday, April 26, at noon.

The first 14 daily winners will receive 2 Tram Passes Valued at $32.00.

On Day 15 of the Tramiversary Contest the Grand Prize will be 4 Annual Tram Passes valued at $128!

The Fine Print:

  • The photo or drawing must belong to you.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must have permission to use the image of anyone in the photograph.
  • Photos must be family-friendly.
  • Watermarked photos are acceptable, and you may use filters to enhance the image.
  • Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has the right to reuse the photo entries with credit to the photographer. We may ask your permission to use it in our advertising as well.
  • You may enter as often as you’d like.
  • Winners are selected at the sole discretion of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Let’s see those Tram pics!