The Haunted Mine Drop has generated much media attention as the world's first underground drop ride

Even while closed for the winter season for the installation of its new, highly anticipated Glenwood Gondola which is scheduled to open to the public on March 16, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park continues to fascinate all kinds of people from natural history buffs to thrill-seeking daredevils.

Fairy Caves Edge Out Powell Expedition by a Slim Margin

Early cave tour visitors; photo courtesy of the Frontier Historical Society, Glenwood Springs, Colo.; Schutte CollectionFirst, Rocky Mountain PBS  sponsored a contest asking viewers to choose a topic for an episode of Colorado Experience, a documentary show dedicated to preserving and celebrating the people, events and places that shaped Colorado. In a hotly contested vote-off, viewers chose the Historic Fairy Caves in Glenwood Springs. Out of 4,700 votes cast, a record-breaking number, the Fairy Caves came out on top, beating out six other episodes with 1,646 votes and inching by second place finisher the Powell Expedition by a mere six votes!

The Fairy Caves are the historic portion of Glenwood Caverns; the newer section is called Kings Row and the Park offers tours of both.  Loaded with fantastical cave formations, the Fairy Caves have dazzled visitors to Glenwood Springs since they opened to the public in 1897. In fact, children today are as charmed as the tots from a century ago when they receive a “cave fairy kiss”— a drop of water falling from the cave ceiling. A highlight of the Fairy Cave tour is the historic lighting section called History Lane, which is illuminated with replica Edison and Marconi-style light bulbs. There are ticketing options that include just a gondola pass and cave tour or a complete FunDay Pass, the best-value, which bundles the Glenwood Gondola, cave tours and admission to all of the Park’s rides and attractions.

Tops for Drops: The Haunted Mine Drop

Another accolade came in a surprise announcement on March 5, when Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park learned that USA Today selected the Park’s Haunted Mine Drop as part of its feature story: The tallest drop tower rides in North America, from thrilling to scream-inducing. The Haunted Mine Drop is the country’s highest elevation drop tower ride and the first ride of its kind to plunge 110 feet underground.

The Haunted Mine Drop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure ParkAccording to the USA Today article by Arthur Levine, the concept of a drop-tower ride is simple: Vehicles carrying nerve-wracked passengers rise high in the air, pause for a few anxious moments and then — cue the screams — plummet to the ground. One of the most famous is Disney World’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The Haunted Mine Drop made the media outlet’s list of most fearsome drop rides in North America.

The Park’s first themed ride, the Haunted Mine Drop is housed in a structure that resembles an old mining building. Upon entering, visitors feel like they are arriving for their first day’s work at an old-time mining operation. Once inside, riders are seated, strapped-in and entertained as ghosts appear and tell tales of a mining tragedy from long ago. Without warning, the floor slides out and riders plummet down the “mine shaft.” More ghosts appear at the bottom to continue the tale while passengers clutch their hearts and recover their breath.

Update: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park & Glenwood Gondola Now Open!

After being closed for four and a half months for the construction of the new Glenwood Gondola, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park reopened just in time for spring break visitors. Beginning Saturday, March 16, the park’s winter attractions will be open—the Alpine Coaster, Haunted Mine Drop, both walking cave tours, the laser tag arena and 4D Motion Theater. The Lookout Grille and General Store gift shop will be open as well. An exciting ride on its own, the opening of the state-of-the-art Glenwood Gondola, ushers in a new era for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Stay tuned for more information about it in upcoming posts.

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Karin Gamba

Karin Gamba has been writing professionally for the travel and tourism markets for nearly two decades. She has promoted a wide array of travel products that include destination towns, vacation resorts, golf courses, ski areas, spas, hotels, restaurants and countless visitor attractions. Karin especially loves writing about her hometown of Glenwood Springs.