The Alpine Coaster was Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s first thrill ride, and nearly 20 years later it’s still one of the park’s most popular attractions.
A Thrilling Diversion
Believe it or not, the Alpine Coaster was an afterthought! When Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park opened in 1999, cave tours were the main attraction. Unlike the speedy and sleek Glenwood Gondola that transports guests to the Adventure Park today, two decades ago, visitors arrived via a shuttle bus that rumbled and bumped up Transfer Trail. At the top, they queued up in long lines for tours of the Fairy Caves and King’s Row. Word of the newly opened caves drew thousands per season who wanted to glimpse the spectacular underground world that had been closed to the general public since the 1950s. It also created a bottleneck of visitors waiting for the next tour. To give guests something to do while they waited, owners Steve and Jeanne Beckley decided the mountaintop was the perfect location for an Alpine Coaster to entertain guests in the interim. The ride, which opened in 2005 has been captivating visitors ever since!
Alpine Coaster Stats & Facts
Guided along a steel track, the Alpine Coaster is a sensational ride that takes riders through hairpin twists and turns down the face of Iron Mountain. A kart securely holds one adult rider or an adult and a small child. Riders can control their speed via a manual braking system; for safety, the karts are also programmed not to exceed maximum speed. The coaster is gravity-powered and follows the grade and contours of the mountain to provide riders with an exuberant, wind-in-the-hair experience from start to finish. After the descent, riders can sit back and enjoy views of the Colorado River Valley as they are towed back up the mountain. Some fun facts:
- The Alpine Coaster track is 3,400 feet long, that’s more than half a mile!
- It reaches speeds of up to 25 mph; for comparison, that’s the speed limit on Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs.
- It features a manual brake system that allows riders to control their speed down the track.
- Even though riders can fly down the mountain, the coaster is designed so that karts always maintain a safe distance from each other.
- It takes just under 2 minutes for the descent and about 4 minutes for the tow back to the top of the mountain, for a total ride time of about 6 minutes.
- The Alpine Coaster at Glenwood Caverns was the first of its kind in the state of Colorado!
- Though there are some height and weight restrictions, the Alpine Coaster is ideal for families.
A Four-Season Adventure
The Alpine Coaster is open year-round for downhill thrills. Its operation is not affected by the sweltering summer heat or frigid winter temperatures.
For maximum fun and value, purchase a Funday ticket online or at the walkup ticket office. Prices vary by season. With a Funday ticket, visitors can take unlimited turns on the Alpine Coaster as well as any other rides open during the season. Funday tickets also include the Glenwood Gondola and both cave tours.
A perennial favorite, the Alpine Coaster is a crowd-pleaser. To experience the rush yourself, learn more and make plans to visit Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park today!