Summer Fun Going Strong in Glenwood Springs

Summer activities are in high gear in Glenwood Springs

Even as we all adjust to a new normal that includes face coverings and social distancing, you can continue to enjoy many of the activities you’ve always loved to do in Glenwood Springs. In addition to rides, attractions and cave tours at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, there’s rafting, biking, fishing, comedy shows, outdoor dining, hot springs and much more!

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Handmade Fudge: A Sweet Last Minute Gift

Looking for a last minute holiday gift? There’s still time to treat your favorite people with a sweet gift from Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Handmade fudge is perfect for every person on your gift giving list, from your closest friends and family to your neighbor down the street, new co-worker or holiday pet and plant sitter—pretty much anyone on your list who deserves a little something extra. You might be surprised to learn that Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, better known for its thrill rides and cave tours, is also home to a mountain-full of fudge!

The melt-in-your-mouth confection is a top-selling item at the Adventure Park’s General Store where it’s a main attraction year-round but especially so at the holidays. Each batch is made using only the highest quality ingredients. Technically, it only takes a few of them to make fudge: chocolate, butter, sugar, cream and vanilla, but making fudge is a notoriously persnickety process. Over cook it and it will become grainy, add too much of one ingredient or other and the consistency will be off.

Getting it right takes experience. Having made literally tons of the sweet stuff since 2015, Glenwood Caverns has perfected its fudge making process, expertly churning out one consistent batch after another. Our homemade fudge comes in an assortment of traditional and unusual flavors. Please note that while there is always a delicious array of fudge varieties from which to choose, not all of them may be available at any given time. The list below is a sampling of what you might find in store:

  • Raspberry Chocolate Swirl
  • Chocolate Walnut
  • Cappuccino
  • Peanut Butter Explosion
  • Caramel Chocolate Peanut
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Maple Walnut
  • Butter Pecan
  • Coconut Delight
  • Heath English Toffee
  • Chewy Praline
  • Seasonal Selections

During the last minute rush to complete your holiday shopping, there’s no need to panic or fret. Put a smile on their faces with the old-fashioned gift of hand crafted fudge—if you like, even take credit for making it, we won’t tell. For a beautiful gift presentation, no wrapping required, the store staff will package your purchase in a gift box.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park holiday hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Jan. 4; Sundays until 5 p.m.; closing early on Christmas Eve, Tuesday Dec. 24, at 5 p.m.; and closed on Christmas Day, Wednesday Dec. 25.

Schedule Your Company Holiday Party Today

Pick a date for your company holiday party and make plans to celebrate the season with colleagues at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Let the Glenwood Gondola sweep you and your colleagues away from the day-to-day activities of the workplace. Decked out for winter with over half a million fairy lights illuminating the night sky, for groups of 15 or more people, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is an unforgettable and festive location for your upcoming company holiday party.

Holiday Cheer All Around

Seasonal decorations make for a cheerful setting and a jolly backdrop for candid company photo ops. Adding to the joyful outdoor atmosphere is the Adventure Park’s musical Christmas tree with lights choreographed to favorite holiday tunes. In the main plaza, fire pits surrounded by chairs are perfect for warming up, socializing and roasting s’mores—all setting the stage for a memorable, convivial evening of off-the-clock revelry.

A Company Holiday Party with Fun Things to Do

You can customize your Adventure Park party with as many extras as you like. Options are as easy as one, two three. (1)Provide the basics with a Glenwood Gondola ride to the mountain-top party, (2) include a gondola and cave tours package for your employees, or (3) give them the works with a full-blown Winter Funday Pass that includes the gondola, seasonal rides and attractions and cave tours.

Delicious Food & Drinks

The main event of your company holiday party will take place in the cozy environs of the Lookout Grille. When it comes to meals, the Adventure Park provides a menu of crowd pleasing choices. Main course dinner selections include either pork tenderloin, honey roasted chicken, baked cod, Chilean salmon, braised slow roasted tri-tip or beef tenderloin. All entrees come with dinner rolls and a side of green beans and garlic mashed potatoes with gravy. For a little more, you can also opt for premium side dishes like our savory vegetable root medley or creamy scalloped potatoes, as well as add on a dessert for a delicious finish to your group’s holiday meal. Whatever you chose, we make the math easy by including gratuities in the price. The Adventure Park is also home to a full-service bar offering beer, wine, premium cocktails and specialty drinks.

Holiday Party Planning Made Easy

If you’re in charge of planning this year’s company holiday party, make it easy on yourself and fun for everyone on the job with a special event celebration at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The most efficient way to plan your upcoming holiday party is to work directly with our event planning expert Christine Goodale. The holidays are fast approaching and we’re booking up fast. Contact Christine at 970-930-6066 or email her to reserve your desired company party dates today!

Sustainability on the Menu

Eco-friendly products including straws, flatware, cups and plates help reduce the company’s impact on the environment, adding to sustainability practices already in place.  

Protecting and preserving the environment was a top priority for Steve and Jeanne Beckley before they reopened Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves to the public in 1999. It remains so today at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which is evident from the increase in sustainability practices at the mountain-top Lookout Grille this year.

Eco-friendly Products & Practices

The onsite restaurant is now using eco-friendly forks, spoons, straws, plates for banquet meals, packaging for grab-and-go items like yogurt parfaits, pretzels or veggies with hummus and to-go boxes from Eco Brand, which is based in Boulder, Colorado.

This mindset is spreading. Lookout Grille kitchen manager Aaron Shockley recently noticed how much compost material was accumulating and decided to do something about it. The food compost is now being donated to Big Rock Ranch where it is put to good use feeding chickens.

 

Green Values from the Get-Go

“We have worked diligently over the years to protect the cave. From the start, we installed the airtight doors in the tunnel to King’s Row to maintain the original levels of temperature and humidity so that the cave didn’t dry out,” Jeanne Beckley, who co-owns both companies, said. “There have been computer monitors in the cave since we opened to ensure we sustained these levels, protecting the cave as well as the environment for the unique species that live inside of it.”

A few years ago, the Adventure Park replaced all of the lights inside the cave with LED lights to reduce its electricity consumption and the heat generated by the incandescent lights, which helps protect the humidity levels and the cave’s tiny creatures. Since the LED bulbs don’t have to be replaced as often, employees have less direct contact with cave formations as well.

“It seems only fitting that we now focus on reducing our use of plastic and move toward more paper and compostable products in the restaurant. Also, we hope our guests notice and are motivated to make some changes of their own,” Beckley added. “These changes fit our value system. We care deeply about the environment and will continue to look for ways to reduce our impact.”

Learn more about Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and plan a visit today!

Pro Tips for Navigating Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

You wouldn’t visit the Magic Kingdom without a having plan; similarly, for a 5-star experience, use these strategies for navigating Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park during the peak summer season.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a top activity choice for visitors to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It rates right up there with soaking in hot springs, rafting in Glenwood Canyon and hiking to Hanging Lake, all of which reach the pinnacle of visitation during the summer months when kids and families take time off to travel. Having a strategy for navigating our theme park will help ensure a satisfying experience.

Our Best Insider Advice for Navigating the Park

Purchase tickets in advance.  Buying tickets ahead of time is convenient and you’ll spend less time waiting in the line to take the Glenwood Gondola to the mountaintop theme park. You can also save 5 percent using promo code BUYONLIN5P.

The best value. Our Funday Pass hands-down offers the biggest bang for your buck. It includes everything—the Glenwood Gondola, unlimited turns on rides and attractions and both cave tours.

Know height requirements. All of the thrill rides require riders to be a minimum height  to ensure safety and we’re sticklers about it. Family attractions also have restrictions. We’d rather see you back next year when your child easily meets the height requirement than have to tell you sorry after you’ve stood in line on a hot day.

Check for ride closures. For a variety of reasons, we sometimes we have to close rides. Sometimes it’s a short delay, perhaps due to a thunderstorm passing through. In the event it’s a longer closure we let guests know by posting it to the website under Park Info>Rides & Attractions Status. If you’ve been dreaming about riding the Alpine Coaster, rather than be disappointed that it’s closed, we recommend checking the status page before arriving.

Dress code. Wear comfortable clothing and non-flip-flop shoes; bring a light jacket for cave tours and a hat and sunglasses for sun protection.

Visit early or late. To avoid the crowds, come when the park opens at 9 a.m. and head straight for the rides you most want to enjoy. The Park stays open until 9 p.m., seven days per week, until August 11 when we will start closing at 6 p.m. on weekdays. Until then, evenings after 5 p.m. are another great way to miss the midday traffic.

Eat early or late. Avoid the lunch rush hour at the Lookout Grille by eating before 11:30 a.m. or after 1:30 p.m.  Alternatively, enjoy a lighter meal outside at Snack Shack.

Beat the heat. The sun’s rays are strongest in the afternoon. Cool off with midday cave tours.  On a hot summer day, the caverns internal temperature is a refreshing 52°F. Other ways to beat the heat include attending a 4-D Theater show which takes place every 15 minutes. The misters will cool you off outside while the air-conditioned interior of the theater will keep you comfortable inside.

Use our free stuff. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is located at an elevation of 7,100 feet. At higher elevations like ours the chances of getting sunburned or dehydrated increase. Complimentary sunscreen is available at the guest services shack in the plaza, and there is free ice water available at the Lookout Grille. We encourage you to use both as often as necessary.

Rain, rain, go away. Afternoon thundershowers are a regular part of summers in the high country. The good news is they roll through quickly. Many people choose to leave when it starts raining, but we advise sticking it out as the storms tend to pass quickly.

Leave it outside. Caring for our caves is another top priority at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Contact with the outside air, detritus, food, drinks, bumping or dropping things inside the caves can create irreparable damage. That’s why we ask you to leave your backpacks, handbags, snacks, water bottles, toys, strollers, etc. outside the cave entrance. If you’re not comfortable with that, we offer lockers where you can store your belongings.

Now that you have a handle on navigating Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, make plans to visit today.

Pop-pop-ular Popcorn Wagon Opens for the Season

To the delight of visitors of all ages, the Popcorn Wagon serves, you guessed it, scoops upon scoops of freshly-popped buttery popcorn, but that’s not all. Over the years the Popcorn Wagon’s funnel cakes have outpaced the sale of popcorn. The crispy, crunchy, melt-in-your mouth deep-fried batter is a county fair staple and it’s also a favorite treat at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, especially when topped with powdered sugar and strawberries!

You’ll find the iconic red wagon with its striped awning and yellow wheels stationed at the west end of the Park, between the building that houses the Shootin’ Gallery and Old Tyme Photos and the Climbing Wall. See our new interactive map for its precise location and check out the short video clips of the rides and attractions, including the new Haunted Mine Drop.

Enjoy a delicious meal and a spectacular view at the Lookout Grille

Fun Fact: A precursor to the modern food truck, the mobile popcorn machine has been around for well over a century. It was created by Charles Cretors who trotted it out for the first time at the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. It was designed to move to any location that the operator thought would be a good place to do a brisk business. Since then, popcorn wagons have become a staple at fairs, carnivals, rallies and theme parks.

In addition to popcorn and funnel cakes, The Popcorn Wagon serves up other theme park food favorites including chips, corn dogs, cotton candy and new this year—cinnamon glazed nuts. It’s also a convenient place to hydrate with a selection of drinks: bottled water, soda, Powerade and freshly squeezed lemonade.

The Popcorn Wagon is just one of several places to grab a bite at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The Lookout Grille at the Visitor Center offers a casual sit-down dining experience for lunch and dinner with grill favorites that include burgers, wraps, chef specials and kids meals. There’s also a full bar for adults to enjoy a cold beer, glass of wine or cocktail.

The Snack Shack, located in the Plaza, is a perfect for on-the-go snacks and meals. You’ll find pizza, brats, hot dogs, ice cream, sno-cones and cold drinks including beer. Eat on the go or sit at one of the nearby picnic tables.

Try Glenwood Caverns’ creamy fudge in an assortment of flavors

 

If you just need to satisfy your sweet tooth, stop by the General Store. Every day the staff makes fresh batches of creamy homemade fudge. Peanut Butter Fudge is a customer favorite, as is Cookies-n-Cream and Rocky Road.

Along with experiencing all the thrill rides and attractions, eating is a big and satisfying part of the fun at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park! Find out more at www.glenwoodcaverns.com.

The Journey and the Destination

Ride the Iron Mountain Tramway for the best views in Glenwood Springs.

For a scenic and relaxing getaway to the top of Iron Mountain and a casual meal at The Lookout Grille, half the fun is getting there.

Your ride in a safe, comfortable, fully-enclosed gondola on the Iron Mountain Tramway begins at 6,000 feet and gently lifts you to 7,100 feet on the trip that is 4,300 feet long. The tram is a modern European pulse design by Leitner-Poma of America, with slowdowns on the way as other visitors enter and exit at the ends.

High above the trees, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Storm King Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Mount Sopris and the Elk Range in the distance, Red Mountain, the Flattops Wilderness, the Colorado River, an active limestone quarry and Glenwood Springs.

Adding to the ambiance, from November through February, during Winter on the Mountain, the Park is adorned with over a half million lights. Rides and attractions, outdoor fire pits, a warming tent decorated as the North Pole and events like FAC with live music and food and drink specials offer visitors lots of options for things to do at the mountain-top theme park.

No matter when you visit, you can take in the spectacular views and recharge your batteries with a meal at the family-friendly Lookout Grille restaurant, with burgers, sandwiches, wraps, vegetarian options, a kids’ menu and beverage choices including beer and wine.

You’ll descend via the tram with another pleasant ride and go home with treasured memories to recall for years from the excursion of just a few hours.

Food for Play

From snacks to healthy food options, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park serves up delicious treats and meals that satisfy.

For many visitors to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the theme park experience isn’t complete without the smell, stickiness and flavor of cotton candy and funnel cakes. For many other visitors, healthy food is essential for a happy visit.

Bob Stepniewski, the Park’s food and beverage manager, caters to both tastes. “It’s a fine balance,” Bob says. “People don’t come up here specifically to dine. They eat because it’s a convenience and they need to have some lunch.”

Three years ago, customer demand drove him to buy a Tiffany-style popcorn wagon and offer popcorn, cotton candy, and funnel cakes. “That’s what people want,” he says. “It’s the smell you think of when you come to the amusement park. I’m open to other options.”

The latest menu change added “grab and go” items, such as chicken salad wraps and a hummus-and-pretzel kit that make a quick snack without a long wait. “We’re offering something that’s healthier,” Bob says. “We do specials on a daily basis over and above our regular menu.”

The menu includes yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit and granola; seasonal salad options such as fresh berries, dried cranberries, feta cheese, walnuts and mandarin oranges; and gluten-free buns and brownies.

“When we make homemade soups here, we’re very in tune with being gluten free so people can be confident that they can have that,” Bob says. Several years ago, he created a book of ingredients for each dish so diners can check for themselves.

Bob, who started out in the hospitality industry as a teenager growing up in Wisconsin and worked in a hotel when he moved to Colorado at age 25, sold ski vacations for 15 years until he returned to the kitchen seven years ago at Glenwood Caverns. His right hand in the kitchen at the Lookout Grille, Mark Lambert, recently graduated from the Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy.

“I have been in the hospitality industry nearly all my life,” Bob says. “Ten or 15 years ago, people weren’t as health conscious as they are now. We are sensitive and empathetic to our guests. It’s a fun environment. Every day, I’m just thrilled to be a part of it.”