Tune in to Watch RMPBS Fairy Caves Episode

Kids learn about cave science on cave tours

Rocky Mountain PBS “Colorado Experience” Viewers’ Choice Episode about the Fairy Caves airs Thursday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m.; viewers outside of Colorado can watch at https://www.rmpbs.org/schedule/ at the same time.

Fairy Caves Wins Viewers’ Choice

This time last year, Colorado residents voted for “Fairy Caves” to be the 2020 Rocky Mountain PBS “Colorado Experience” Viewers’ Choice.

Every year, Colorado Experience conducts a Viewers’ Choice Award contest to let viewers decide what episode Rocky Mountain PBS will produce. According to producer Eric Hernandez, “For a few weeks, typically in March, there is a call for submissions when anyone can suggest episode ideas; we always get a long list of interesting and important topics. This year we had 360 submissions! We narrowed that down to six finalists from different regions and timeframes and opened the contest for voting.”

Getting the Vote Out

The team at Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves, which is part of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, pulled out all the stops to encourage people to vote. An initial email was sent to managers and supervisors asking them to share with their employees, friends and family members. A social media and email newsletter campaign started, and the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association asked for support from the business community. It all came together with reminder emails and Facebook posts.

History in the Spotlight

“This show is so special to us as it chronicles the history of the Fairy Caves as well as Glenwood Springs, and the timing is wonderful because this year marks the 125th anniversary of the discovery of the cave. We got a sneak preview and it brought tears to my eyes,” admitted Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park co-owner Jeanne Beckley. “Although our local premiere has been postponed, we hope our community can tune in Thursday night.”

Episode Airs March 26 

The Fairy Caves episode airs Thursday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m.; viewers outside of Colorado can watch at https://www.rmpbs.org/schedule/ at the same time. Filming primarily took place last May. Jeanne and husband and co-owner Steve Beckley are featured in the show along with general manager Nancy Heard, natural attractions manager Kathy Miller, executive director of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society Bill Knight, and cave historian and author of “Colorado Caves” Richard Rhinehart.

Learn the Fascinating Story of the Fairy Caves

“Colorado Experience: Fairy Caves” explores the magical Fairy Caves—once dubbed “The 8th Wonder of the World.” Hidden inside Glenwood Springs’ Iron Mountain, this living cave network inspires awe. But the caverns were nearly lost to time and were closed for more than 80 years—until an engineer who also happened to be a caver had a vision of how to return the magic to this fantastical place.

Glenwood Springs Moves to 100 Percent Renewable Electricity

Starting June 1, 2019, the historic resort town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, will be powered by 100% renewable energy. The announcement was made at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the mountain-top theme park overlooking Glenwood Springs, which becomes one of the first amusement parks in the country to be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado, joins an elite group June 1, 2019, as it becomes the second city in Colorado and the seventh in the U.S. to be powered by all renewable energy.

Energy buzz

“We are very excited to announce that Glenwood Springs will soon be operated on 100% renewable electricity, making us the second municipality in Colorado to do so. Many cities and towns across the country have set aggressive targets, and we are doing our part today—our future is now,” said Mayor Jonathan Godes.

Members of the community joined local dignitaries, director of the Colorado Tourism Office Cathy Ritter and officials from the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) for the signing of the contract at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. CLEER, Clean Energy Economy for the Region, which implements programs for the City, provided free LED lightbulbs for attendees.

This contract makes Glenwood Springs Electric 100% renewable electricity; MEAN is bringing the equivalent wind power onto its grid to provide for all of the electricity in Glenwood Springs. As other communities follow in Glenwood’s path, MEAN will increase the total renewables on the grid, benefiting all the members.

Clean energy makes a difference

Long a leader in sustainable energy, Glenwood Springs has been offering and promoting energy efficiency with residents and businesses by offering rebates since 2009. Glenwood Springs has been 35% renewable on the electric grid since 2013. According to MEAN, switching to 100% wind saves the environment 77,156 tons of CO2 emission that the City of Glenwood Springs would have “created” using MEAN fossil fuel plants to generate power.

Adventure Park guided by sustainable ideals

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, well-known for its cave tours and over-the-top extreme thrill rides, was one the first businesses in Glenwood Springs to take advantage of Garfield Clean Energy and City of Glenwood efficiency rebates and install LED lighting within the cave. In addition to cost effectiveness and sustainability, the LED bulbs put off less heat, which makes it easier to keep the 54 unique species residing in the cave alive.

The City’s switch to all renewable makes Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park one of the first amusement parks in the nation to use 100% renewable electricity, a move that makes owner Steve Beckley proud.

“Our business is centered on nature-based adventure, so protecting the environment and natural resources has been our primary goal since we gave our first cave tour in May 1999,” explained Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne. “We are really pleased to be one of the first theme parks in the U.S. to have all of its electricity provided from renewable sources. Sustainable tourism is an important issue these days, and this move is a huge step in the right direction for Glenwood Springs as a whole.”

Eco-friendly practices help protect Glenwood’s future

Glenwood Springs has been a wellness destination since the 1880s, with travelers from around the world visiting to soak in the healing benefits of its mineral hot springs. Prior to that, Nomadic Ute Indian tribes inhabited the area and frequently bathed and soaked in the hot mineral waters. Today, visitors also come to fish, raft and kayak the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers; hike, bike and ride the trails; camp and hunt in the White River National Forest; and ski, ride, snowshoe and snowmobile at Sunlight Mountain Resort. Providing clean energy to protect the area’s natural resources is a major accomplishment.

Angie Anderson, president and CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, said, “We are thrilled that Glenwood Springs is on the cutting-edge utilizing 100 percent renewable energy. Our community has proven that clean energy is an important part of our local economy. This commitment to sustainability makes our community shine in a positive way.”

Learn more and plan your visit to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park today.

Glenwood Caverns to Host National Caves Association Convention

Take a cave tour at Glenwood Caverns for National Caves and Karst Day!

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is preparing for the 2018 National Caves Association Convention, September 24 – 28.  The event will give America’s only mountain-top theme park an opportunity to welcome members and show off its own spectacular show cave and park.

For five days in September, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will host the 53rd annual National Caves Association (NCA) Convention. The NCA represents 80 show caves from across the US, Bermuda and Barbados—including Glenwood Caverns. It was founded in 1965 by a small group of private show cave owners with the goal of encouraging the public to discover America’s underground wonders.

The NCA website highlights some of America’s most enchanting subterranean landscapes. In addition to Glenwood Caverns, a sampling of other show caves from across the country includes Natural Bridge Caverns and Caverns of Sonora, both in Texas; Moaning Cavern in California; Lost Sea Caverns in Tennessee and Luray Caverns in Virginia.

The NCA is also dedicated to educating about cave science. They provide material resources; give talks and tours about everything from cave critters and how to protect the fragile cave environment to the mesmerizing cave formations that delight visitors.  At Glenwood Caverns guests learn about stalactites, stalagmites, cave bacon, popcorn, flowstone and soda straws on the King’s Row and Fairy Caves tours.

NCA visitors are encouraged to explore Glenwood Springs while they are in town for the convention.

During the convention, the NCA group will gather for a welcome reception at Iron Mountain Hot Springs, attend a series of discussions and a vendor showcase at the Hotel Colorado, and have an opportunity to participate in both planned and free-time activities. Conference breakout sessions will include topics such as cave lighting, social media savvy, ride safety, and how to create a successful destination business presented by Jon Schallert. The keynote speaker, to be announced, will likely be a representative from a Colorado company within the tourism industry.

While in town, convention attendees will also have the chance to experience classic Colorado and Glenwood Springs activities. High Canyon Adventures at Bair Ranch will lead jeeping and horseback riding excursions into the high country above Glenwood Canyon. Guests can also take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and all that Glenwood Springs has to offer with self-planned outings like cycling in Glenwood Canyon, fly fishing, tandem paragliding adventures, golfing at the area’s championship links and of course soaking in the geothermal waters.

Visiting cave aficionados will also get the opportunity to take a turn on all the rides and attractions at Glenwood Cavern Adventure. Glenwood Caverns is excited and proud to host the 2018 NCA Convention. We look forward to meeting our colleagues from across the country, learning from one another and sharing our passion for both caving and business at this year’s event.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs

Spend some time relaxing at Iron Mountain Hot Springs during the NCA convention.

Scream Time vs. Screen Time

Vaccine is good news for travel industry

A family excursion to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park could be just what the doctor ordered for digital excess.

Parents, psychologists, and medical and educational professionals are increasingly concerned about the amount of time children are spending on digital media. Studies show that excess screen time can hamper the development of vital life qualities from social interaction and homework preparation to exercise and sleep.

One recent study in the United Kingdom even found a correlation between screen time and mental illness. The American Academy of Pediatrics last year issued new guidelines urging a Family Media Use Plan that puts consistent limits on media use for children older than 6 (younger children should spend at most an hour a day on the screen).

Rules and limits are important to curb the excess, but experts also advise real-life excursions that are irresistibly more enjoyable than all-day web surfing, video gaming, or texting. “Start with fun,” says Dr. Ann Steel, a video game and internet addiction specialist in Bellevue, Washington. “It can be more fun to add new activities into your children’s lives than limiting or taking away their technology. Often kids view their screens as the most pleasurable activity in their life, so we should start by offering healthy yet enticing options.” Also, let’s face it, parents who want to promote more positive behavior in their kids need to watch their own levels of digital interaction. “Your kids aren’t the only ones who need to turn the devices off and stop to smell the roses,” says Anna Hughes, an author at Screen Time Labs.

With our combination of nature features, thrill rides, and other attractions, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park can immerse your whole family in the real world with plenty of time for curiosity, exploration, conversation, and relaxation without needing a keyboard or screen at your fingertips. It’s a break from the digital, and the shared experience will keep on stimulating social interaction as you remember the beauty and excitement of the great outdoors. You’ll probably want to come back for more!

Partnership with Colorado Mountain College

Partnership with Colorado Mountain College adds educational value to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is collaborating on an exciting project with Colorado Mountain College. In the next few months, the park will install a series of interpretive geology and biology panels, highlighting the natural wonders of the area.

Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns with his wife Jeannie, is very pleased to be teaming up with the college. “We love to work with CMC. They are very professional and build a great product!” he says.

Garry Zabel, professor emeritus at CMC, has been instrumental in the creation of the geology panels. Zabel spent 29 years at the Spring Valley Campus as a professor of geology and math. Though retired, he continues to lead very popular field trips to study the geology of the Grand Canyon.

With a chuckle, Zabel credits his granddaughter with the initial creation of the geology panels: Zabel borrowed her colored pencils to create his sketches that were later turned into artwork for the panels. The sketches reveal the underlying geology of the entire Glenwood Springs valley as seen from the south side of the park (they will be installed on the Visitor Center Observation Deck and the Viewing Deck near the Giant Canyon Swing). Each layer of rock is labeled and detailed, and call-out points present interesting facts about the geological history of the area.

Panels that feature the Grand Hogback, Glenwood Canyon and Mt. Sopris are also being developed. Additionally, a series of artist’s renderings and descriptions of the local flora and fauna will be placed along the Nature Trail, which leads up to the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is committed to to the educational component of the park. From a scientific standpoint, Iron Mountain and Glenwood Springs are very distinct and the Beckleys are anxious to share some of the fascinating information behind the area’s beauty.

One of the geology panels that will be installed at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in the coming months.

“The geology of the surrounding area is stunning and unique,” points out Beth Zukowski, marketing specialist at CMC. “Geologists from all over the world visit Glenwood Canyon and the nearby edge of the Colorado Plateau to study its formations. Doing so helps them interpret the geologic history of other areas, notably the Grand Canyon. ”

Both Zukowski and Beckley agree that the main goal is for visitors to find added value in their time at the Caverns. “The new panels will heighten our guests’ awareness about all the wonderful natural features in the park,” says Beckley. Adds Zukowski, “We believe that the interpretive sign project will bring added educational value to the visitors of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. We hope that novices and experts alike will be able to discover something new from these signs!”

To learn more about Garry Zabel’s upcoming field trip course to Moab, go here. There are still spots available! For Glenwood Caverns’ winter and springtime hours, and other park information, visit park info.

One of the signs that will be placed along the Nature Trail features the Colorado Pinyon Pine and Pinyon Jay.

School Programs Combine Fun, Adventure and Learning

So, it’s the back to school season, you’ve just found some back to school coupons, you’re looking for a residential and new resources, and we’re going to add to that list. You want to make sure that the kids actually enjoy coming to your class, you want them to like you as a teacher. Doesn’t matter if you are a primary school teacher or a college professor, wouldn’t it be nice to get a gift at the end of the year just because your students loved your class so much? That feeling of appreciation would be totally worth it at the end of the school year. But now it’s only the beginning and there are a few things that you can do to make this a successful year. So, here we go…. Teachers, educators, parents, students…looking for a new field trip? Ready for a break from the classroom? Want geology, science and history lessons to come alive before your eyes? Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park offers school programs that will both educate and entertain.

Schools visiting the park get to explore the caves with guides who can keep the students interested by tailoring the experience to the age group. Kids also participate in an educational activity (gemstone panning for younger kids and a cave science lesson for older kids). They can also enjoy the rides and attractions, such as the alpine coaster and laser tag, for a special half-price school rate.

The school group program is available throughout the school year–if you feel like your class could use an adventure during the long winter months, Glenwood Caverns is ready to welcome you.

Vicki Douglas, a second grade teacher at Parkview Elementary in Rangeley, CO, has taken her class to the Park for the past several years. Here is what she had to say about the experience:

“The kids and adults love the trip. Most of the kids have never ridden on a tram so that experience is fun to witness on the way up to the caverns.

The guides we have had in the past have done an incredible job explaining everything on a 2nd grade level but making it interesting for the sponsors.

With a little prepping before making the trip the students learn so much about rocks, minerals and gems. Speaking of gems….the kids’ favorite part is always panning for gems! That addition to the park has really made a difference since the kids get to take home a prized souvenir.

As a teacher, my favorite part is the ease in planning the trip. I like the picnic area to eat sack lunches and the friendly staff. We are always made to feel welcome and the day is well organized. Even when we have brought two classes at once it was easy to split the group and keep everyone engaged while waiting their turn.

The giant sand box area is wonderful. The kids can unwind while waiting for the other groups to finish the tours.

This helps wear them out for the bus ride home!”

The school groups program really is a great experience for students and adults alike. Having fun and learning while you’re at it…what’s better than that? It’s great for parents to have somehwere educational to take their kids too. If your kids mean the world to you, get life insurance quotes from moneyexpert.com to see how you can make sure they’re always protected.
If kids play while they are being educated, they are sure to remember their experience for years to come. For more information, visit https://www.glenwoodcaverns.com/groups/school-groups/

Group photo on the big chair!

Top Ten Reasons Glenwood Caverns should be…

Top Ten Reasons Glenwood Caverns should be the Eighth Wonder of the World

Recently, the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association entered Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves into VirtualTourist.com’s contest to crown “The Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Tourism boards, chambers of commerce and visitor bureaus around the world are sending in nominations to the website, which is a leading travel research website and community. The public is being asked to vote for their favorites out of the more than 200 submissions, and the “Wonder” with the most votes will be crowned the winner and will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment.

The Original Seven Wonders of the World is a list, compiled in the second century B.C., of man-made structures built during the classical era.

The Seven Wonders are:

  • Great Pyramid of Giza
  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  • Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  • Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  • Colossus of Rhodes
  • Lighthouse of Alexandria

We think Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park should be named the Eighth Wonder of the World! While the caves were formed naturally, it definitely took a lot of manpower to get them ready for the public viewing. Charles Darrow and his team first opened the Historic Fairy Caves to visitors in 1895, and the work continues today, with the recent completion of the Historic Fairy Cave Tour, showcasing even more natural beauty and amazing formations.

In the spirit of the Late Show with David Letterman, we’d like to offer our own Top Ten Reasons Glenwood Caverns should be the Eighth Wonder of the World:

10) The original owners of Glenwood Caverns claimed it first, in 1897, well before most of the other contestants even existed.

9) Glenwood Springs is a lot easier to find than Ephesus and Halicarnassus!

8) Seeing any of the Seven Wonders means being prepared for sweltering heat: the average summer high in Giza is 96° and in Olympia it is 97°! The Historic Fairy Caves, on the other hand, are a cool 52° year round–perfect for a hot summer day.

7) Most major attractions only invite you to take pictures, but if you take the Wild Tour you’ll be invited to get dirty, crawl on your belly and go deep into rarely visited areas of the caves!

6) We’re not sure, but we don’t think any of the current Seven Wonders offer drink specials and live music (Music on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns does, though!)

5) The best things in life involve bacon
(cave bacon, that is!)

4) Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves were explored/excavated by enthusiastic cavers, not Greek slaves.

3) You’ve got to go diving underwater to see what’s left of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, but it’s only a short tram ride up Iron Mountain in Glenwood Springs to see the Historic Fairy Caves and King’s Row in the most highly-decorated show cave in Colorado.

2) There are no scary, hollow-eyed, naked Roman statues at Glenwood Caverns, only carved happy Wooden Bears.

1) Many of the Seven Wonders are known for their impressive height—but perched on the edge of the canyon 1300 feet above the Colorado River, Glenwood Caverns stands WAY above them all!

Do you think Glenwood Caverns should be the Eighth Wonder of the World? Cast your vote! Visit www.virtualtourist.com to vote for Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves. Voting is open until Sept. 30.

Glenwood Caverns Hosts Caving Rescue Seminar

“The seminar is really to update cavers on how to rescue people,” said Ken Headrick, a tour guide at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and a volunteer during the seminar. “We spend one day at the community center with a classroom setting to learn about cave rescue, and then we actually perform a real rescue on the second day. They hide people in the cave, and the scenario this year was four lost people we had to find. It took a few hours, but it was overall the best rescue we’ve had.” This year’s seminar attracted 34 participants from around the state, in addition to 22 volunteers, ranging from locals such as Headrick to caving experts and speakers from the Front Range. A number of volunteers were also required to handle the logistics of the seminar, such as caving gear. One of the key areas of focus during the seminar was evacuations involving extreme injuries, such as broken backs, which prevent cavers from crawling out themselves. A large portion of the weekend was dedicated to packaging cavers onto litters, which were then carried out of the caves by other members of the group.

“For the search and rescue personnel, it gives them the experience to actually practice a cave rescue,” said Marty Reames, director of the CCRN as well as an instructor for the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC). “From the caver’s perspective, it provides an education on what it really takes to get someone out. We end up creating safer cavers by helping them realize the ramifications of getting hurt.”

The next major cave rescue seminar in Colorado will be held in May of 2014 in Divide, CO. This weeklong session will be an NCRC event.

National Speleological Society 2011 Convention

The National Speleological Society’s NSS 2011 Convention is coming to Glenwood Springs, Colorado,
July 18th – July 22nd. The convention will bring together cavers worldwide for a week of presentations, discussions, programs, socializing, and recreation.

Dave Lester, one of the principle NSS convention organizers, reports that Glenwood Springs should expect somewhere between 1000 and 1200 convention attendees.

Prior to the convention, NSS is planning community outreach events for Glenwood, which will include presentations to local service clubs and to schools. For schools, their Project Underground is a science-based curricula which teaches students about caving, how caves form, and other cave science topics.

About half the convention attendees will use a campground which will be set up between the high school and the Roaring Fork River, others opting for local lodging.

The NSS is encouraging a low-impact visit to Glenwood Springs. They are encouraging attendees to bring bicycles, which can be used on the bike path which runs in close proximity to the primary convention activities. NSS is also planning to bring loaner bikes for use by their members.

According to Lester, “members of the public are welcome to register for single day sessions or the entire week.”

Convention activities are still being planned, but a preview list includes:

  • An opening welcome dinner and dance party (aka “Howdy Party”) combined with the NSS 70th Anniversary Party, to be hosted by Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on top of Iron Mountain in Glenwood Springs
  • Trips to wild caves in Colorado during the convention, with both horizontal and vertical (technical climbing) caving trips
  • A decontamination station at the convention site – cavers participating in convention trips will be required to decontaminate their equipment
  • Geology Field Trip with cave stops. Beginning in Glenwood Springs, continuing to Redstone then Marble, then to El Jebel, before returning to Glenwood Springs
  • Convention sessions & workshops on a wide range of cave topics– exploration, biology, equipment, cave geology, cartography, archaeology, photography, paleontology, hydrology, karst management, ecology, and technological advances in communication and sensing equipment which aid in cave exploration
  • White Nose Syndrome (WNS in bats) presentations from cavers, land managers, and biologists on the issue of WNS in western states, for the purpose of improving communication and understanding
  • Vertical Climbing Workshop where students are given a basic overview of climbing equipment, techniques, and safety considerations. Covers knot tying, belaying, rappelling, and several ascending systems
  • Vertical Climbing Contests, 30 to 120 meters, for both men and women, separate age groups, and a team relay
  • Cave Art Salons, including cartographic, ballads, fine and cover art, video, multimedia, photographs, and t-shirt designs
  • NSS Board of Governors Meeting, and the Congress of Grottos meeting of the grottos, sections, regional associations, and surveys of the NSS
  • Kids activities, including trips for the Junior Speleological Society (JSS)
  • Convention auction/fundraiser for the NSS, supporting everything from Save the Caves to exploration
  • Campground Party at the Glenwood Springs High School, directly next to the campground, featuring the Terminal Syphons, a popular “caver band”
  • Public Session, featuring the IMAX adventure film Journey Into Amazing Caves. In this film, two accomplished cavers explore unusual caves, such as ice caves in Greenland and underwater caves in thejungles of Mexico, looking for important clues about the Earth’s past and microorganisms that inhabit its most extreme environments. (The film will be shown on a non-IMAX screen at the Glenwood Springs High School auditorium and is free to the public.) Two stars from the film will answer audience questions.

For more information, convention organizer Dave Lester recommends the following websites:

Newly Identified Species from Glenwood Springs, Colorado Cave

For years Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, located in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, has been abuzz with activity – excited riders whizzing down the alpine coaster, visitors hanging on to their seats in the 4D theater, tour groups going in and out of the caves all day.

And throughout it all, one group of little critters lived quietly, unnoticed. Hidden mostly in the darkness of the nooks and crannies of the Glenwood Caverns was a very unique pseudoscorpion, a rare arachnid that was not seen until 2000, and not officially categorized and named until ten years later.

Although pseudoscorpions have been found in other caves throughout the world, the kind found in the Caverns is a singular type that has never been discovered anywhere else.

The pseudoscorpions resemble small scorpions but are missing the long tail and the dreaded classic tail-end stinger. They are carnivorous, generally feeding on mites, spiders, and other small invertebrates. They have four eyes, eight legs, and two prominent front “arms” with crab-like pincers containing venom. But rest easy – at an average of 1/2 inch in length this arachnid is too small to be harmful to humans.

It took a trip halfway around the world and back for the creature to come into the light, as it were.

Cave biologist Dave Steinmann explores Glenwood Caverns
Ross Dinkelspiel photo


Dr. Mark Harvey University of Western Australia

Glenwood Caverns tour guide Micah Bell first noticed the pseudoscorpion while leading a public cave tour back in 2000.

He mentioned it to Dave Steinmann, a cave biologist who works with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He has been exploring Colorado caves for years.

It wasn’t easy for Steinmann to find the tiny insects who prefer to remain in the darkness. It took him over seven hours to find his first specimen, and then another ten trips to locate five samples of the creature.

“The Glenwood Caverns pseudoscorpion has probably been evolving in the cave for millions of years. It’s an amazing creature,” said Steinmann.

“It is unique to other species of its kind because of its reduced eye size, which makes it nearly blind, although it can detect light. Rather than using its eyes, the creature uses sensory receptors on its body to sense and locate its prey.”

Steinmann added, “it is also special because of its very long claws and pincers, the longest seen in a pseudoscorpion of this genus.”

Steinmann passed the specimens on to Dr. William Muchmore, a preeminent scientist and pseudoscorpion expert at the University of Rochester in New York, who first determined it was a new species.

Nearing retirement, Dr. Muchmore then forwarded the samples to Dr. Mark Harvey, an arachnologist and professor at the School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia.

Dr. Harvey is also the Head of Terrestrial Zoology at the Western Australian Museum and maintains the Pseudoscorpions of the World database.

Dr. Harvey spent several years completing the extensive documentation process, and both scientists jointly authored the final paper that declared the Glenwood Caverns pseudoscorpion to be a new species and gave it a name.

To Steinmann’s surprise, it was named after…him!
Call it luck, call it hard work, call it: Cryptogreagris steinmanni.

Unique pseudoscorpion perched
on a cave rock in Glenwood Caverns