Gondola Giving

Gondola Giving

Glenwood Caverns invites you to GIVE at the base of the Glenwood Gondola for our community-minded event, Gondola Giving. Beginning at 2 p.m.,  we will be continuing the tradition of collecting food donations for Thanksgiving meals to community members in need. Guests who bring in non-perishable food items will receive one free gondola admission ticket for our Winter on the Mountain Kick-Off event beginning at 5 p.m., or you can donate grocery gift cards of $20 or more for 4 gondola admission tickets to be used at the event and be entered to win great prizes! Prizes included Annual Thrill Passes and soak passes to Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Donations can be dropped off at the Bighorn Toyota truck parked at the gondola base, then pick up your free gondola passes at the cashier window. The free passes are valid Nov. 23, 2019, only.

During Gondola Giving, local radio broadcaster, Jim Williams will be riding the Glenwood Gondola from 2-4 p.m., broadcasting live to keep the giving going. With special interviews from Glenwood Caverns Employees and later, Santa will give a special interview before making his debut appearance. A special thanks to Bighorn Toyota for collecting cans in a beautiful Toyota truck to later be sent to local food pantry Lift-UP.

See you at the Glenwood Gondola base for Gondola Giving and the Winter on the Mountain Kick-Off!

Holiday Season Kicks Off Nov. 23

The mountain-top Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colo., continues its tradition of community-minded holiday fun on Saturday, Nov. 23, with a fundraiser and food drive to provide Thanksgiving meals to community members in need, followed by a kick-off party with live music, holiday lights and a visit from Santa.

 Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park continues its tradition of community-minded holiday fun on Saturday, Nov. 23. It starts with Gondola Giving from 2 to 6 p.m., a fundraiser and food drive to provide Thanksgiving meals to community members in need. Guests can receive free gondola passes to use that day by donating grocery store gift cards or non-perishable food items. The mountain-top Winter on the Mountain kick-off party begins at 5 p.m. with live music by the Leonard Curry Trio, a tree lighting at 6 p.m., more than half a million holiday lights and visits from Santa Claus and the Coca-Cola polar bear.

“This day is all about community. It’s friends, neighbors and even strangers making it possible for others to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner together,” explained general manager Nancy Heard. “Then, everyone can come together to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season at our kick-off party. The only cost is a can of food, and that includes a ride on the new Glenwood Gondola, the lighting of our Christmas tree, beautiful light displays, music, a visit with Santa and a cup of warm apple cider.”

Turkey Tram-a-Ganza transitions to Gondola Giving

Gondola Giving is a joint promotion with Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Bighorn Toyota. This event, which runs from 2 to 6 p.m., benefits local food pantries. In years past, the food drive focused on frozen turkeys. That is not the case this year; LIFT-UP has specifically requested grocery store gift cards and non-perishable Thanksgiving dinner fixings for area families in need foods.

Anyone who donates a gift card worth $20 or more receives four gondola passes to use that day and one entry in a drawing to win Annual Thrill Passes, Funday Passes and passes to soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Those donating a can of food receive one gondola pass to use that day. People can drop off donations and register for the drawing at the Bighorn Toyota truck parked at the tram base at 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, then pick up their free gondola passes at the cashier window. The free passes are valid Nov. 23, 2019, only.

Winter on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Winter on the Mountain returns for 5th season

After a hiatus last winter for construction of the Glenwood Gondola, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park celebrates the return of Winter on the Mountain. Beginning at 5 p.m., guests can take in the holiday lights, visit and take photos with Santa Claus in the North Pole and get a hug from the Coca-Cola polar bear in the Plaza, where the lighting of the Christmas tree begins at 6 p.m. The Leonard Curry Band is performing Americana, bluegrass and some holiday favorites in the Lookout Grille throughout the evening.

“There’s a strong sense of family, community spirit and even a little holiday magic in the air at the kick-off party every year,” added Heard. “The kids are excited to share their wish lists with Santa, and parents can get that perfect pic of them together in time for holiday cards. With the lights, music and festive atmosphere, it’s a very special evening.”

Entertaining Guests All Season Long

This family-friendly park in Glenwood Springs, Colo., shines all season with a display of more than a half million lights, a giant Christmas tree, fire pits for roasting s’mores and lighted rides on the Alpine Coaster. The cave tours, 4D motion theater, laser tag arena and General Store are open as well.

Fire pits in the plaza are a natural gathering place to warm the hands and roast s’mores, with a tempting selection of hot cocoa, cider and winter beverages for kids and adults available inside the Lookout Grille. Along with a cozy fireplace and holiday décor, the restaurant offers appetizers, sandwiches, hearty winter specials and desserts. Beer, wine, cocktails and a robust Bloody Mary bar round out the drink options. There’s live music in the Lookout Grille nightly during the holidays as well.

From Nov. 15, 2019, through Feb. 28, 2020, the Lookout Grille hosts Friday Afternoon Club from 5 to 8:30 p.m. with live music and food and drink specials. Gondola rides are free after 4 p.m. with a coupon that appears in the Post Independent each Friday. Each coupon is valid for up to four people.

Ride Alpine Coaster at Winter on the Mountain

Winter Season Rates and Hours

 The discounted Winter Funday Pass is the best value to enjoy Winter on the Mountain. It includes the gondola ride, unlimited turns on the Alpine Coaster, 4D Motion Theater and laser tag arena, and two guided cave tours at a cost of just $42 per adult and $37 per child, ages 3 to 12. A round-trip ride on the Glenwood Gondola is $19 per adult and $14 per child for guests who want to view the lights, enjoy lunch or dinner at the Lookout Grille, do some shopping at the General Store and visit with Santa.

Winter on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from Nov. 15 through Feb. 29, 2020. The park is closed Monday through Thursday. During the holidays, it will be open daily Nov. 15 to Dec. 1, except for Thanksgiving Day, and Dec. 20 to Jan. 5, except for Christmas Day.

Month-long, Family-fun Octoberfest Returns to Glenwood Caverns

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park celebrates autumn at Octoberfest, Oct. 1- 31 with a pumpkin patch, leaf-peeping and food and drink specials daily. On Saturday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 19, visitors can also enjoy hayrides, face painting, kids’ games, keg bowling, music by local band Alpine Echo and a beer garden.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is once again celebrating the harvest season with a month-long, family-friendly Octoberfest. From Oct. 1 through 31, daily fun at the mountain-top theme park includes a pumpkin patch, fall photo opportunities, and Octoberfest food and drink specials. There’s even more fun on Saturday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 19, with hayrides, games for kids, face painting, and pumpkin decorating and an oompah band. There are additional activities for adults this year with stein-holding contests, keg bowling and a beer garden.

“October is one of our favorite months at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Our guests can enjoy traditional harvest season activities, Octoberfest favorites, changing colors and beautiful fall weather,” Nancy Heard, general manager for the park, said. “We’ve added some new things this year as well, including a beer garden, a stein-holding contest and keg bowling on Oct. 12 and 19. Plus, the crowds are smaller here and in Glenwood Springs this time of year, and our new gondola whisks you up and down the mountain in no time.”

Daily Activities in October

Every day in October is special at the park with a pumpkin patch, a deal at just $3 each, and fall photo opportunities. In addition to the colorful maple trees and flowers in the plaza, the park features several vantage points with panoramic views of the changing colors in Glenwood Canyon and the Roaring Fork Valley. The gondola, Lookout Grille, Mine Wheel and viewing decks at the Giant Canyon Swing and above the restaurant are some of the best places for leaf peeping and photos.

The Lookout Grille serves autumn favorites all month, including bratwursts and sauerkraut, pretzels, seasonal beers, spiked apple cider and festive fall drinks for kids. The popular Bloody Mary Bar is open and stocked with dozens of garnishes so that guests can create their own creative concoctions. The General Store adds a seasonal favorite, pumpkin, to its selection of homemade fudge flavors and features fudge-covered apples as well.

All of the park’s rides are open through the end of the month, weather permitting. Halloween-themed decorations lead guests on the trails to the ride, while spooky music sets the tone for a ghostly, one-of-a-kind experience for those who dare to drop.

Saturday Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 19

In addition to everything listed above, the park is pulling out all the stops on Saturday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 19, from noon to 6 p.m., with more options than ever. For families with young children, there are hayrides, games for kids, face painting, pumpkin decorating and live music. Everyone can take home free, fall-themed souvenir photos from the AIRi Photo Booth.

Celebrate Octoberfest at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

For adults, beer is the name of the game this year with three new ways to enjoy it. A beer garden located in The Fort features Samuel Adams Octoberfest and a selection of seasonal brews along with bratwursts cooked on the grill, sauerkraut, Bavarian pretzels, popcorn and roasted nuts. Two local teams are making special appearances to pour the beer: the 10th Mountain Roller Dolls roller derby team on Oct. 12 and the Defiance Rugby Team on Oct. 19. In addition, stein-holding contests test competitors’ strength, and keg bowling is barrels of fun.

Polka dancing and lederhosen take center stage in the plaza from noon to 4 p.m. as local band Alpine Echo entertains festivalgoers. The band features John Levin on drums, bass and vocals; John Pataky on accordion, drums and vocals; Joe Pologar on horns and vocals; Charles Smith on lead guitar and vocals; and Gerhard Rill on strings, keyboards, accordion, horns, drums, bells and vocals.

Face painting, kids’ games and hayrides are included with admission; pumpkins are just $3 each. Regular admission rates apply. Gondola rides cost $19 for adults and $14 for kids. Funday Passes, which include the gondola ride, cave tours and unlimited turns on all open rides, cost $58 for adults and $53 for kids 3 to 12.

Adventure Park Presents John McEuen and the String Wizards

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will host John McEuen and the String Wizards for a special ticketed event concert on Friday, Aug. 30.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fans have good reason to head to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, later this month when founding member John McEuen and the String Wizards perform at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The concert on Friday, Aug. 30, is the mountain-top theme park’s first ticketed event. McEuen brings with him more than 50 years of worldwide performing with his banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin. Often referred to as the string wizard, he weaves stories of his travels and family life—he has raised 7 kids—taking his audiences through where his musical path has taken him.

 McEuen a Legendary Performer

“We’re beyond excited to bring this caliber of entertainment not just to Glenwood Springs, but to our venue on top of Iron Mountain,” said Bob Stepniewski, food and entertainment manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. “John McEuen is a legend whose music is woven into the history of our country. This is going to be a very special night at the park.”

 McEuen has assembled a uniquely talented group with The String Wizards, each one a stellar musician in his own right. Les Thompson, an original founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, performs bass, vocals and bouzouki. On guitar and vocals, John Cable toured Russia as a Dirt Band member. Matt Cartsonis, on vocals, mandola and guitar, has been McEuen’s music partner for 25 years. Together, they’ll perform Nitty Gritty Dirt Band favorites, hot bluegrass and other timeless classics.

A First for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Stepniewski added, “The park has been hosting local and regional bands through our Music on the Mountain concert series since 2009. Earlier this year, we tested the waters for our 20th anniversary celebration with Paizley Park, a costumed and choreographed Prince tribute act. That went so well that we decided to host our first ticketed event with an internationally recognized performer.”

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park logo

A limited number of tickets are available for $25 each at MtnTopPark.com. The gondola opens at 7 p.m., and the band takes the stage at 8 p.m. No outside food or drink is allowed. The park’s rides and attractions will be closed during the event, but food and drinks will be available at the Lookout Grille and Snack Shack. No discounts will be given for annual pass holders or cans of food. This is a rain-or-shine event.

Musical Notes: NGDB & John McEuen

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded 30 albums, including three platinum and five gold; has 20 Top 20 hits; and won a Grammy Award, six Grammy nominations, one Country Music Award, five Country Music Award nominations and one International Bluegrass Music Award. McEuen has performed or recorded with many of music’s greats including: David Bromberg, Dolly Parton, Doobie Bros., Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, Jackson Browne, John Prine, John Denver, Jimmy Buffet, Steve Goodman, Bob Dylan, Andy Williams, Gregg Allman, Marty Stuart, Linda Ronstadt, Jennifer Warnes, Kris Kristofferson, The Doors, Willie Nelson, Bill Wyman, Johnny Cash, Little River Band, Tommy Lee Jones, Leon Russell, Marshall Tucker Band, Michael Murphey, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Kevin Nealon, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Maybelle Carter, Tom Petty, The Smothers Brothers, Allman Brothers, Everly Bros., Jerry Garcia, Roy Acuff, Dizzy Gillespie, The Band, Crystal Gayle, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Jimmy Martin, Mark O’Connor, Lester Flatt, Chris Thile, Vassar Clements, David Amram, Sissy Spacek, Albert Gore and Phish.

24 Things-to-Do in 48 Hours in Glenwood Springs

From low-key to high-energy and family-friendly to romantic, with so many things to do, Glenwood Springs is a vacation destination that lets you relax any number of ways.

With a couple of days to spend in the hot springs and adventure town, you’ll be able to check off several of these iconic things to do in Glenwood Springs. Start at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and work your way down the list!

  1. Get your thrills at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Rides fling you out over Glenwood Canyon, drop you into darkness and speed you down a mountain! During summer, evenings are an ideal time to visit with fewer crowds and cooler weather.
  2. Soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Sixteen soaking pools along the river are hard to beat for relaxation.
  3. Raft in Glenwood Canyon. Cool off, have fun and see the amazing scenery as you paddle the Colorado River.
  4. Hike to Hanging Lake. This beauty is the gem of Glenwood Canyon. Make reservations to hike it in advance.
  5. Summit to Red Mountain. For views of Glenwood Springs to Mt. Sopris above Carbondale and beyond, this hike is easily accessible from town.
  6. Lift off with aerial adventures. To feel free as a bird, try tandem paragliding.
  7. Pedal the Rio Grande or Glenwood Canyon Trail. Cycle miles of paved paths and explore at your own pace.
  8. Attend a mountaintop concert. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park hosts music six nights per week. Check out the events calendar to listen to music by talented artists.
  9. Take in a Glenwood Vaudeville Revue show. This hilarious show is family-friendly and keeps everyone in stitches from start to finish.
  10. Play a round of golf. For the love of the game, tee off on Glenwood Springs courses.
  11. Go underground. Explore the fascinating subterranean world with cave tours at Glenwood Caverns.
  12. Schedule a massage. As a wellness town, Glenwood’s spas offer a range of blissful treatments for the ultimate relaxation experience.
  13. Stroll the pedestrian bridge. Connecting downtown with North Glenwood Springs, the bridge is perfect for people watching and a post-dinner evening walk.
  14. Sample craft beer. Glenwood Canyon Brewpub makes award-winning beer. Try a flight and find your favorite!
  15. Zumba downtown. Join the crowd to shimmy and shake under the bridge on Friday nights.
  16. Eat a Coloradough donut. The best donuts in town, these are made fresh daily. Bet you can’t stop at just one!
  17. Shop for souvenirs. Wander through unique boutiques for take-home treasures to remember your visit to Glenwood Springs.
  18. Visit Doc. Gunslinger, gambler and Western icon, hike to Doc Holliday’s grave and visit the museum dedicated to his life and times.
  19. Take a history tour. Learn all about the history and the many mysteries surrounding the Hotel Colorado on weekly tours led by local characters.
  20. Try Rocky Mountain Oysters. A delicacy and reputed aphrodisiac, find these deep-fried treats at the Doc Holliday Tavern.
  21. Dine outdoors. You’ll find al fresco dining just about everywhere you go in Glenwood Springs. Eat on rooftops, in courtyards and along the river.
  22. Stop by the Farmers’ Market. Held on Tuesday during the summer, Glenwood’s Downtown Market is a weekly mini-festival with food, artisans, music and cooking demonstrations.
  23. Bridge patrol. A shady summer spot under the bridge in Bethel Plaza is a gathering place on Friday afternoons for music, magic, face painting, movies and more.
  24. Educate your palette. From wine to whiskey, every Friday and Saturday evening, Cooper Wine & Spirits holds tastings.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs
Kids learn about cave science on cave tours

Make Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park your first stop for fun things to do in Glenwood Springs, then explore further.

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.

Grand Opening of the Glenwood Gondola

There’s a new gondola in the Roaring Fork Valley, and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is ready to celebrate its completion. The Glenwood Gondola, which replaces the park’s former Iron Mountain Tramway, has been under construction since October 29, 2018. On Saturday, April 20, the mountain-top theme park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is rolling out the red carpet to introduce its newest attraction.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony kicks off the festivities at 10 a.m. on April 20

Paying homage to the grand opening of the Iron Mountain Tramway in 2003, owners Steve and Jeanne Beckley have invited two of the people who played important roles in that ceremony to come back for repeat performances. KMTS news and sports director Ron Milhorn will once again be the emcee for the event. Melissa Miller Matis will sing the same two songs she sang in 2003, when she was 15, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “A Moment Like This.”

After the Beckleys take the first ride, the Glenwood Gondola opens for the public. The park saved tram cabin number one, which is located at the base for photo opportunities. Cake will be served on the stage in the plaza area beginning at 11 a.m. Silk’s Saloon Olde Tyme Photos will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well.

“Everyone at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is really looking forward to the grand opening,” park general manager Nancy Heard explained. “Even though the park has been open for a few weeks with 17 gondola cabins, this is really the big kick-off for us. We have a lot of great things planned for this summer, so this is just the first of many fun events coming up, including our 20th anniversary celebration on May 18 and 15 Music on the Mountain concerts through the summer.”

Giving thanks to a supportive community

To thank the community for its patience while the park was closed, free annual gondola passes were offered to residents from Basalt to Glenwood and from Eagle to Parachute. More than 17,000 people signed up, a much larger number than anticipated.

Heard added, “Wow, the response was just incredible! We had to make a special order of the plastic cards used for the passes to accommodate so many people. We continue to be humbled by the loyalty and enthusiastic support of our community.”

At $38 per annual gondola pass, that’s a $650,000 goodwill gesture to encourage locals to come up and see what’s new and to bring back those who may have stopped attending the Music on the Mountain concerts because of the lines to get up and down the mountain.

The Glenwood Gondola improves the park experience for visitors

With the increased capacity of the Glenwood Gondola, that should no longer be an issue. In the past, the majority of customer complaints were related to getting up and down the mountain. The new gondola is designed to be much more customer-friendly. It features 44 detachable cabins that move continuously, so the ride is faster and smoother than the former Iron Mountain Tramway. It’s also less susceptible to weather-related closures.

“When you combine the gondola, the capital improvements made throughout the park and compensation to keep our year-round, full-time employees on the payroll during the closure, this multi-million-dollar investment in the park is the largest since its inception,” Steve Beckley said. “Jeanne and I are really pleased with the dedication our managers and staff members have shown to improving our customer experience. We can’t wait to hear what our guests have to say.”

The season ahead at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

The park’s year-round attractions are open—the Alpine Coaster, both walking cave tours, the laser tag arena and 4D Motion Theater. An inclusive Funday Pass costs $47 for adults and $42 for kids 3 to 13 until May 10, when all attractions will be open. A ride on the Glenwood Gondola is $19 for adults and $14 for kids, and the Gondola/Cave Tour combo is $32 for adults and $27 for kids. Annual Gondola Pass Holders can upgrade to a Funday Pass for $28 or to an Annual Thrill Pass for $90 per adult and $78 per child.

The Lookout Grille is open with a variety of new options on the menu, including a line of Panini Sandwiches and more vegetarian choices. The General Store gift shop is open and also has a lot of new items, including locally made cave-themed chocolates, handmade artisan soaps and lotions, and fresh designs on t-shirts and hoodies, with more on the way.

Starting Thursday, April 11, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Longer hours for summer will begin in late May. More information about the park can be found at GlenwoodCaverns.com and on Facebook.

Glenwood Caverns Hosts National Caves Association Convention

King's Row is a spectacular sight
King's Row is a spectacular sight

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will be hosting the 53rd Annual National Caves Association Convention, Sept. 24 – 28, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Members of the National Caves Association (NCA) will convene in Glenwood Springs and at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for their annual convention on Sept. 24 -28. The event is a venue for the exchange and sharing of ideas on all things related to owning and operating a cave attraction. While in town, NCA members will have the opportunity to learn more about Glenwood Caverns and its operations as well as share about their own experiences and insights.

Some of the convention highlights include a vendor show at the Hotel Colorado, an opening reception at Iron Mountain Hot Springs, keynote and other speakers, as well as Q & A sessions. There are also opportunities for visitors to get the full Glenwood Springs experience. Convention guests will have a chance to soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs and ride the thrill rides at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. On Tuesday, a western-themed afternoon is planned at Bair Ranch High Canyon Adventures complete with four-wheeling or horseback riding excursions, a chuckwagon dinner and a bluegrass band.

This year’s keynote speaker is Mike Kaplan, President and CEO of Aspen Skiing Co. Kaplan was one of the youngest executives of a top U.S. ski resort when he took the reins as president and CEO of Aspen Skiing Co. He earned his Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Denver. Kaplan offers a depth of knowledge about the fast and changing pace of guest expectations, recreational technology and growth opportunities.

Others include Jon Schallert, an internationally known speaker that helps small businesses improve their marketing strategies and become destinations that attract visitors far beyond regional geography. Schallert’s message resonates with cave owners, many of whom are family-owned enterprises. Also speaking on the topic of marketing is Trent Blizzard, owner of BlizzardPress, a website design and marketing firm in Glenwood Springs. A social media expert, Blizzard will share tips with NCA members about how to engage with audiences across a variety of marketplace platforms.

Photo op from Exclamation Point

With 146 registered participants, Glenwood Caverns is expecting the largest turnout for an NCA convention to date. 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 association 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.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will be open to the public and operating as usual during the NCA convention.

Firefighter Appreciation Day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Firefighter Appreciation Day

Firefighters and their immediate families are invited to spend the day enjoying cave tours, thrill rides and kid-friendly attractions, courtesy of the mountain-top Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Members of the community can drop off cards or signs of support at the tram base by Sept. 15.

In light of the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices made by firefighters in the Roaring Fork and Grand Valleys this year, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is hosting a Firefighters Appreciation Day on Sunday, Sept. 16. These heroes and their immediate family members are invited to spend the day at the park, free of charge. For those unable to attend, a make-up day is being held Sunday, Sept. 23.

“This is our way of saying thank you to these brave men and women and their families for the sacrifices they have made,” Nancy Heard, general manager of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, said. “We are also inviting the public to drop off thank you notes and signs of support that we can display during their visit.”

To obtain the free Funday Passes, firefighters must show their badge or ID at the tram base upon arrival. The passes include transportation up and down the mountain, two walking cave tours and unlimited turns on all rides and most attractions.

Heard, whose family was evacuated during the early days of the Lake Christine Fire, added, “I know a lot of the volunteers who fought so hard to save not just our home and those of our friends and neighbors, but the entire towns of Basalt and El Jebel. I saw firsthand the incredible danger that they willingly subjected themselves to in order to serve our community. We all hope that they can take some time on the 16th or 23rd to relax, laugh and play a little, our treat.”

Anyone interested in dropping off cards, notes or signs should do so at the tram base by Saturday, Sept. 15. The park will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Caves, Karst and 10 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Glenwood Caverns

Cave care is important to help underground ecosystems thrive
Cave care is important to help underground ecosystems thrive

Caves are fascinating and mysterious places worth exploring. These ten surprising facts are just the tip of the stalactite! Learn more at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park where we’ll be celebrating National Caves and Karst Day on June 6.

For the second year in a row, the National Caves Association (NCA) is celebrating National Caves and Karst Day on Wednesday, June 6. The goal is to raise awareness about the crucial roles both play in our lives and encourage vacationers to add a cave visit to their Colorado summer vacation itinerary.

 “Almost everyone knows about caves, but only a small percentage of people have even heard of karst,” said Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne. “Karst is terrain that’s typically characterized by sinkholes, caves, underground rivers and barren, rocky ground. Caves and karst are rich in resources, including 175 different minerals, a few of which have only been found in caves. Forty percent of the drinking water in the U.S. comes from karst aquifers!” That just scratches the surface of how caves and karst impact our daily lives.”

Take a cave tour at Glenwood Caverns for National Caves and Karst Day!
  1. Speleology is the study of caves. Our free speleobox mimics what it’s like to crawl through narrow cave passageways.
  2. Glenwood Caverns is one of the few caves that is located on top of a mountain.
  3. The caves were created by the mixing of ascending hot springs water and descending surface water. The combination of the two created an acid that dissolved the rocks and created miles of cave passageways and chambers.
  4. There are 127 steps (with platforms for viewing and resting) down to King’s Row which is the most highly-decorated cave room in Colorado. A light show highlights the spectacular cave formations.
  5. Many critters call the caves home. The creatures that spend their entire lives underground are called troglobites and include insects and spiders.
  6. Active, living caves are extremely fragile environments. To keep the atmosphere friendly to underground life, the Beckleys installed airlocks to reduce airflow, and technology that monitors temperature and humidity.
  7. In 2000, a two new species of troglogbites were discovered. Both are currently known to live only in Glenwood Caverns.
  8. A student and former tour guide discovered not one, but seven previously unknown forms of bacteria, some of which may have applications in fighting disease!
  9. Glenwood Caverns has a marvelous array of cave formations including snowflake-like aragonite crystals, flowstone that resembles frozen waterfalls, colored bands of cave bacon, mounds of cave popcorn and delicate soda straws, as well as a multitude of stalactites and stalagmites.
  10. The caves were always the main attraction at Glenwood Caverns, thrill rides were installed to give visitors something to do while they waited for the cave tours. Glenwood Caverns now offers three different cave tours and multiple thrill rides.

There’s no doubt about it; caves are intriguing. Explore Glenwood Caverns this summer. Whether you choose the easy-to-walk Historic Fairy Cave Tour, the popular King’s Row tour or the crawling adventure of the Wild Tour, our expert tour guides will shine a light on the fascinating world of caves. Join us on June 6, for the National Day of Caves and Karst or visit us anytime. To learn more about Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park visit glenwoodcavdev.wpengine.com.

Vaccine is good news for travel industry