Great Eclipse: Follow the Moon Shadow

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park offers safe mountain-top viewing of the Great Eclipse of 2017.

Visitors to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on Monday, April 21, can watch the solar eclipse from our mountaintop safely. The Great Eclipse of 2017 that will sweep across the continental United States passes so close to us that the moon will cover 90 percent of the sun. That’s the darkest we’ve seen in daylight since about 1900.

The eclipse will start here about 10:20 a.m. and peak at about 11:45 a.m. It’s extremely dangerous to look at the eclipse with the naked eye, so we’ve stocked 200 special glasses for protected view. This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so bring the kids and grandkids. They’ll be bragging about the experience for generations to come.

You can also become a citizen-scientist, contributing to NASA’s Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program by collecting data and reporting it through the free smartphone app GLOBE Observer. “No matter where you are in North America, whether it’s cloudy, clear or rainy, NASA wants as many people as possible to help with this citizen science project,” said Kristen Weaver, deputy coordinator for the project. “We want to inspire a million eclipse viewers to become eclipse scientists.”

Of course, when broad daylight returns in the early afternoon, you can always find shade underground in the caverns.

Turkey Tram-a-Ganza and Winter on the Mountain

Looking for something fun to do next weekend? Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has you covered! We’ve got a lot coming up with both the third annual Turkey Tram-a-Ganza and the kickoff of Winter on the Mountain happening on Saturday, Nov. 19. Join us in Glenwood Springs, Colorado for all the festivities!

The Turkey Tram-a-Ganza event, a benefit for LIFT-UP’s local food pantries, collects Thanksgiving food items for area families in need. Drop off a turkey at the tram base and receive up to four free tram passes! By donating a turkey, you’ll also be entered into a drawing for an Annual Thrill Pass or two day passes to the Iron Mountain Hot Springs (four winners will be selected). Guests can also donate cans of food or other non-perishable items and receive one free tram pass per person.

Bring a turkey to the base of the tram and get up to four free tram rides to the top!

The Alpine Coaster is lit up at night during Winter on the Mountain!

KSNO’s Jim Williams will broadcast live from the Iron Mountain Tramway during the Turkey Tram-a-Ganza, which runs from noon until 4 p.m.

The free tram rides are valid for Saturday Nov. 19 only, and can be used to attend the kick-off party for Winter on the Mountain, which starts at 5 p.m. It will be a festive event to start the winter season! With the park covered in twinkling lights (including lighted rides and caves), a giant musical Christmas tree lighting at 7 p.m., live music and a visit from Santa Claus, Winter on the Mountain is dazzling fun for the whole family.

By donating a turkey, you’ll be eligible to receive a discounted Winter Funday Pass. For just $25, you can enjoy both walking cave tours and unlimited access to the Alpine Coaster, Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, laser tag arena and 4D Motion Theater.

For more information, visit our Park Info page. We hope to see you at the Park on Saturday, Nov. 19!

Two More Weeks of Mountain Fall Festival!

Have you made it up to the Mountain Fall Festival? If not, no worries! There’s plenty of time to head up Iron Mountain to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where autumn fun awaits!
The park is still alive with fall colors, and there are lots of great photo opportunities all over the park. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy your fall day.

Every day of the week, we have autumn decorations, a pumpkin patch, and Oktoberfest food and drink specials, including brats & kraut, seasonal beer and a Bloody Mary bar. We’ve also got spiked cider, hot chocolate and other cozy fall drinks. On Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., we ramp up the festivities with hayrides, kids games (with prizes!), face painting and pumpkin decorating. Kids can also participate in a sticker scavenger hunt! Watch our Fall Festival video to see what the festival is all about.

As always, you can enjoy our thrill rides and attractions. Get a spectacular view of the valley on the Soaring Eagle Zip Line and the Glenwood Canyon Flyer, or watch your little one’s face light up on the Wild West Express kid’s coaster. Zoom down through beautiful fall foliage on the Alpine Coaster, and then experience the magic and wonder waiting underground on one of our Cave Tours. Buy a Funday Pass for a whole day of fun at a great value.

Saturday, October 22 brings the band Alpine Echo up to the mountaintop, where they will play Octoberfest tunes all day long. Founding member Gerhard Rill is originally from Bavaria, Germany. He came to Colorado and started making music, and soon partnered with Bill Rill (also from Bavaria) and John Pataky (from Hungary). Together, the trio formed Alpine Echo. Joe Pologar of Leadville, Colorado later came on board to round out the band’s sound. The foursome performs festive, lively tunes that are a treat for the ears!

To celebrate the band, we’re bringing back Can-for-a-Tram: On October 22, bring at least one can of food to donate for a free tram ride to the top. Can-for-a-Tram benefits Lift-Up, a non-proft organization that provides humanitarian aid to struggling families and individuals in our community.

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For more information, visit the Fall Festival page. The festival runs until October 30, and there are still two Saturdays left. We hope to see you soon!

Race for the kids!

Looking for something fun to do on the weekend, that also happens to be for a great cause? Look no further! Youth Zone Ascent and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park are partnering to host the First Annual 5K Race on Saturday, October 8. Participants are invited to run, hike, bike or segway from Two Rivers Park up to Glenwood Caverns, where they can enjoy a full day of fun. Of course, other modes of transport are also welcome. For example, if any children have one of the best selling stunt scooters, they are more than welcome to participate in this race too. As this race is in support of Youth Zone Ascent, everyone is welcome to join in, no matter how they want to take part. Participators are welcome to come and have fun for a great deal with a 50% off Funday Pass!

If you are biking or riding a Segway, meet at Two Rivers at 9:00 am. If you are hiking or running, the start time is 9:30 am. You can also take the Scenic Tram if you feel like a more relaxed ride up; it’s all just about having fun! The entry fee is $25 if you register online before the race or $30 on race day. All proceeds go to supporting Youth Zone Ascent. You’ll get a t-shirt and a breakfast burrito to start your day off right as part of your entry fee.

YouthZone Ascent has been around since the 1970s and is an important organization in our community. They are focused on providing services to youths ages 6 to 18 years, and provide services to more than 1,000 young people a year. Originally founded by a group of parents concerned about drug use among youths, YouthZone Ascent provides recreational activities as well as information and education about the dangers of drug use, as well as teaching them about drug testing, different test types such as a urine test and more. They focus on three areas of assistance: prevention, intervention, and volunteerism. YouthZone Ascent is committed to the health and well-being of our young people, and the 5K race is a great way to support them while also getting some exercise and getting some thrills at the park!

For more information or to register, visit Youth Zone Ascent. For information on all cave tours, rides and attractions available with the Funday Pass, head to our homepage. We hope to see you on Saturday for 5K and a day worth of good times for a good cause!

Lift-Up: “A beaming light in a trying time of darkness”

As most people familiar with Music on the Mountain know, we partner with the non-profit organization Lift-Up for Can for a Tram, a program that collects cans of food at the tram base at every concert. We also collect turkeys in November for Lift-Up’s Thanksgiving meals during our Turkey-Tram-a-Ganza event. We thought we would shine a spotlight on this important organization that’s helped thousands of people all over the region!

Lift-Up began during the oil shale boom in Rifle, when workers flooded into the area, looking for jobs but living in cars and under bridges. In the ensuing oil shale bust in the 1980s, Lift-Up was invaluable when Exxon closed overnight and 2,000 people were suddenly unemployed. Ever since, they’ve been a facilitator for the community to respond to people in need.

While food collection and donation is a big part of their program, they do much more. “Lift-Up’s mission is to provide essential humanitarian assistance in the communities we serve,” says Kim Loving, Lift-Up’s director. “We serve the unemployed, underemployed and homeless in our communities.”

To show the impact they have, let’s look at the year 2015: in that year alone, Lift-Up gave out over 35,000 bags of groceries! They assisted 42,872  people in 2015 with everything from groceries, prescriptions, thrift store vouchers, bus passes, emergency help, and soup kitchen meals. Last year, Lift-Up assembled and distributed 1,738 food baskets during the holidays. “To me, our numbers served show the impact we have on the community,” Loving points out.

There are also the personal stories that put a face to the individuals that Lift-Up helps. Take the case of Lisa (name changed for privacy), a struggling mother who was at her wit’s end:
“This past winter, we found ourselves in need of help. We had mounting medical bills due to a sick child, and I was sick myself. This resulted in numerous ER visits and surgeries. We didn’t have medical insurance at the time so the bills added up quickly. We paid $800 a month in medical bills on top of a mortgage and other various bills. Soon, we were struggling to keep food in the pantry and on the table. In November, one of our debtors decided to raise our bill significantly, and would sue us if we didn’t keep up. This was most of our budget for food. We had no choice but to swallow our pride and reach out for help. I reached out to a friend who told me about Lift-Up and what it was all about. I remember crying all the way down to Lift-Up, thanking God that there was someplace that could help us keep our children fed.

When we arrived, I didn’t know what to expect. Debi, a Lift-Up employee, was so wonderful and just started filling boxes and bags of food for our family. She was so sweet and caring. There was no judgement; just love.
Lift Up helped us get through Thanksgiving and Christmas. They helped me with jackets and snow pants for my kids, so they could be warm during winter. We are so grateful for Lift-Up and what they did for our family. They were a beaming light in a trying time of darkness. We appreciate them and we are eternally grateful for providing what we needed and for their love and compassion.”

The organization is always trying to branch out and fulfill needs that aren’t being taken care of. Lift-Up began a new Mobile Friday Lunch program last November, in collaboration with the school district. Kids going to Garfield RE2 schools only go four days a week, so Lift-Up makes and distributes a nutritious sack lunch at three lower-income locations in Rifle on the days when school is not in session.

“We have distributed over 1,800 lunches so far in 2016. This program has been such a blessing for Lift-Up. I personally enjoy handing out the lunches to the kids. They have been so thankful and a joy to be around!” exclaims Loving.

During Turkey Tram-a-Ganza, people donating turkeys get free tram rides to the top of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

“I would encourage anyone who can to come join us and hand out lunches on Fridays. We start at 11:00 at Davidson Park in Rifle and end up at Joyce Park at 12:00. The middle stop is Cottonwood Springs Park, which begins at 11:30. The smiles and thank you’s are so worth it, even when it is really cold out.”

If you’d like to donate to Lift-Up in other ways, Loving says, “we are always in need of donated food items or even gift cards from grocery stores, where we can purchase meat for the pantries. Monetary donations are welcomed too!” A full list of items Lift-Up always wants on their shelves can help guide you.

“I would like the community to know that all of Lift-Ups’s programs wouldn’t be possible without the support we have received. I can’t ever thank everyone enough,” Loving concluded.

Bring at least one can of food to donate to Lift-Up and receive a FREE tram ride to the top for Music on the Mountain this weekend, and every Music on the Mountain show in the future. Thank you for making a positive impact on our community! For more information about upcoming concerts, visit Music on the Mountain.

Music on the Mountain is back!

Our popular concert series returns August 20th after a mid-summer hiatus! Music on the Mountain, showcasing local and regional bands, has been a staple in the Glenwood Springs, Colorado live music scene for eight seasons now. Music on the Mountain also helps to serve the community. By collecting canned goods for Lift-Up in exchange for a free tram ride to the top, we’ve been able to donate thousands of cans to needy families in the Roaring Fork Valley. In the 2016 season alone, our Can for a Tram program has collected 2,571 cans so far!

Kicking off the August concerts is Fifty50, a local rock band who have won many Local’s Choice Awards over the years. Beth Getzen Stoltzfus, Dave Stoltzfus, Dale Loper, Jerry Larsen and Tom Mercer play covers of favorite tunes and original music, and they’re known for a special blend of instrumental energy and unique harmonies.

They’ll be followed the next week by the Gerry Goodman Band, a rockin’ trio that plays classic rock. The band specializes in Stevie Ray Vaughan tunes, paying tribute to one of the most influential electric guitarists of all time.

Music on the Mountain returns August 20th with Fifty50

September 10th brings us “A Tribute to Bob Dylan and The Band.” This special night will bring together a select group of valley musicians to honor Americana music at its best. Folk, rock, bluegrass and gospel music blend together for a magical evening!

September 11th, a special Sunday show, showcases The Orchard and New Creation Church. Bringing faith-based music to the mountain, these local church groups will celebrate worship and spirituality with their passionate, uplifting music.

On September 17th, Fifty50 makes a return to Music on the Mountain, bringing back their infectious enthusiasm and love for music.

The Missing Link Band will close out the 2016 Music on the Mountain series on September 24th. Fans love this local band for their diverse sound and energetic performances. It’s been a tradition for the Missing Link Band to play the last show of the season, and they always make it a party!

Don’t forget to bring at least one can of food to donate for a free tram ride to the top, where there will be amazing views, great food and drink specials waiting for you. Can for a Tram starts at 4pm and music is from 6 to 10pm (except for the Sunday show with The Orchard and New Creation Church, which has a Can for a Tram start at 2pm and music from 4 to 8pm). For more information, visit Music on the Mountain.

August 16th is National Roller Coaster Day!

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, August 16th and get ready to scream: it’s National Roller Coaster Day! We will  be celebrating at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park by riding the nation’s highest roller coaster, the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster. There will be prize giveaways, including Annual Thrill Passes for the 100th and 300th Cliffhanger riders!

At a whopping 7,100 feet above sea level, the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster overlooks Glenwood Canyon and the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Riding the Cliffhanger is a breathtaking experience with unbelievable views, and it’s the perfect way to celebrate roller coasters!

 

The Cliffhanger Roller Coaster offers incredible views and huge thrills!

National Roller Coaster Day 2016 celebrates 138 years of roller coasters, starting in 1878 when a U.S. patent was awarded to Richard Knudsen and J.G. Taylor for a design that would eventually be called a wooden roller coaster. Roller coasters enjoyed a boom in popularity in the late 1910s and early 1920s. The most famous of the roller coasters from that era is the historic Coney Island Cyclone, built in 1927, which is still in operation today.

Today, wood and steel roller coasters are bigger and better than ever. The Kingda Ka Coaster, in the Six Flags Great Adventure Park, is the word’s highest coaster. Kingda Ka is 456 feet off the ground; about 23 giraffes stacked on top of each other! The coaster drops 416 feet from the first hill: not for the faint of heart!

Have the need for speed? The Formula Rossa coaster in Dubai is the world’s fastest roller coaster, with a top speed of 149 miles per hour. Riding the Formula Rossa, you’ll experience the same g-forces as Formula 1 drivers!

Roller coasters provide all different kinds of experiences, but they have one thing in common: they are all a lot of fun! We’re excited to be a part of National Roller Coaster Day, and we hope you’ll join us on August 16th for roller coaster thrills! We will be open from 10am to 6pm. Regular admission applies. For more information, visit our park info page.

More Live Music Ahead at FAC!

Haven’t had a chance to make it up to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for Friday Afternoon Club? It’s not too late! We’re about halfway through the FAC season, and there are still plenty of chances to take in the views and enjoy free live tunes mountain-top in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. With Glenwood Caverns recently awarded a Gold for “Best Place to View the Sunset” and a Bronze for “Best Live Music Venue” by the Glenwood Springs Post Independent Locals’ Choice Awards, FAC really is the place to be!

Friday, July 15th features Frank Martin, a frequent musician at FAC. Martin’s Americana blend of country, bluegrass, folk, blues and jazz, coupled with his powerful vocals, is a crowd-pleasing valley favorite.

On July 22nd, Vid Weatherwax will take the FAC stage. Weatherwax is a beloved local who has played in many bands around the valley and is known for his amazing jazz keyboard skills and his collaborative spirit.

July 29th sees Gerry Goodman in the FAC spotlight. Based in Grand Junction, Goodman plays a variety of classic rock, blues, and a little country; something for everyone. He always puts on a great show that gets people moving!

The tram offers spectacular sunset views, the perfect way to end the week!

August 5th brings Painters Stage, whose gypsy sounds and reggae rhythms are captivating. The trio of Noemi, Kristof and Max Kosmowski have been playing together for 25 years, and their passion is stronger than ever. The pleasure they have playing on stage is contagious, so bring shoes you can dance in!

On August 12th, The Logan Brothers will close out the final FAC. Named the 2016 and 2015 Glenwood Springs Post Independent’s Locals’ Choice Favorite Band, it’s a treat to have them perform the last concert of the summer FAC season. Playing a mix of classic hits you love, and some b-sides of songs you may not have heard yet, their shows always leave the audience feeling good. They are known for occasionally inviting audience members to come join them at the microphone, so be ready!

Every Friday Afternoon Club offers food and drink specials from 5 – 8:30 p.m. You can also get a free tram ride with a coupon that appears in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Fridays. The coupon is valid for free tram or bus rides for up to four people starting at 4 p.m.

Visit our events page for more information on FAC and other events at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Summer will be over before you know it; come up and enjoy it with us! We can’t wait to see you!

Beatles music & fire performances kick off Music on the Mountain

It’s that time of the year again in Glenwood Springs, Colorado: live music season! Music on the Mountain, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s free mountain-top music series, returns this weekend for its 8th year. We can’t wait for another season of great music, mountain-top dancing and summertime enjoyment.

It all kicks off this Friday, May 27, with Doctor Robert. It’s become a tradition to start Music on the Mountain with this Crested Butte-based Beatles tribute band. Doctor Robert has well over 100 (and counting) Beatles tunes in its catalog. The four-member group celebrates the Fab Four in style with high energy, retro dress and a true love for playing the music. You will certainly have a great time bopping along and you can be sure that they sound amazing wherever they perform. That may be down to the Graham Slee HiFi equipment they use. The fun they have on-stage is always infectious!

Doctor Robert kicks off Music on the Mountain’s 8th season

To add to the celebration this year, Maciej Mrotek will perform the Dance of the Sacred Fire at 8:20 and 9 p.m. Mrotek and his team manipulate fire to create innovative, mesmerizing shows. Dance of the Sacred Fire has been performed on national and international stages, and we can’t wait to see it for ourselves. This magical performance is not to be missed!

Every year, Music on the Mountain, through the Can for a Tram program, raises thousands of cans of food for the Lift-Up community food pantry. This grassroots non-profit is committed to making sure no one in our Valley goes hungry. They truly “lift up” those in need, and Glenwood Caverns has been able to collect more than 53,700 food items for them since Music on the Mountain began in 2009.

The park is buzzing with activity, summer rides are open and the Summer Funday Pass is back. Come for the day to soar through the air on our Giant Canyon Swing or zoom across the cliff on the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster. Stay for an evening of music, fire, drink specials and merriment!

Bring at least one can of food to donate to Lift-Up for a free tram ride to the top. For more information, please visit Music on the Mountain. Hope to see you there!

The Lookout Grille | Away From It All

On a clear morning in early February, feeling cooped up but with work still to do, I decided to change up my routine and take the tram up to the Lookout Grille at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for some coffee, a snack, and some views.  I boarded the tram, headed up, and marveled at the 360 degree view of Glenwood – you could see it all! The steam rising from the Hot Springs Pool, the winding Colorado River flowing westward through the valley, Iron Mountain in front of me, Coal Seam Mountain behind, Mount Sopris in the distance. Vehicles on 1-70 began to look more like toy cars as we ascended. Arriving at the top, I stepped out of the tram car and headed into the restaurant.

It was a quiet mid-morning, with a few visitors eating an early lunch and people coming in from their adventures, ready for a hot chocolate after a coaster ride or cave tour. The employees chatted warmly with the customers and each other. I found a quiet corner at one of the wooden tables. A hot cup of coffee and a stone fireplace kept me warm as I worked on my laptop, using the free wi-fi available in the restaurant. I broke occasionally to look out the large windows at the surrounding mountains and valley below.

An hour or so later, having had my fill of caffeine and work, I packed up and took the tram back down the mountain. It had started to snow lightly, and I as I descended I watched the flakes fall across Glenwood Springs, and felt lucky to live in such a beautiful place. With a pleasant respite from the “real world,” I felt ready to face whatever the rest of the day would bring!