Summer Fun Going Strong in Glenwood Springs

Summer activities are in high gear in Glenwood Springs

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

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Plan a Thrilling Romantic Adventure for Two

Add some big thrills to your romance with a visit to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The mountain-top theme park in Glenwood Springs is the perfect place for heart-warming and heart-pounding fun.

Give your romantic relationship a love booster shot. A spur-of-the-moment, micro-getaway that includes Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park could be just the remedy for the mid-winter amour doldrums. The Adventure Park checks all the boxes for a romantic  good time and a great date.

  • Snuggle on the Glenwood Gondola. The orange gondola cars will whisk you and your partner high above the humdrum of the ordinary. Get cozy under blankets that are provided in each cabin as you travel from the valley floor to the park entrance at the top of Iron Mountain. Consider it the grown up version of seven minutes in heaven!
  • Plumb the depths. Explore new territory together. Cave tours offer couples a glimpse of a rare and magnificent underground landscape. See spectacular stalactites, stalagmites, showy aragonite crystals and more. The caverns have also been the site of more than a few marriage proposals and wedding ceremonies!
  • Feel the need for speed on the Alpine Coaster. Sometimes you’ve just got to go a little wild. Let the throttle out on the Alpine Coaster. You determine your speed as you soar down the mountain. The cool mountain air and fast pace are guaranteed to awaken the senses.
  • Be silly in the 4-D Theater. Love isn’t rational. You don’t need to be ten years old to enjoy these 15 minute animated shows. Grab a seat at this family-friendly attraction, put on your glasses and enjoy the surround sound, bumps and breezes of 4-D technology. By the end, no matter your age, you’ll feel like kids again.
  • Unwind with libations. For a more mature pastime, head to the Lookout Grille for an adult beverage and some sustenance. The bar serves a selection of decadent cocktails, beer in bottles and on tap. Wine and a Bloody Mary bar are other options. You can also satisfy your partner’s appetite at the Lookout Grille. The restaurant has an extensive menu of delicious casual dining menu choices.
  • Take in the views. To paraphrase Antoine de St. Exupéry, it not all about looking at each other; it’s looking in the same direction that matters. On your visit to the Adventure Park be sure to walk up to the Viewing Deck above the General Store for landscape views of the Roaring Fork Valley and Glenwood Springs. This is also the perfect spot for a romantic couple’s photo.
  • Attend an intimate concert. Add a little night music to the mix with Friday Afternoon Club FAC features talented local bands and food and drink specials every Friday through February from 5 to 8:30 p.m. The Park’s FAC also includes a free gondola ride after 4 p.m. with a coupon that appears in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Fridays. The small indoor venue is relaxed and laid back—perfect for a date night.

Love is a big, bold adventure. Add some thrills to your romance at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park!

Win a Family Getaway to Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, America’s only mountain-top theme park is sponsoring a contest for a vacation package that includes the best of Glenwood Springs activities and accommodations.

Win a Glenwood Family Getaway

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is rolling out the Glenwood Family Getaway contest again for 2020. One lucky family will receive:

  • A 2 night stay at the historic Hotel Colorado
  • 4 Funday passes to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
  • 4 day passes to soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs
  • 4 show tickets to the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue
  • 4 vouchers to the Glenwood Escape Room
  • Fifty-dollar gift card to Glenwood Canyon Brewpub

The Best of Glenwood Springs

The Hotel Colorado is a Glenwood Springs landmark. It has hosted such notable guests as President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt and Titanic survivor “Unsinkable” Molly Brown. It is famous for its holiday lighting display, fine dining and as a favorite location for weddings and other special events.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is an award-winning, family-owned theme park. It is home to spectacular caves and holds the record for the second largest cave room in Colorado. The mountain-top theme park is also known for its thrill rides. The Giant Canyon Swing, two extreme rides, have attracted world-wide attention from media outlets and thrill seekers.

Located on a terraced bank along the Colorado River, Iron Mountain Hot Springs allows guests to customize their soaking experience. Sixteen individual soaking pools—varying in size, shape and temperature—enable guests to find the one that’s “just right.” Other amenities include a larger, freshwater family pool, a restaurant, modern locker rooms and a gift shop.

For evening entertainment, the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, Glenwood’s own Comedy Central is the place to go for laughs. The talented cast of professional performers keeps audiences in stitches with family-friendly skits, jokes, high energy dance numbers and more. The venue also hosts special events, bringing in bands, comedians and musicals.

For guests who like a challenge, the Glenwood Escape Room will put sleuthing skills to the test. The question is: Are you clever enough to get out in time? Choose from three scenarios and use clues to solve the mystery. Guests have 60 minutes and must work as a team to unlock the door and escape!

The Glenwood Canyon Brewpub brings flavorful and memorable food to your table. With a variety of delicious American pub dishes for everyone and award winning brews.

Enter to Win Today!

For the chance to win the Glenwood Family Getaway, fill out the entry form. The contest begins February 3, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on February 29, 2020. The winning family will be electronically drawn at random and announced March 2, 2020. Winners’ travel must occur between March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Blackout dates apply.

The Fine Print:

  •  No purchase necessary
  • One valid entry per contestant
  • Must be 21 years of age or older at time of entry to be eligible for this contest.
  • This contest is void where prohibited by law.
  • Employees of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and their immediate family are not eligible.
  • Winners will be notified by phone and/or email.
  • If a winner is unreachable after seven (7) days or if that winner is unavailable for prize fulfillment an alternate winner will be selected.
  • Travel expenses to Glenwood Springs are not included.
  • Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park reserves the right to substitute any prize with another prize of equal or greater value.
  • Contest entrants agree to abide by the terms of the Official Rules and by the decisions of the contest commissioners which are final on all matters pertaining to the contest.
  • Entrants further grant Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park the right to use and publish their proper name and state online and in print, or any other media, in connection with the contest.
  • By completing this registration and pressing “submit”, entrants give Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Hotel Colorado, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, Glenwood Canyon Brewpub and Glenwood Adventure Company permission to contact the contestant via the email provided.
  • Contestants authorize Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Hotel Colorado, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, Glenwood Canyon Brewpub and Glenwood Escape Room Inc. to send emails about their products using automated technology.

Achieve Your Vacation Goals in

With the world at your fingertips like never before, you can be sure to achieve your vacation goals—as long as you set those goals carefully. That requires some reflection and choices even before you start lining up specific plans.

Are you looking for a getaway from the routine? A chance to experience exotic cities or natural beauty? An enriching historical or cultural experience for your kids? A way to create treasured family memories? Ask not just where you want to go but why you want to go there. Once you’ve considered these questions, be sure to write down the answers—or, better yet, tell a friend about them. TheCompassIsCalling.com says that people who write down their goals are 42 percent more likely to achieve them while those who tell others are 78 percent more likely.

Gather Ideas

Once vacation goals are established, consider the best strategy for achieving them. Would one trip of two or three weeks be more appropriate or several long weekends throughout the year? What are the places where you are most likely to have the experience you want? A fast-growing tool for this kind of research is Instagram—carefully filtered to avoid marketers and to define your choices precisely, it can show you the real experiences that other ordinary people have had on their vacations in those places. Jenni Fink in a Newsweek article provides a guide.

 

Plan Ahead & Save Money

Once you’ve matched a location to your vacation goals, planning the trip will become an exciting, targeted activity, according to the blogger Ramit Sethi. You will be able to investigate the most effective uses of time and money in that particular place, and you may discover that the destination can be enjoyed more economically than you expected. Also, your pre-planning gives you an opportunity to find discounts, choose affordable seasons, and even set aside money in a savings account regularly to cover costs. The less you put on the credit card while you’re on vacation, the more you’ll enjoy the trip—and the return.

Enjoy your Vacation

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. When you take the time to set shared strategic goals and carry out a plan to achieve them, you’ll have the pleasure of a successful preparation as well as a successful trip.

For a Colorado vacation that checks the boxes for family-friendly, affordable, thrills and new experiences, make plans to visit Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

May your 2020 journeys and destinations be rewarding!

Handmade Fudge: A Sweet Last Minute Gift

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Santa Claus Lands at Adventure Park!

Ho, ho, ho! The jolliest elf of all is spreading holiday cheer to one and all this Christmas season at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Make plans today to visit for photos with Santa, music and more.

The Man in Red, Kris Kringle, Jolly ‘Ol Saint Nick, whatever your favorite nickname for him, we’re excited to announce that Santa Claus is making several scheduled stops this holiday season at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

For Santa, touching down for a few hours at a time to commune with kids of all ages during his busy toy-making season is a little bit easier when his landing strip is located at the summit of America’s only mountain-top theme park, 7,100 feet above sea level and it’s decorated with millions of brightly colored holiday lights that are easy to spot from as far away as the North Pole!

This is your chance to create sweet holiday memories and treasured family traditions. Ride the Glenwood Gondola to the Adventure Park entrance to meet Santa, pose for photos with him and, and best of all, whisper into his ear what you’re most hoping to find under the tree on Christmas morning. While Santa always does his best to make wishes come true, he knows the real meaning of Christmas is all about creating memories to be cherished and shared with loved ones for a lifetime to come.

See Santa at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on these dates:

  • Friday, Dec. 13 from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 20 from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday Dec. 21 from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday Dec. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 23 from 4 to 7 pm.
Santa is at the Adventure Park for a limited time only. For more details and to make plans to visit, see our Events Calendar.

Play in our winter wonderland

>We call it Winter on the Mountain. Make the most of festive seasonal activities at the Adventure Park before or after your visit with Mr. Claus. Our Winter Funday Pass includes a ride to the Park aboard the Glenwood Gondola, two cave tours that feature special lighting for the holidays, unlimited rides on the Alpine Coaster, as well as the opportunity to play laser tag and enjoy an animated show in our 4-D theater. Other fun activities include warming up on chilly nights by roasting s’mores over fire pits in the main plaza. You can also taste delicious homemade fudge and shop for last minute gifts at the General Store.

Spreading good cheer all around

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a lineup of great musical entertainment. Every Friday evening, Glenwood Caverns hosts Friday Afternoon Club (FAC) featuring local bands and drink specials, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lookout Grille. The Park’s FAC also includes a free gondola ride with a coupon that appears in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Fridays. The coupon is valid for free gondola ride for up to four people starting at 4 p.m.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park!

Iconic Local: Steve Beckley

In the December issue of Aspen Magazine, writer Hayden Gamble featured our very own Steve Beckley as part of an article on Glenwood Springs. Read the whole story here or pick up the latest issue of the magazine out now.

When he’s not envisioning additions and improvements to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Steve Beckley enjoys spending time at his remote cabin with his wife and business partner, Jeanne, and their two sons.

As a caver studying petroleum engineering at the Colorado School of Mines in the early ’80s, Beckley read about the Historic Fairy Caves in an out-of-print book, Caves of Colorado. He spent the next 16 years convincing then-owner Pete Prebble to let him visit and, eventually, buy, the cave on top of Iron Mountain in Glenwood Springs.

That led the Beckleys to quit their jobs and move from Denver in 1998. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which has grown from a mom-and-pop cave tour into an award-winning theme park, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and Iron Mountain Hot Springs has become one of the area’s most popular attractions.

What’s your favorite thing about Glenwood Springs? The people who live here, without a doubt. Ever since Jeanne and I moved to Glenwood Springs 20 years ago, we have built wonderful relationships with the people in this community. Whether we know them from our businesses, our neighborhood, the schools or the Boy Scouts, we couldn’t ask for a nicer, more supportive group of folks.

Favorite hiking trail? We are so lucky to have Glenwood Canyon right in our backyard. The No Name Creek Trail and Grizzly Creek Trail are two of my favorites.

Favorite ski trail? The Beaujolais Run at Sunlight Mountain Resort

Favorite dining splurge? It’s too hard to choose just one. The Riviera, Co. Ranch House and Smoke are among my favorites.

Drink of choice? I like to end the day with a glass of red wine on my deck overlooking beautiful downtown Glenwood Springs.

Best place to caffeinate? I drink decaf Americanos all day long. Some of my favorite places to fuel up are the Hotel Colorado, The Bluebird Cafe, The Espresso Hut and River Blend Coffee House. I drink a lot of coffee.

Favorite event? Jeanne and I both love live music events such as Music in the Park, Music on the Mountain and Strawberry Days.

Best-kept secret in GW? I’m not telling! You need to explore all the wonderful Glenwood Springs amenities and find your own secret place.

Celebrate National Caves and Karst Day

King's Row Cave Tour
King's Row Cave Tour

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Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is celebrating National Caves and Karst Day on Saturday, June 8 with activities that include a hands-on educational and interactive display and free cave posters. Kids can earn a Junior Cave Scientist badge as well.

 Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is based around its flagship tours of Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Cave that started 20 years ago. When the National Caves Association (NCA) decided to designate a National Caves and Karst Day in 2017 to raise awareness of the crucial roles both play in our lives, everyone at the park was on board. For the third year in a row, the park is going all out to celebrate. Although the official NCA event is June 6, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is hosting its event on Saturday, June 8, to allow more people to participate.

“We get pretty excited about caves around here, so National Caves and Karst Day is a big deal,” explained Nancy Heard, general manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. “Every time we give a tour or host a school group, we have the opportunity to teach our guests about cave science and the importance of conservation. On June 8, we’ll get to dive deeper into these topics and have some fun at the same time.”

Have Fun Exploring the Science of Caves

 National Caves and Karst Day activities include a hands-on educational and interactive display at the shade building located across from the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride and free cave posters to the first 120 people to ask for one. Kids can pick up a Junior Cave Scientist booklet there as well. To earn a free badge or sticker, they must complete at least one activity for each year of their age and return the completed booklet to the building to have it checked. The first 20 to do so will receive a free, signed “Cave Critters” coloring book written by Kay Cochran, a tour guide at the park.

Cool Cave Facts

Early June is a good time for families to visit the Adventure Park and to map out their cave visits for the rest of the summer. Here are 10 fun facts to know about caves and karst while planning a cave tour:

  1. A cave is a naturally occurring area or space under the surface of the Earth. Caves are often a system of interconnected passageways created by the weathering of rock.
  2. Most caves form in karst, which is terrain typically characterized by sinkholes, underground rivers and barren, rocky ground. Forty percent of the drinking water in the U.S. comes from karst aquifers.
  3. Icicle-shaped speleothems, or rock formations, form as water drips from the cave roof. Stalagmites, which one might trip over, grow up from the floor, usually from the water that drips off the end of stalactites that cling tight to the cave roof. When these two meet, a column is formed.
  4. Stalactites and stalagmites grow by only a fraction of an inch in a year, and since some are many yards in length, one can appreciate the time it takes for these speleothems to develop. In arid areas with little humidity, it can take a thousand years for a formation to grow one cubic inch.
  5. We learn a lot from caves. Researchers collect broken formations to track historical weather trends dating back hundreds of thousands of years. Universities partner with privately owned caves to learn how bacteria can play a role in cancer treatment and the development of new antibiotics.
  6. No two caves are alike. They can be found in glaciers, on mountaintops, in cliffs by the sea, in molten lava, in the desert and in hillsides.
  7. Caves are living things. Seepage from groundwater causes water to drip, which keeps formations growing and changing. A drop that falls onto a caver is called a cave kiss and is considered to be good luck.
  8. Caves are known to have provided shelter to mankind’s earliest ancestors. Cliff dwellings, such as those found in the Four Corners region of the Southwest, were inhabited by Ancestral Puebloans as early as 550 A.D. Fossils dating back to the Ice Age have been found inside caves as well.
  9. Caves are home to many forms of life that do not exist elsewhere. Troglobites, or cave-inhabiting creatures, are only found in caves and include certain species of shrimp, fish, blind salamanders, pseudoscorpions, spiders, millipedes and beetles.
  10. There are many ways to experience the subterranean world. Guided walking and wild tours are the most common, but there are caves that offer kayaking, floating or boating on underground rivers; cave diving; wildlife spotting; campouts; concerts; rappelling and more.

Heard added, “A lot of good things happen when you spend time in a cave. Many studies report that spending time in nature can boost mental and physical well-being, improve concentration, increase energy, reduce stress and lower blood pressure and heart rates. Pair that with exercise, such as descending and then climbing the 120 steps inside King’s Row, and the results are even better. It’s quality time that a family can spend together, focusing on nature instead of looking at screens.”

Park Admission & Hours

Regular admission rates apply for this event. A ride on the Glenwood Gondola costs $19 for adults and $14 for kids 3 to 12. The Gondola/Cave Tour combination is $32 for adults and $27 for kids. An inclusive Funday Pass is $58 for adults, $53 for kids, and includes the gondola ride, two walking cave tours and unlimited access to all rides. Annual Gondola and Thrill Pass holders can attend free. Those who have vouchers for the Locals’ Gondola Pass from earlier this year are encouraged to redeem them prior to this event, preferably on weekdays prior to 7 p.m.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Beginning Saturday, June 8, it will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with longer hours during Music on the Mountain events.

Glenwood Caverns Hosts Giving Thanks Party with LiftUp

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will be hosting a Giving Thanks Party with LiftUp, our local food bank. The event takes place in Glenwood Springs, on Nov. 25, at Centennial Park from noon to 4 p.m.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has always chosen November to help stock the shelves of our community food bank, LiftUp. This year’s event will be a Giving Thanks Party held on Sunday, Nov. 25, from 12 to 4 p.m. at Centennial Park (9th and Grand) in Glenwood Springs. It’s an opportunity to spread holiday cheer by giving back to those less fortunate while enjoying an afternoon of family fun with Santa, carolers and more.

In years past, Glenwood Caverns has sponsored the Turkey Tram-a-ganza—a hugely successful event that invited the public to donate food in exchange for rides aboard the Iron Mountain Tramway to America’s only mountain-top theme park.  This year, you may have noticed we’re in the process of replacing the old Iron Mountain Tramway to make way for our new high-capacity tram that will debut in March.

During the construction the Park is temporarily closed, but we didn’t want to drop the ball on the families who count on us to help supply all the fixins’ for a delicious holiday meal. The items collected will go toward Christmas baskets that will be delivered to families in need during the month of December.

 

Everyone is invited and encouraged to bring non-perishable food items in exchange for a tram pass that will be valid when the park reopens next March. One free tram pass per person. For this food drive, LiftUp is asking for canned goods and non-perishables. Suggested items include: dried beans, nuts, rice, pasta, boxes of macaroni & cheese, oatmeal, crackers, cereal, peanut butter, sugar, flour, Bisquick, juice boxes, energy bars and canned items like tuna, chili, soup, beans, fruit and stew. The non-profit organization will have a truck on site at Centennial Park to collect the food which will then be delivered to their warehouse to be sorted and distributed.

A fun family event, the Giving Thanks Party will elevate holiday spirits. The Mountain Harmony carolers will fill the park with all your favorite Christmas songs. Children can snuggle with Santa who will be seated in Glenwood Caverns’ Big Mountain Chair and whisper what they’d like him to bring on Christmas morning. For parents, it’s an opportunity to snap outdoor photos of the tots with Mr. Claus. A cutout of the new tram cabin will also be onsite for photo opportunities. Throughout the afternoon, chase away the chills with free hot chocolate courtesy of True Brew Coffee & Tea.

Next year, with the new Iron Mountain Tramway open, we’ll return to collecting food items at the tram base in Nov. in tandem with our Winter on the Mountain kickoff—a seasonal celebration marked by live entertainment, miles of fairy lights, a musical Christmas tree and much more.