Not a Thrill Seeker? A Dozen Things to Do Instead

Theme parks like Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park tend to attract people who like the adrenaline rush of a scary ride. Not everyone is a thrill seeker, however. Here are 12 things to do if you’d rather not swing out over a 1,300-foot cliff.

  • Ride the Gondola. Getting to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is part of the fun. The Glenwood Gondola will whisk you up and away to the mountaintop theme park, but don’t worry; the ride is smooth and quick with amazing views of Glenwood Springs.
  • The Alpine Coaster. Before you say, no way, consider that this thrill ride allows you to control your speed. Let the throttle out all the way for maximum acceleration, or pull back for a speed you’re comfortable with. Either way, having the wind whip through your hair as your ride down the mountain is pure joy.
  • The Mine Wheel. This ride is not just for kids. Whatever your age, climb aboard this old-fashioned Ferris-style family ride updated with a mining theme. You’ll go round slowly, and as you reach the pinnacle, you’ll catch sight of the beautiful park and mountain scenery.
  • Laser Tag. Have fun ducking for cover and taking aim at friends and family. This lively game is a hoot. Be warned, however, kids are especially good it.
  • Meander through the General Store for all sorts of fun gifts, snacks and souvenirs. From sacks of colored stones to slingshots, homemade fudge to home décor, and tee-shirts to toys, you’ll find lots of eye candy to enjoy or to take home.
  • Check out the view. The Adventure Park has a couple of viewing decks. Climb the stairs at the Visitor’s Center for spectacular views of Glenwood Springs, the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers and Mt. Sopris in the distance. Another viewing deck is located near the Giant Canyon Swing. Even if you don’t ride, you can watch others as they swing out over Glenwood Canyon which can be thrill enough.
  • Cave tours. Two caves tours, the Historic Fairy Caves and King’s Row are not to be missed. Both offer different perspectives on the amazing underground world. See thriving cave formations that include stalactites and stalagmites, cave bacon, popcorn, soda straws and flowstone.
    • Catch a show. Glenwood Caverns offers a lineup of live entertainment almost all year long, whether it’s Friday Afternoon Club and Two for Tuesdays during the summer, Music on the Mountain which goes into September, Octoberfest in the fall, Winter on the Mountain during the holiday season, or special artist engagements. To see who’s playing, check out our always updated events calendar.
    • 4-D Theater. These 15-minute shows will put a smile on your face. The theater is equipped with moving seats, surround sound, and special effects that make you feel like you’re actually inside the movie!
    • Grab a bite. Sit for a spell and savor something delicious. The Lookout Grille serves a variety of meals as well as adult beverages. For a grab-and-go pick-me-up, stop by the Snack Shack or Popcorn Wagon.
    • Strike a pose. Smile for the camera—your or ours. Take fun snaps in the Giant Mountain Chair at the Visitors Center. You can also bring home souvenir photos taken on the Fairy Caves tour, Alpine Coaster and other rides or dress up in western style for a full-on photoshoot at Silk’s Saloon Old Tyme Photos.
    • Pan for gemstones. Purchase a bag of dirt from the General Store and try your luck at finding an unexpected “gem” at our sluice channel. As you do so, imagine what it must have been like for prospectors who spent their days panning Colorado mountain streams in hopes of flushing out tiny flecks of precious metal.

Not a thrill seeker? Not a problem. Have all the fun without the faintness of heart. Learn more and plan a visit to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park today.

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.

Adventure Park Sweeps Locals’ Choice Awards

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is the local favorite! It finished in first place in four Locals’ Choice Award categories–Best Attraction, Best Family Entertainment, Best Place for a Kid’s Birthday and Best Tourist Spot—and took third for Best Entertainment Venue, Best Live Music Spot and Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests.

The Locals’ Choice Awards are a big deal in a small town like Glenwood Springs. The annual contest, sponsored by local newspaper, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (GSPI), is an opportunity for area-wide residents to give a shout out to their favorite hometown businesses, people and places. Of the seven voting categories, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park cleaned up in Arts & Entertainment winning four first place and three third place awards.

2019 GSPI Locals’ Choice Awards Final Results

Best Attraction—First Place

Glenwood Caverns recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Opening the caves in 1999 for tours after more than 80 years of being closed to the public was a major achievement and success. Since then, the Park has added a new gondola, award-winning thrill rides, family-friendly attractions, restaurants, shopping, a full lineup of summer entertainment as well as special events throughout the year.

Glenwood-Gondola-1-1024x683

Best Family Entertainment—First Place

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is first and foremost a destination for families. Cavern tours are designed to be entertaining and educational. Rides range from mellow to adrenaline-pumping. A 4-D theater, laser tag arena and panning for gems sluice box provide active, engaging fun for many ages. On the entertainment side, the Harmony Sisters make regular weekly appearances to connect with kids in the audience for fun sing-a-longs. As the seasons change Octoberfest and Winter on the Mountain enchant kids of all ages with season-appropriate games, music and entertainment. It’s no wonder Glenwood Caverns is the local’s choice for best family fun!

Best Place for a Kid’s Birthday—First Place

Nobody does birthday parties like Glenwood Caverns! Put a smile on your child’s face and make memories that will last a lifetime. The Park’s birthday packages include food and cave tours, but ride packages are targeted to specific age groups. For example, if you have a group of youngsters only interested in the Park’s tamer attractions, choose the Buckaroo Package; the Wrangler Package offers unlimited rides, as does the Outlaw Package created for adults with larger food portions. The Park’s event planner can help you tailor packages to meet your group’s needs.

 

The vaccine is good news for the travel industry

Best Tourist Spot—First Place

Like the town’s hot springs attractions, Glenwood Caverns is similarly an integral part of a Glenwood Springs experience and a big reason people come to visit. Over the course of a season, the Adventure Park hosts people from all over the globe—Japan to India; South America to Europe; and from all 50 states! The ridescave tours and music are the big draw, but the Glenwood Gondola ride to the Park’s entrance and the expansive views of the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys make the Adventure Park a Glenwood Springs destination not to be missed no matter where you’re from.

Best Entertainment Venue—Third Place

The main stage in the Plaza at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is the setting for live music all summer long. A large open area in front of the stage is perfect for kicking up heels or busting a groove to the music. For those who just want take in the ambiance, there’s ample seating at covered picnic tables. Enjoy food and drinks, including beer and cocktails, while you listen to local bands and visiting artists from around the state and region.

Best Live Music Spot (Music on the Mountain & Friday Afternoon Club)—Third Place

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park offers live mountain-top music six days per week! Music on the Mountain are the biggest shows with the most diverse lineup. Concerts take place weekends through the fall in on the main stage in the Plaza. Friday Afternoon Club, which includes a free gondola ride with an ad from that day’s Post Independent, and the new Two for Tuesdays feature artists in a more intimate setting in the Lookout Grille. Monday through Thursday, popular local singer Rodrigo Arreguin strums his way through a range of tunes. Gondola rides for Music on the Mountain are free with the donation of a canned food item for the LiftUp food pantry. For other events, regular admission rates apply for Glenwood Gondola rides to the Park.

Best Place to Take Out of Town Guests—Third Place

See Best Tourist Spot for all the great reasons to bring your favorite people to one of Glenwood’s favorite places!

A winner in seven categories, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is the Local’s Choice!

Mountain-Top Summer Music Begins

The Missing Link Band
The Missing Link Band

In addition to cave tours, thrill rides and family fun, summer at America’s only mountain-top theme park means live music six days a week, entertainment for kids and some greats deals.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is putting the new Glenwood Gondola to good use this summer with more live music events than ever, plus some really good deals. Its season kicks off the week of June 10 with Two for Tuesdays, Friday Afternoon Club and Music on the Mountain. That’s the icing on the cake of the mountain-top theme park known for its cave tours, extreme thrill rides, panoramic views and family-friendly fun.

Summertime is Concert-time!

“Our summer season has arrived! Getting more people up and down the mountain quickly was our main goal with the new Glenwood Gondola, and we’re making the most of it with more Music on the Mountain concerts than we’ve ever hosted,” explained Nancy Heard, general manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. “There are 15 concerts lined up with no break during the peak season as we’ve had in the past, plus we’ll have Friday Afternoon Club and some great deals for our guests.”

Mountain-Top Music 6 Days a Week

All in all, the park features live music six days a week all summer. New this year, the park’s Two for Tuesdays begin June 11. The deal includes buy-one-get-one-free gondola rides, drinks for adults and slushies for kids after 4 p.m., plus live music. The popular Friday Afternoon Club on the Mountain events start June 14 and include free gondola rides with an ad from the Post Independent, live music and food and drink specials in the Lookout Grille. The Harmony Sisters entertain kids with fun and interactive musical performances in the plaza Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 and 2:30. Guitar soloist Rodrigo Arreguin from Mexico plays Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Lookout Grille.

Eleventh Annual Music on the Mountain Kicks off June 15

The eleventh season of Music on the Mountain, Glenwood Springs’ mountain-top benefit concert series, starts Saturday, June 15, at a kick-off party with the Missing Link Band—the only band to have played in all 11 seasons—and the Dance of the Sacred Fire. Guests can ride the gondola free with the donation of at least one canned food item for the Lift-Up community food pantries. For all Saturday concerts, the free gondola rides start at 4 p.m., and the bands play from 6 to 10 p.m. For the two Sunday concerts, free gondola rides begin at 2 p.m., and the bands play from 4 to 8 p.m.

The 2019 Music on the Mountain Lineup

  • Saturday, June 15: The Missing Link Band – This popular local party band appeals to all age groups and tastes by performing the best from all genres of music including classic rock, blues, pop, R & B. They’re joined by Maciej Mrotek and his team who perform the Dance of the Sacred Fire, magical high-energy, fire shows that have captivated audiences around the globe.
  • Saturday, June 29: Brian Grace Band – This rockin’ country band from Colorado Springs performs original and cover songs, from Zac Brown, Jim Croce and George Strait to Bob Seger, Eric Clapton, Matchbox 20 and more.
  • Saturday, July 6: The Goodman Band – Specializing in classic rock and Stevie Ray Vaughn cover tunes, the three-piece Goodman Band plays songs that range from early country, rock and blues to today’s music.
  • Saturday, July 13: A Band Called Alexis – This energetic, talented and entertaining group of professional musicians from the Roaring Fork Valley specializes in country and blues with a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll.
  • Saturday, July 20: Poser – This high-energy, crowd-pleasing, six-piece cover band plays hits from classics like The Beatles, Santana, Springsteen, Clapton and more. The list of rock ‘n’ roll legends goes on and on.
  • Saturday, July 27: Emotional Rescue – Dedicated to playing Rolling Stones tunes in an authentic, high-energy way, Emotional Rescue wows their audiences with a true Rolling Stones show.
  • Saturday, August 3: Whiskey Stomp – This fun-loving, good-times band plays classic songs and energetic originals, ranging from blue grass, funk and Latino rhythms to rock, jazz and country.
  • Saturday, August 10: Fifty50 – Hailing from the Roaring Fork Valley, Fifty50 performs classic, modern and original rock that has awarded them many Locals’ Choice Awards over the years.
  • Saturday, August 17: The Mixx — For the young and young at heart, the dance floor will be grooving with music genres from Top 40s, R&B, classic rock, funk, country, blues and good old rock ‘n’ roll.
  • Sunday, August 18: Latin Night – BJ the DJ will mix Latin night with artists including Selena, Elvis Crespo, Malo, Santana, Chuchito Valdes, Los Mex Pistols Del Norte, Ramon Ayala, Los Lonely Boys, Kumbia Kings, Jennifer Lopez and Mala Mia. Free gondola rides begin at 2 p.m., and the music plays from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 24: Johnny O Band – Originally from the Roaring Fork Valley and going strong for 22 years, the Johnny O Band creates an infectious, freestyle Pop groove that doesn’t let go.
  • Saturday, Sept. 7: Echo Monday – This Roaring Fork Valley cover band draws most of its inspiration from the 90s to modern rock/alternative scene, and occasionally dips into the 80s and beyond.
  • Sunday, Sept. 8: Christian Night with Kings Loyal – This collective of musicians from around the Roaring Fork Valley specializes in Christian music with a modern rock style but also play a variety of covers. Free gondola rides begin at 2 p.m., and the band plays from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Painters Stage Variety Show – The gypsy sound and reggae rhythm of the local Painters Stage trio is joined by entertainers including Jammin’ Jim Pomey and performers from the Legacy Dance Company.
  • Saturday, Sept. 21: The Missing Link Band – Back for the season finale, this popular local party band appeals to all age groups and tastes by performing the best from all genres of music including classic rock, blues, pop, R & B.

Thank you Sponsors!

The Adventure Park thanks its sponsors for supporting this benefit concert series: Bighorn Toyota, Coca-Cola, Glenwood Adventure Company, CUC Construction Co., GlenwoodTV.com, SGM, Young Services, Glenwood Insurance Agency, Leitner Poma, Community Banks of Colorado, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Best Western Antlers Glenwood Springs, Tradesman Electrical Services, Glenwood Springs Post Independent, KSPN and Phil Long Honda.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with longer hours during Saturday Music on the Mountain events.

Summer’s Here! It’s Time to Buy Your Annual Thrill Pass

For Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park annual pass holders, the season ahead is filled with thrilling rides, cave tours and a full schedule of musical entertainment! Even though passes are valid for one year, make the most of your annual pass by purchasing now—in time to make the most of upcoming summer fun!

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is getting ready to kick high-flying fun up a notch for summer. We recently launched our new Glenwood Gondola, celebrated the 20th anniversary of opening the caves to tours, hosted a Prince tribute band and we’re just getting started! In addition to the all the thrill rides and attractions you’ve come to love, we’ve got a big summer planned. Music on the Mountain kicks off on Saturday, June 15; Friday Afternoon Club makes its weekly reappearance beginning on June 14. Scattered throughout the year are special events that include Cave & Karst Day on June 9, Octoberfest in the fall and later in the year—Winter on the Mountain. An Annual Thrill Pass in your pocket means you never have to pass up the fun!

Unlimited Admission on Thrill Rides & Attractions

With your 2019 Annual Thrill Pass, you can hop aboard the new Glenwood Gondola and all your favorite Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park thrill rides as often as you like including the Giant Canyon Swing, the Alpine Coaster, the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride and the Canyon Flyer. Your thrill pass also gains you admission to both cave tours and attractions like the park’s 4-D movies and laser tag arena.

No Black-out Dates

Your pass is valid anytime the park is open. Come for special events like the Friday Afternoon Club, Music on the Mountain, Harmony Sisters sing-along and the new Two for Tuesdays with buy-one-get-one specials after 4 p.m. It doesn’t matter if it happens to be spring break, the Christmas holiday or the height of summer, your Annual Thrill Pass gives you access to entertainment and adventures that span the seasons.

An Outstanding Value

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Annual Thrill Pass is a crazy good deal. Consider that a one-time Funday Pass costs $58 for adults (13 and older) and $53 for children (3-12), while a Thrill Pass runs $128 and $116 respectively. In just a little over two visits, your pass pays for itself!

Bonus Discounts

Your Annual Thrill Pass also entitles you to discounts at any of the park’s restaurants and in the gift shop. Save ten percent on whatever tickles your taste buds. It could be a meal at the Lookout Grille, a slice of pizza at the Snack Shack or sweet treats at the Popcorn Wagon. Take home souvenirs or shop for gifts at the General Store, all while trimming a cool ten percent off the top just by showing your Thrill Pass.

A Gondola-only Option

If you’d prefer to skip the rides and just come to the park to enjoy the views, the music, or a meal out, consider purchasing the Glenwood Gondola Annual Pass. Like the Annual Thrill Pass, it’s valid for one year, and at just $38, it’s a bargain.

Give the Most Thrilling Gift

An Annual Thrill Pass makes a great gift for just about anyone in your life. Give a gift of smiles, wonder and lasting memories to all the special people in your life. An Annual Thrill Pass is just the thing for kids on summer break; it makes an ideal present for high school and college graduates; and is also perfect for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.

Purchase Your Thrill Pass Today

Annual Thrill Passes are just $128 for adults (13 and older) and $116 for children (3 – 12) and are available for purchase at www.glenwoodcaverns or by calling 970-945-4228. If you already have a Glenwood Gondola Local’s Pass, you can upgrade to an Annual Thrill Pass and the cost of your Local’s Pass will be pro-rated and deducted from the cost of your Annual Thrill Pass.

Party Like it’s 1999 at Park 20th Anniversary Party

Glenwood Caverns gave its first cave tour in May 1999, more than 82 years after the Fairy Caves closed to the public during World War I. The mountain-top Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is throwing a Party Like it’s 1999 celebration on Saturday, May 18, 2019. 

A Dream Realized

Twenty years ago, Steve and Jeanne Beckley were putting the final touches on the substantial improvement projects that made it possible to open the Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves to the public for the first time in 82 years. They’d spent the previous months working with volunteers to grade and gravel a road to the cave entrance, clear debris that had collected for decades, rewire and install lighting, carve a new tunnel into the mountain and install two airtight doors to form an airlock that protects the temperature and humidity inside the cave. Their first tour was during Memorial Weekend in 1999, the realization of dream 18 years in the making.

A Look Back at Glenwood Caverns’ Beginnings

Steve Beckley, a petroleum engineer and graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, read about the Fairy Caves in 1982 in an out-of-print book about Colorado caves. He wrote to Pete Prebble, the owner at that time, and expressed his interest in visiting the closed cave for 11 years before he and then-girlfriend Jeanne were allowed in. It was such a remarkable experience that they spent the next six years persuading him to lease the property and then, after quitting their jobs in Denver and moving to Glenwood Springs with their newborn son, spent a year preparing to open.

“I remember telling Jeanne at the time that we’d give cave tours during the summer and then relax, ski and play the rest of the year,” Steve Beckley, who co-owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne, explains. “Well, that’s not exactly how it went. Jeanne knows ‘I have an idea’ is probably my favorite phrase and that I say it a lot.”

Glenwood Caverns Becomes America’s Only Mountain-top Theme Park

More than 33,000 people toured the caved in five months that year. The company had to close during the rest of the year due to the winding road that was impassible in the winter and spring months. Steve began working on a new transportation system to keep the tours open year-round; in 2003 the Iron Mountain Tramway opened, and the company changed its name to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Since then, it has grown to include thrill rides, family-friendly attractions, live music, shopping, dining and, as of this year, the new high-speed Glenwood Gondola that can transport 1,000 people per hour up and down the mountain.

“We never imagined that 20 years later that we’d be operating the only mountain-top theme park in America, with roller coasters and a giant swing and concerts under the stars,” co-owner Jeanne Beckley said. “It’s been such an incredible process. Our boys have grown up here, and the park has become this special place where families can have fun, learn about nature, experience this spectacular cave and create memories together.”

Premier Prince Tribute Band to Highlight 20th Anniversary Celebration

To celebrate this 20th anniversary, the Adventure Park is throwing a Party Like It’s 1999 celebration on Saturday, May 18, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Paizley Park, a costumed and choreographed Prince tribute act, will rock the stage from 7 – 9 p.m. The audience will fall under the purple spell of Phillip Lamar Jordan as Prince during this high-energy show featuring the music of Prince, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, Sheila E. and more. Guests who wear purple to the event can get a free drink at the Lookout Grille, a purple Icee for kids and a special “Purple Rain” adult beverage. The Airi Photo Booth will be set up to the right of the stage with props to help guests create free souvenir photos to take home as well.

Learn About Spelunking and Formations in Cave Simulator

CaveSim, a crawl-through electronic cave simulator with 60 feet of passage to explore, will be at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s decorated with artful reproductions of real cave formations. Each formation is electronically sensed to count the number of times it gets hit by cavers. This information is saved in a central computer, and cavers can compare their scores and times.

Education was a primary goal of the Beckleys when they first opened the cave in 1999. According to Steve, “We were, and still are, so overwhelmed by the beauty of this world beneath our feet that we wanted to share it with as many people as possible while still protecting the natural resource. Teaching our guests about the history and geology of the area, the life forms within the cave and the importance of conservation has always been at the forefront of our business.”

Since that first tour, more than a million people have toured Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves. The park offers affordable field trips for thousands of students every year, providing the opportunity to share the science and experience of exploring to even more young people, many of whom might not have the chance to do so otherwise.

Steve and Jeanne Beckley at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Event Admission Details

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 4:30 p.m.

5 Reasons to Love Summer Evenings at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Ah, those summer nights! How we love them and so will you! Learn why evenings are extra-special at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

  1. Fewer people. Summertime is peak season at America’s only mountain-top theme park. With the award-winning thrill rides, cave tours and a slew of kid-friendly attractions, it’s no wonder that as soon as school’s out for the summer families head to Glenwood Springs, Colorado and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. While the park can handle a crowd, for anyone who prefers a quieter experience, we recommend visiting towards the end of the day. Even if you arrive at 4 p.m., you can still get a full five hours of exploring, adventure and fun in before the park closes at 9 p.m.
  2. Free music. Throughout the months of June, August and September, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park hosts weekly concerts. The Music on the Mountain series features artists playing a variety of genres from rock and country to blues and funk. To catch one of shows, bring a canned item (like soup or beans) to the tram base beginning at 4 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sundays) on the day of the show. You’ll ride the tram for free (a $16 value) and help those less fortunate. Music starts at 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 4 p.m. on Sundays. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park also kicks off its popular Friday Afternoon Club on the Mountain summer series on June 15, with free tram rides, live music and food and drink specials from 5 – 8:30 p.m. The park’s FAC also includes a free tram ride with a coupon that appears in the Post Independent on Fridays. The coupon is valid for free rides up the mountain for up to four people starting at 4 p.m.

  3. Winning sunsets. For five years running, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has been voted a Local’s Choice Gold Award for the Best Place to View a Sunset, by readers of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent! There’s no better vantage point to watch the sun do its nightly dive behind the horizon than from the viewing deck of the Lookout Grille. Evening light combined with panoramic vistas makes for spectacular images. Highlights include snowcapped Mt. Sopris and the Elk Range to the south, the Roaring Fork River Valley in all its emerald glory, the dual waterways of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers, and West Glenwood Springs as the street lights come on for the night. If there are clouds in the vicinity, you’ll witness a masterpiece sky awash in colors. It’s official—we truly have the best sunsets!

  4. A cool breeze. Summers, even in the mountains of Colorado, can be sweltering with temperatures in the upper 90s on the hottest days. Fortunately, when the sun sets the temperatures drop, especially at the Adventure Park’s elevation of 7,100 feet above sea level. Evening visits are often ideal, with temperatures dipping significantly and late afternoon breezes rolling in. If you’re heat averse, this is best time to visit Glenwood Caverns.

  5. Dinner with a view. For a casual dinner that’s literally above the rest, you can’t beat a meal at the Lookout Grille. The restaurant serves all your favorites including appetizers, daily specials, burgers, gyros, vegetarian options, a kid’s menu, cold beer, wine, lemonade, root beer and more. Best of all, every meal comes with that unforgettable view we mentioned in #3!

Consider yourself invited for the evening. Learn more the Park’s offerings, hours and events at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Best table in Glenwood Springs is at the Lookout Grille at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park!

5 Reasons to Have Your Company Picnic at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Having fun in 2021 at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Having fun in 2021 at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Gather your team for an annual company picnic that pays dividends all year long at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, a team-building destination for businesses where fun is the chart-topping trend!

Company picnics done right are memorable events that enable employees to bond over shared experiences. A day dedicated to letting loose and having fun is also a great way to blow off steam and see alternate sides of colleagues and office mates. Choosing the right place to hold a company picnic is central to pulling off one that pays high returns on the investment. As a business that values its own employees, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park understands the importance of keeping your workforce engaged whether you have 10 employees or hundreds like we do.

  1. Easy to plan. Chances are your company doesn’t have a dedicated event planner, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park does. Our group sales office can guide you through the entire process. Choose from several themed menus like a fajita bar or barbeque spread. Serve adult beverages such as beer, wine or cocktails or hold an alcohol-free event. It’s up to you. Whatever you decide, our on-staff event planners will guide through every step of the process.
  2. Show your appreciation. Your employees work hard to make your business successful. A company picnic is a way for you, as an employer, to show your gratitude for a job well done. When you take time to do something out of the ordinary—like plan this year’s company outing at a mountain-top theme park—it’s not something they’re going to forget!
  3. Build team cohesion. At work, it’s easy for employees to focus on the specific job they are tasked to do. While company-wide meetings bring the office together, seeing one another in an off-site environment can help departments, and even colleagues who are just cubicles away from one another connect on a deeper, more meaningful level. A company picnic is a great way to improve corporate culture. More connectivity among workers means a more integrated workforce all striving for the same goal. Put simply, it’s good for business.
  4. Support families. It’s likely the majority of your employees have spouses, children, and girlfriends or boyfriends. When you invite the whole family to join in the company picnic it signals your employees that their life outside the office is important to you as well as their ability to get the job done at work. Glenwood Caverns is a family-friendly group destination with rides and attractions suitable for most ages.
  5. Have fun. The company picnic is first and foremost about having a great time together and sharing smiles, food and experiences as a group. Where better to do that than at a mountain-top theme park? For those who crave excitement, our thrill rides will have your most outgoing personnel screaming for more; our cave tours led by extroverted guides are informative and entertaining; the park’s smaller attractions keep kids enthralled for hours. Company picnics at the park are always scheduled from 4-9 p.m. when the park tends to be less crowded and temperatures are cooler. Snap photos of your crew to post on your social media, or let us take your group photo for you.
Giant Canyon Swing Glenwood Caverns

Music on the Mountain Hits It Out of the Park with 2018 Lineup

Music on the Mountain is ten for ten! Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s concert series is opening its tenth season with 10 mountaintop performances starting May 19. 

Get your groove on at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and let the good times roll! The 2018 Music on the Mountain season begins on Saturday, May 19, with the Goodman Band and two performances by Dance of the Sacred Fire, and continues with concerts in June, August and September.

All Music on the Mountain concerts are free with cans-for-a-tram rides beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturdays with music from 6 – 10 p.m.; and for Sunday shows at 2 p.m. with performances from 4 – 8 p.m.  To hop aboard the Iron Mountain Tramway for free just donate a canned or non-perishable food item. The cans-for-a-tram program helps to stock the shelves of Lift-Up, the local food pantry. To date, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has collected more than 66,000 cans and food items!

Whiskey Stomp band

With all the dancing you’ll be doing, you’re sure to get hungry. Grab a bite at the Lookout Grille or Snack Shack, both are open for dinner and refreshments, with drink specials available inside and in the outdoor plaza. Guests can also enjoy the park’s rides and attractions during the events. A Funday Pass, just $38 with the free tram ride, includes both walking cave tours and unlimited access to all open rides. The outdoor rides are open until dusk; the Laser Tag arena and 4D Motion Theater are open until the park closes.

Music on the Mountain would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Thank you to: Bighorn Toyota, Glenwood Insurance Agency, Community Banks of Colorado, Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Lift FM, Swire Coca-Cola, Glenwood TV, Hotel Glenwood Springs, Young Services and Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

2018 Music on the Mountain Lineup

 Saturday May 19—Music on the Mountain kicks off with The Goodman Band playing Stevie Ray Vaughan covers and classic rock, plus two performances of Dance of the Sacred Fire, a mesmerizing, high energy show featuring flame throwing and fire breathing!

Saturday, June 2Whiskey Stomp; bluegrass, funk, Latino, rock, jazz, country and original songs

Saturday, June 9The Mixx;  Top 40s, R&B, classic rock, funk, country, blues, and good ol’ rock and roll!

Sunday, June 10Motivado; Tex-Mex, Sierreno and Norteño

Saturday, Aug. 18Fifty50; classic, modern and original rock

Saturday Aug. 25Hell Roaring Stringband and Defiance String Band; a string band double-header featuring American hoedown, bluegrass, swing, rags, waltzes and more

Saturday, Sept. 8Vidicus Maximus; rock, funk, blues, soul and pop

Sunday, Sept. 9Christian Music on the Mountain featuring talent from The Orchard in Carbondale

Saturday, Sept. 15The Missing Link Band; country, rock, blues, pop and R&B

Saturday, Sept. 22Emotional Rescue; a Rolling Stones cover band

In addition to Music on the Mountain, Friday Afternoon Club on the Mountain returns from June 15 through Aug. 10. Tram rides are free after 4 p.m. with a coupon from the Post Independent. The melodrama, Trouble Bubbles at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs, begins Memorial Weekend and continues through Labor Day with shows at 1 and 2:30 p.m. Friday through Monday.

Find out more about what’s happening this summer at America’s only mountaintop theme park at glenwoodcavdev.wpengine.com.